Prof. Hilde De Weerdt (KU Leuven), Dr. Sunkyu Lee (KU Leuven), Dr. Sander Molenaar (IISG), Dr. Taylor Zaneri (IISH), and Ms. Wangzhi Xi (PhD student, KU Leuven) will present their work on the Digital Humanities Virtual Discussion Group session at KU Leuven at 3 PM CET.

This talk will introduce two digital research projects–Regionalizing Infrastructures in Chinese History (Reginfra) and The Lives and Afterlives of Imperial Material Infrastructure in Southeastern China (InfraLives). Both projects investigate how large-scale infrastructures, such as city walls, bridges, and roads, affected regional (dis)integration in the Chinese and neighboring territories from roughly 1000 to 1900. One of the key objectives is to explore the spatial patterns of infrastructures, including their construction, maintenance, destruction, failure, uses, and cultural meanings across different regions. Based on empirical data derived from digitized texts, the projects aim to critically examine assumptions about the relation between infrastructures and regional integration and to develop dynamic models of regional histories. The presenters will discuss methods in corpus building and text and image annotation, and explain future plans for comparative spatial analysis and machine learning.