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School of Government Peking University  
Chinese
 
The Geographic and the Prosopographic:Rethinking Chinese History in a Digital Age

Topic: The Geographic and the Prosopographic:Rethinking Chinese History in a Digital Age
Speaker: Professor Peter K. Bol
Date: December 18, 2011
Time:  13:30 – 14:30    Lecture 
                14:30 – 15:00     Q&A
Place: Room207, The Leo KoGuan Building, Peking University (School of Government)
Add: No.5 Yiheyuan Road, Haidian District, Beijing

Professor Peter K. Bol’ s Bio

Professor Peter K. Bol is the Charles H. Carswell Professor East Asian Languages and Civilizations. His research is centered on the history of China's cultural elites from the Tang, Song, Yuan, and Ming dynasties. He led Harvard's university-wide effort to establish support for geospatial analysis in teaching and research; in 2005 he was named the first director of the Center for Geographic Analysis. He also directs the China Historical Geographic Information Systems project, a collaboration between Harvard and Fudan University in Shanghai to create a GIS for 2000 years of Chinese history. In a collaboration between Harvard, Academia Sinica, and Peking University he directs the China Biographical Database project, an online relational database of 112,000 historical figures currently. He is the author of "This Culture of Ours:" Intellectual Transitions in T'ang and Song China and Neo-Confucianism in History.

For more detail of Professor Bol’s boi, please visit the Harvard website: 
http://harvardealc.org/biography.php?personId=218

Lecture summary:

We live in a world inundated by data—millions of “tweets” every day, innumerable websites, and an ever expanding corpus of digitized text, image, video, and sound files. How are we deal with this flood of information? Prof. Bol will introduce two approaches. First, geospatial technology provides us not only with a way of organizing and analyzing large amounts of data but also with the means of creating highly intuitive interfaces for accessing information. Prof. Bol will show how Harvard’s Center for Geographic Analysis has helped bring geospatial technology to teaching and research across the University during its first five years. Our new WorldMap is a highly flexible and (almost) intuitive platform for organizing and sharing geospatial information is a premier example of what is now possible—the  ChinaMap project on contemporary and historical China will illustrate this. Second, the derivation of “structured data” from unstructured texts is a powerful tool for analysis. Prof. Bol will introduce the China Biographical Database project—a collaboration between Harvard, Peking University, and Academia Sinica—and some of the surprising insights it offers into Chinese history.  

Professor Bol is looking forward to his speaking engagement with alumni and friends in Beijing on December 18th lecture.

Joint-sponsor: Harvard Club of Beijing