The application period for Winter-Spring 2019 positions has closed. This page features an archive of projects available in a previous hiring cycle. Check back during mid-Winter Quarter for a description of projects anticipated for Summer 2019 positions and to apply for a full or part-time research internship.
Interested in gaining academic and research experience this year? Apply for an undergraduate Research Internship at CESTA! This opportunity integrates students into a community of faculty, students, and staff who combine technology and the humanities. Work on interdisciplinary projects, learn about digital humanities, and gain valuable experience along the way. Applications for Winter-Spring 2019 positions are now being accepted. See the full job announcement below to learn about available projects and how to apply.
CESTA research internships provide Stanford undergraduate students with the opportunity to collaborate on faculty projects, be part of a vibrant community, and gain practical experience. Project work ranges from conducting archival research to building interactive websites, developing databases, and much more. Through weekly sessions, the program includes an orientation, workshops, discussions, presentations, brief assignments, and food! Student work culminates with a poster symposium at the end of Spring quarter.
Research Interns are supported through either academic credit, hourly pay, or stipends. During Winter and Spring Quarters, interns work between 5 to 10 hours per week at CESTA (during normal business hours). Students will have access to faculty and staff mentorship for their projects, in addition to a great working space.
Applications for Summer 2019 positions will be accepted mid-Winter Quarter.
If you are interested in working at CESTA this Winter and Spring, please complete our application form no later than 11:59 PM on Thursday, November 1 (EXTENDED TO NOVEMBER 4). The application asks questions about your availability, experience, and interests. You will also upload a resume and cover letter. After reading the project descriptions found below, write a brief cover letter indicating why you might be a good fit for one or more of the projects. This is an opportunity for you to expand upon what you have included in your resume and relate your skills and experiences to the projects you are interested in. Have your resume and cover letter ready to upload in a single PDF document at the end of the application form.
Prompt applications will receive preferential consideration, as will applicants who open to receiving academic credit. Any applications submitted after the deadline will be considered only if additional needs arise. We encourage students who are not selected for this term to re-apply as projects become available and student interest and experiences develop.
Check out the FAQs for further info. We encourage you to give us a call or send us an email if you have any questions about the application process. We can be reached at 650-721-1385 or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Project Lead: Celena Allen (CESTA Manager)
Home to six central labs and scores of projects, CESTA is Stanford’s digital humanities hub, regularly hosting events that bring together faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates from across campus and around the world. Through our social media feeds and other public-facing content, CESTA keeps both scholars and the public informed about the timely and exciting digital humanities research happening at CESTA and elsewhere. To learn more, find us on Instagram @cesta_stanford, Twitter @cesta_stanford, and FB @cesta.stanford.
Job Description: CESTA seeks a creative, motivated undergraduate to assist with communications and programs at the Center. Tasks may include maintaining CESTA’s website and social media accounts; producing newsletters and ensuring that CESTA’s content and message are coordinated across multiple platforms. The student will work with a small team, on which he/she/they will be responsible for creating public-facing content and pushing it both to social media and to other research interns.
Preferred Skills: A friendly, outgoing personality and a flair for teamwork are essential, as is an interest in and enthusiasm for CESTA’s programs and projects. Excellent communication and time management skills. Experience organizing social media campaigns and using tools such as Hootsuite, Mailchimp, website management (Drupal) is preferred. Prior experience in collaborative research projects, training others, or leadership positions is a bonus.
Project Leads: Prof. Gordon Chang (History) and Prof. Shelley Fisher Fishkin (English)
The Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project seeks to give a voice to the Chinese migrants whose labor on the Transcontinental Railroad (between 1865 and 1869) helped to shape the physical and social landscape of the American West. The Project coordinates research in North America and Asia in order to create an online digital archive available to all, along with books, digital visualizations, conferences, and public events.
Job Description: The research intern will work closely with the PIs, project manager, and other researchers to aid in research and analysis as well as the development of a digital archive. Specifically, the student will support ongoing efforts to format essays for the website, accessioning materials through the Stanford Digital Repository, and engage in directed historical materials searches.
Preferred Skills: We are looking for a student with interest and/or experience in working with archival records, developing web content (including narratives and visualizations).
Project Leads: Prof. Paula Findlen (History), Dr. Luca Scholz (CESTA and History), Dr. Katherine McDonough (Stanford University Libraries and History), Rachel Midura (History), and Leo Barletta (History)
During the early modern period (1500-1800), individuals and communities experienced dramatic changes in communication and transportation, establishing practices, institutions, and infrastructures that opened up new political and economic possibilities, and changed the way people understood the world. This multi-year collaboration will support a transregional study of mobility, incorporating multiple languages and national historiographies. Inter-related studies include the following digitally-enhanced components:
Empire in the Backlands: Mapping Territorial Expansion in the Portuguese Empire. The project uses GIS and network analysis to map, measure, and analyse patterns of mobility of colonists and merchants of the expanding territory of Colonial Brazil.
New Maps for the Old Regime. This project utilizes GIS to devise new ways of visualizing Europe’s political orders as regimes of movement structured by corridors, channels, and networks rather than by bounded territory.
Public Works Laboratory: Building a Province in Eighteenth-Century France. A multilayered, digital map of early modern roads in western France and visualizations of the relationship between construction practices and political action.
Reading the Mail: The Culture of the Post in Northern Italy, 1530-1630. A database and accompanying visualizations of published early modern postal itineraries.
Job Description: Undergraduate research interns will work on one or more of the sub-projects listed above, helping to transform the researcher leads’ data into cutting edge visualizations of early modern networks of roads, postal routes, and patterns of correspondence in the early modern period. As such, tasks may include digitizing sources, collecting and cleaning quantitative and qualitative data, geocoding spatial data, and generating maps and other visualizations of historic networks.
Preferred Skills: Some experience working with archival sources, databases, GIS, and software development is preferred. Reading skills in foreign languages could be useful to particular projects (i.e., French, German, Italian, and/or Portuguese), but are not necessarily required.
Project Leads: Prof. Kathryn Starkey (German and English) and Mae Lyons-Penner (Comparative Literature)
The Global Medieval Sourcebook (GMS) is an online repository which brings together curated collections of texts dating from the sixth to the sixteenth century and originating in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Each work is presented in its original language and in a new English translation, where possible with high resolution images of the manuscript source. The site uses an innovative page display to offers visitors maximum flexibility in their engagement with text and image. Concise introductions provide a contextual frame for users with little or no prior knowledge of medieval text cultures. Current thematic collections include fabliaux, love songs, and excerpts of world histories, but there are many others in the pipeline!
Job Description: Building upon the work of previous undergraduate research interns, the student will help develop the site functionality (using the content-management framework Drupal), design a thematic collection landing page, and ensure that site platform meets accessibility requirements and is compatible for tablets and mobile devices. Research Interns also help expand the corpus, transcribing medieval manuscripts and encoding the transcripts into TEI-XML files.
Preferred Skills: For making further improvements to the website, prior Drupal experience is helpful and knowledge of Timeline JS and/or Flex Slider modules is a plus. To add additional archival documents, having knowledge of TEI guidelines is also a plus and translation skills are highly desired. The original texts featured in GMS thus far span the following languages: Old and Middle High German, Middle Low German, Medieval Dutch, Old and Middle French, Old and Middle English, Medieval Italian, Medieval Latin, Old Spanish (including Aljamiado), Medieval Hungarian, Chinese, Arabic, and Persian.
Project Lead: Giovanna Ceserani (Department of Classics Faculty)
The Grand Tour of Italy attracted thousands of Europeans throughout the 18th century. It was a formative institution of modernity, contributing to a massive reimagining of politics and the arts, of the market for culture, of ideas about leisure, and of practices of professionalism. This project enriches our understanding of this phenomenon by bringing us closer to the diverse travelers, elite and otherwise, who collectively constituted its world. We are working with the more than 5,000 entries in John Ingamells’ Dictionary of British and Irish Travelers to Italy to create a dynamic searchable database, along with digital visualizations, of these travelers’ journeys and lives.
Job Description: The Research Intern will work on final revisions for Grand Tour Explorer, the interactive web platform of the Grand Tour project, which will include features to aid further research. Additionally, the intern will collaborate with the PI and other researchers to prepare scholars’ papers based on the Grand Tour Explorer for publication, focusing on data visualizations and other image issues.
Preferred Skills: Experience in developing websites in Wordpress is essential; the ability to integrate a queryable database in Heroku with the site is also critical. An interest in Italy, the Grand Tour, working with historic data, and thorough attention to detail is ideal.
Project Lead: Prof. Rowan Dorin (History)
Medieval European society was profoundly shaped by the legal institutions and lawmaking activity of the Catholic church. From the late twelfth century onward, papal law proliferated, with letters and decrees being sent forth from the papal curia to the farthest reaches of Christendom. Meanwhile, at a local level, bishops could use their own legislative powers to advance, transform, or even resist these centralizing efforts. Until now, the extent and dispersion of the surviving sources has made impossible to study this corpus systematically, but a new digital database created at Stanford is opening new possibilities for comparative analysis of such local legislation across space and time - allowing us to track more precisely the role of law in shaping the social and religious life of late medieval Europe.
Job Description: The research intern will focus on integrating the text corpus with existing digital maps of medieval church jurisdictions, so that users can perform spatially-inflected searches on the text corpus, or (conversely) plot textual data on the maps. The research intern will also work together with a developer to create the public-facing, web-based architecture for integrating the spatial and textual corpora of the project.
Preferred Skills: GIS skills, or a willingness to learn, is desirable. Some programming experience is also preferred, particularly a familiarity with database and web design.
Project Lead: Dr. Laura McGrath and Dr. J.D. Porter (Acting Co-Directors of the Literary Lab)
The Stanford Literary Lab uses quantitative and computational methods to ask and answer questions about texts. From tracking the historical rise and fall of iambic pentameter to training a neural net to identify suspenseful passages in novels, the Lab pursues hypotheses about literary history and form on the scale of hundreds or thousands of texts, exploring fiction and poetry through methods such as network analysis, stylometry, and topic modeling.
Job Description: Depending on the status of ongoing projects and the students’ skills and interests, duties may include digitizing documents; manually tagging texts for character, setting, or time frame; maintaining a database of metadata on authors and texts; building networks of character interactions; and/or working with project leads to design an experimental protocol. In all cases, students will collaborate closely with project leads.
Preferred Skills: Attention to detail and strong communication skills, a passion for literature, and experience working with spreadsheets and updating databases. Familiarity with data cleaning, text tagging, and with Python and/or R is a plus.
Project Leads: Prof. Ali Yaycioğlu (History) and Dr. Antonis Hadjikyriacou (Boğaziçi University)
This project will initiate the first digital map of the Ottoman Empire's complex social, economic, political, ethnic, religious, and cultural landscape. The interactive map will designate urban and village settlements, agricultural and pastoral landscapes, transportation webs and monuments, mercantile and intellectual networks, the structure of governance and administrative setting, and accumulation of power and wealth in Western and Central Greece, roughly from the early 18th to mid 19th centuries. In doing so, we integrate complex and multifaceted data gathered from archival documents in Ottoman-Turkish and Greek (as well as French, Russian, and English), topographic data derived from our field trips, geo-historical sources, historical maps, and other visual material. Long term aims for the project are to collaborate with a group of scholars from Greek and Turkish institutions to classify the data and build a geospatial database.
Job description: This project has multiple but largely overlapping stages:
Georeferencing historical maps and documents to designate historical place names in Turkish, Greek, Albanian, and Bulgarian. This effort will allow us to start building a historical gazetteer.
Map and reconstruct communication and correspondence processes including documents such as: various administrative letters, petitions, contracts, imperial orders, private letters, cadastral documents, and fiscal documents
Develop a digital index of the people who appear in the historical documents.
Preferred skills: Basic knowledge of GIS and Python. Desire to work on historical-spatial themes with a group of scholars from Greece and Turkey. Interest in Ottoman History and Greece in Eastern Mediterranean context. Language skills in Greek or Turkish or Arabic are desirable but not necessary. The process of researching and documenting these place names is almost as complex as the history of the Ottoman empire itself. Names of places change over time, the language of the area has changed over time, and little evidence is left behind for many of these places. These make for plenty of challenges and fascinating discoveries. Patience, a willingness to problem solve, and desire to dive into the history of this project are desired.
Project Lead: Dr. Christina Hodge (Stanford University Archaeology Collections, SUAC)
In spring 2018, SUAC inventoried its Egyptian collection for the first time for the student-curated exhibition Our Dark Materials: Rediscovering an Egyptian Collection. These antiquities are part of the university’s founding collections and, despite damage from the 1906 earthquake, are more numerous and significant than previously suspected. As objects used by modest people in daily life and death, they tell a different story than the wealth of pharaonic Egypt typically presented in museums. They not only link collections across the university at SUAC, the Cantor Center, and Archives and Special Collections, but also link Stanford globally to some of the most important scholars, sites, and collections in early Egyptology.
This digital humanities project will augment the temporary physical exhibit through the visualization and online dissemination of related preexisting research/content. Outcomes will allow Stanford to share these discoveries with researchers and the public; integrate related online collections across the university; integrate these collections with the global world of Egyptology; and, through visualization, generate new understandings of collections and intellectual relationships. Envisioned projects include 1) Who Was Who in Stanford Egyptology: an interactive biographical “map” illustrating the global network of people and places interconnected through SUAC’s Egyptian collection; and/or 2) Rejuvenating Senchalanthos: a data visualization in which a remarkable inscribed mummy coffin anchors a web of interrelated multimedia (objects, archives, photographs) and current research breakthroughs (multi-spectral imaging; 3D scanning; MRI).
Job Description: The research intern will work on one or both of these digital visualization projects, depending on interests, skills, and time. Students will work closely with the PI, project manager, and other researchers to create visualizations for the data both for public consumption as well as to aid in research and analysis. The core student task will be helping to develop and design web-based visualization that will both tell the story of Stanford’s Egyptian Collection and help visualize the sociomaterial relationships it reveals.
Preferred Skills: We are looking for design and advanced programming skills with special focus on html and interactive website development, if possible.
Project Leads: Prof. Elaine Treharne (English) and Dr. Jessica Stewart (Cantor Arts Center)
In September 2019, the Cantor Arts Center will open a reinstallation of the Stanford Family Collection, conducted by the contemporary artist Mark Dion. To create relevant, scholarly interpretive content that will support this long-term exhibition, the museum is pursuing new research on the Stanford family’s complex legacy from both social justice and ecocritical perspectives. The Cantor will collaborate with the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA) to produce interactive content featuring student and faculty work on the collection and related archival resources on campus. Major themes may include Chinese labor in railroad construction and campus transformation; Native American cultural heritage and indigenous sites on campus; nineteenth-century history and philosophy of science; and the influence of classical antiquity in American aristocracy.
Job Description: Undergraduate research interns and graduate student assistants will work under the guidance of CESTA and in close consultation with the Cantor’s academic programs department to support this collaborative project. In addition to learning about the display of museum objects and their provenance, the interns on this project will help create data sets to develop visualizations for the public exhibition. Students may be assigned to work on one of the specific themes listed above.
Preferred Skills: An interest and enthusiasm for interpretation, Stanford history, museum studies, working with data, and social justice or ecocriticism are integral to this work. Familiarity with basic data management is strongly preferred; some experience in creating data visualizations is also helpful. Prior experience participating in collaborative research projects and good communication skills, including developing content for a broad audience, is desirable.
Project Lead: Prof. Elaine Treharne (English)
Text Technologies investigates all forms of human communication from cuneiform tablets to Twitter. Using the power of computational tools and critical analysis, Text Technologies asks questions such as: what does the history of communication teach us about the forms of future information technologies?
Job Description: Working with faculty and staff in CESTA, students collaborate on projects that trace the evolution of human communication, uncover the lived experiences of people through their written record and ephemera and engage in academic conferences and more.
Preferred Skills: No specific skills are required, but an interest in medieval manuscripts, Latin, Old English, archival materials, objects, technologies, any form of human communication, and/or history is helpful.