Kris Manjapra and his team developed the Corpora repository at Tufts University, which provides a platform for the preservation, curation and annotation of oral history texts.
He will present on a decade-long project to record, curate and annotate oral histories of major West Bengali and Bangladeshi intellectuals who contributed to the rise of South Asian postcolonial thought. Manjapra will discuss the modes of humanistic data analysis facilitated by the Corpora platform and digital oral history curation more generally, including geospatial analysis, keyword cross-referencing, sentiment analysis, and network analysis.
He will show how these methods help to illuminate the intellectual prosopography of a Bengali “decolonizing generation”, 1950s-1980s. We gain new insight into the historical trajectory from independence, through the rise of state authoritarianism, to the dawn of Subaltern Studies, by visualizing the voices within this oral history collection. Manjapra will reflect on the potential for metadata mark-up and computational techniques to enrich interpretive methods in the contemporary postcolonial humanities, especially as scholars explore archives outside and below the official record.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Although focused on the South Asian case, the analytical approaches examined here are valuable for scholars working across Asia, on all time periods.
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