Hi! I’m Zoe.

I’m currently a digital humanities developer at the Scholars' Lab at the University of Virginia. I n this position, I work on building large data pipelines for humanities text data, web apps for mapping and data visualization, and statistical modeling for text and image analysis projects. I consult with undergraduate, graduate, and faculty at UVA and beyond, and I teach workshops in wide range of digital humanities topics. In the fall 2018, I'm developing an intensive programming course for graduate students in the humanities.

I'm also entering my final year as a doctoral candidate in history at Vanderbilt University. My dissertation, “Construction Anti-Colonial Cairo”, is about Cairo’s role as a hub for international anti-colonial movements and anti-colonial media production. This project grew out of my graduate course work research and what I thought was a simple question about the relationships between activists North and South of the Sahara. I explore how the establishment of the Middle East News Agency, a national press in Cairo in 1955, was a vehicle for the UAR to present a counter narrative to the perceived biased coverage from Western press agencies. I trace how the discourses and imagery in Cairo print media changed from 1948 and the early revolution to the late 1960s and early 1970s as Egypt transitioned away from the socialism of the Nasserist era. Ultimately, I'm trying to show how anti-colonialism was both locally constructed and deeply enmeshed in international debates over the future of decolonization. I work primarily in print newspapers and periodicals from Cairo and other Third World capitals, as well diplomatic cables from Western embassies in Cairo and Western newspapers. Under the hood of the project, I rely on a web app I built to manage my data, and extract text and images from my archival research. I also utilize statistical methods, machine learning, natural language processing and computer vision algorithms to understand how discourses and symbolism in these sources changed over time.

When not working on my dissertation, I’m usually working on refining my understanding of web development, text and image analysis, and mapping and data visualization. My entry into development was through Digital Humanities, and in March 2017 I graduated from the Nashville Software School. Long-term, I’m passionate about building and studying the future of knowledge production. I love solving problems, sharing ideas, and learning new things (i.e. insanely curious ENTP). I’m also a big sci-fi/fantasy fan (hover over my image for proof).

Hope you say hi back 👋!

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