The Spatial History Project within the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA) at Stanford seeks to hire undergraduate Research Assistants to work on a variety of digital projects based in humanities scholarship at the nexus of history, English, art, and geography. We seek students who bring practical knowledge or interest in information design and the development of interactive visualization tools for humanities research.
- Successful candidates will have a strong background or interest in learning in any of the following areas:
- Information visualization and design (e.g. graphic design, cartography, programming, interaction design
- Spatial and network analysis (GIS, Tableau, Gephi, etc)
- Archival research, data analysis, database creation and management
Examples of possible projects that new research assistants could be involved are:
Living with the Railroads
Following the work of Richard White, Living with the Railroads seeks to use crowdsourcing to learn more about the social, cultural, and environmental impact of the development and expansion of the railroads in the American West, and hopefully eventually across the United States. The goal, in conjunction with Historypin, is to get railroad enthusiasts to upload their data, identify images and documents whose provenance is unknown, and help facilitate the growth of connections between enthusiast and enthusiast communities, while at the same time collecting metadata on these images.
Chinese Railroad Workers
Faculty Gordon Chang (History) and Shelley Fisher Fishkin (English) are leading this project to unearth the undocumented history of the Chinese workers who constructed the U.S. transcontinental railroad in the late 1860s. This project seeks to discover and present this missing history from many different sources. Participants from a wide range of backgrounds, disciplines, and locations are working together to piece this history together.
Geography of the Post
From the end of the Civil War until the close of the nineteenth century, the United States Postal System grew into a vast communications network. The Post was one of the century’s largest spatial systems, with more than 75,000 offices connecting communities scattered across the continent. Geography of the Post maps this behemoth network on its western periphery: where it spread, how it operated, and its role in shaping the space and place of the region.
The Law of the Antebellum Frontier
Innovative digital research technologies allow us to look at the expansion of the American nation during the critical years before the Civil War in new ways.
A Microhistory of the Great Migration The Great Migration was a watershed in African American life: over the course of six decades (1910-1970), six million black southerners left the South in search of more meaningful experiences of freedom. This project hopes to offer a different angle of vision on the migration by bringing to light the places where migrants slept, ate, got haircuts, and danced along the way.
This project is an exploration with a point of origin in how regional utilization of East Palo Alto’s space helped set the stage for a dynamic of inequality between the community and what would become Silicon Valley.
Genealogy of Desert Ant Colonies Over the past 3 decades, Gordon has studied the behavior, demography and ecology of a population of about 300 harvester ant colonies in Arizona, using both field and laboratory experiments.
Working hours are flexible, with a target of 8-10 hours per week. RAs will join an exciting community of scholars including undergraduates, graduate students, post-docs, and faculty. RAs will have the opportunity to co-author projects and potentially include their own work in their portfolio. In addition to technical skills, RAs must demonstrate past success in creative problem solving, and a devotion to teamwork.
Please send your resume and a cover letter explaining your qualifications to Matt Bryant (email@example.com) no later than noon on Monday, December 2nd.
Please share this announcement with anyone who you feel might be interested.