2023-2024 Simpson Center Funding for FIS Faculty Research

Submitted by Michael Rich on
"Suzzallo Library in the style of Vincent van Gogh" generated with the AI Stable Diffusion model

The UW Simpson Center for the Humanities announced its Fellowship and Collaborative Project awards for 2023-2024, with strong representation from French & Italian Studies including faculty and a graduate alumna! 

Anna Preus (English), Geoffrey Turnovsky (French & Italian), Melanie Walsh (Information School), and Richard Watts (French & Italian) have been awarded funding for a new Research Cluster on Artificial Intelligence with the project Technological Transformation and Human Creativity: The Impact of AI on Authorship, Reading, Translation, and Critique. The cluster will explore humanistic approaches to AI and its impacts on historic and contemporary notions of human creativity, as it pertains to writing, artistic creation, reading and interpretation, translation, as well as research. They plan a colloquium comprising a series of three invited speakers, as well as local events and hands-on workshops exploring a range of AI issues and tools, from AI-driven translation tools to large language models that help query massive textual corpora.

Hannah Frydman (French & Italian Studies) was awarded a Digital Humanities Summer Fellowship to work on her project Between the Digital Sheets: Research and Teaching Methods for Working with Digitized Classified Ads. This project takes Frydman’s digital research methods in her monograph in progress, Between the Sheets: Classified Advertising, Sexuality, and the Moral Threat to Press Freedom in France, as a jumping off point for elaborating a historical methodology for working and teaching with digitized newspapers, whose abundance can be daunting for those new to digital research. In particular, the project (through an article and a pedagogical website) will communicate the potential of digitized classifieds as a source of otherwise inaccessible information useful for historical writing across many topics, and will explain how information can be extracted from them.