Researchers on our projects include faculty, staff, and students from across the university.

Projects may be affiliated with one of CESTA's core labs or entirely self-standing; in either case, project lead(s) receive administrative, technical, and financial support from CESTA. Many are aided by the contributions of Undergraduate Research Interns. At times, these projects may last a set period of time and culminate in a piece of traditional or digital scholarship; in other cases, a project may develop a life of its own and continue even after the founder has moved on.

Aftermaths of Enslavement

How might we understand the experiences of enslavement at the Cape of Good Hope in the long 18th century, and what are its legacies?


Breve is a tool for researchers who have to work with very incomplete and messy data.


CISTERN is building a database and a virtual research space that bring together geographic sources in Turkish, Arabic, and English.

Computational Border Studies

This project combines critical race and social justice theory with novel computational methods to study the urgent problem of bias within the U.S. court system.

Considering Disability in Online Cultural Experiences

This project considers ways in which online cultural experiences may be rendered more inclusive for Disabled people.

Corpus Synodalium

What did medieval canon law look like from the perspective of local communities?

DH Asia: Hot Metal Empire

Hot Metal Empire is a history of linotype, particularly in the non-Latin alphabetic world.

Early Modern Mobility

What do the methods and patterns of transportation reveal about the early modern period?

Egypt in South Africa

Egypt has held an exceptional place in the western imagination.


EpicConnect is an open-source, open access productivity platform.

Expanding the Discipline of English Language Arts

The goal of this project is to expand the way English Language Arts (ELA) is taught in U.S. high schools.

Fan Fiction

Since 1998, well over 6 million stories have been uploaded to This archive offers a unique source of data on prose writing.

Free Speech, Regulation, and Democracy in the Digital Age

This project investigates IT blogs’ impact on public discussion of matters situated at the intersection of technology and society.

George Moses Horton Project

An African American slave (1797–1888) challenged by laws that prevented him from learning to read and write, Horton developed a method of composing poetry orally.

Global Medieval Sourcebook

The Global Medieval Sourcebook presents medieval texts in their original language and in new English translations.

Global Urbanization and its Discontents

Over the last several decades, millions of people have migrated from rural villages and towns into urban contexts. Today, cities hold over half of the world’s population.

Grand Tour Project

In the eighteenth century, thousands of Northern Europeans traveled to Italy for a journey of cultural and symbolic capital they called the Grand Tour.

Imagined San Francisco

This project traces the history of urban planning in San Francisco, placing special emphasis on unrealized schemes.

Interactive Nolli Map Website of Rome

The goal of this project is to revitalize, preserve, and assure universal open access to the Interactive Nolli Map Website.

Josquin Research Project

The Josquin Research Project is an open-access tool for exploring Renaissance music.

Kindred Britain

Kindred Britain is a network of nearly 30,000 individuals — many of them iconic figures in British culture — connected through family relationships of blood, marriage, or affiliation. It is a vision of the nation’s history as a giant family affair.

Lacuna Stories

Lacuna Stories is a social and collaborative online platform for research, learning and teaching built around the concept of annotation. 

Land Talk

LandTalk is a crowd-sourced collection of reports of changing landscapes from across the globe.

Life in Quarantine

Life in Quarantine (LiQ) is an online community platform that addresses the transformations we are experiencing in the age of COVID-19.

Literature of Social Distancing

Our project combines quantitative and qualitative methods to investigate social distancing and the novel of isolation.

Mapping Manuscripts

Our goal in the Mapping Manuscripts project is to map the production of medieval manuscripts through digital methods.

Mapping Ottoman Epirus

Mapping Ottoman Epirus seeks to better understand how the Ottoman Empire operated through big data and digital methods.

Mapping Shared Sacred Sites

Despite the existence of numerous shared sites of religious observance across the world, they remain largely unknown.

Mapping the Musical Renaissance

The starting point of this project was a map documenting the life of the most famous Renaissance composer.

Mapping the Republic of Letters

The Mapping the Republic of Letters project showcases the scholarly networks of the Early Modern era.

Medieval Networks of Memory

Medieval Networks of Memory aims to reveal a new and dynamic picture of thirteenth-century religious and social networks and community commemoration.

Modeling Representations of Otherness in Star Wars

This project leverages computational textual analysis to explore the background discourses of the human and the other in the extensive universe of the Star Wars novels.

Modernist Archives Publishing Project

The Modernist Archives Publishing Project is a critical digital archive of early 20th-century publishing history.


OpenGulf is a transdisciplinary, multi-institutional research group analyzing historical texts produced in the Arabian Peninsula, Iran and Iraq.

Oral History Text Analysis Project (OHTAP)

OHTAP is developing an original methodology for data mining the rich but untapped collections of digitized transcripts of women’s oral histories.


Palladio is a visualization platform with an emphasis on data refining and linking.

Panic and Pandemic

This project examines discourses on epidemic disease against the history of outbreaks in early modern Europe, with case studies on Germany, England, and France.

Personhood Project

The project on Personhood seeks to understand how texts assign the qualities that we typically associate with persons to characters depicted within the text, whether human, object or animal.

Poetic Thinking

Committed to equality, inclusion, and respect for all, Poetic Thinking creates a space for users to share and discuss academic and artistic work.

Rumsey Map Center: Cherokee History

This exhibition examines how maps can be read within an indigenous framework to trace Cherokee placemaking.

Scofflaws and Debt Collectors

This project takes the routine experience of parking tickets as a window onto the history of privatization and urban governance in the post-Civil Rights era.

Shipwrecks and the Maritime Heritage of Millennia of Sicilian Connections

This project aims to create multimedia work that challenges the public to engage with the objects, memories, and entangled realities of past and present movements across the sea.

Social Networks in Roman Comedy

This project aims to generate “social network maps” among characters in ancient Roman Comedy.

Social Networks in the Early Islamic World

This project stems from the world’s largest alumni newsletter: in the mid-9th century, Thomas, the East Syriac Bishop of Marga, decided he would collect as many stories as he could.

Stanford Ordinary People Extraordinary Stories (SOPES)

SOPES is a project concerned with preserving ordinary lives of the past, the stories of “normal people” that would otherwise be forgotten.

Technologies of Domesticity

This project investigates the postwar representation of domestic technology in 20th century women’s magazines, looking at fiction, advertisements, and articles from 1945 to 1975.

The African Archive Beyond Colonization

A virtual exhibition of some of the 300 objects that form the African Collection within Stanford University Archeological Collections.

The Church of Baghdad

How does our understanding of Christianity shift when we recognize that for over half its history Christianity’s geographic center was not Rome, nor even Constantinople, but rather Baghdad?

The Senegal Liberations Project

The Senegal Liberations Project expands the Slave Voyages database by focusing on slavery and freedom in Africa.


This project looks at the ways that English translations of foreign-language texts literature diverge from original English literature.

Transparency and Racial Equity in Public Corporations

This project is conducting research into large U.S. corporations’ efforts to advance racial equity.

Truth in Fiction

The Discourse of Embedded Scientific Facts in Climate Fiction

Urban Ecology of the Pandemic

Our team is examining how the “anthropause”-the abrupt disruption of human mobility due to stay-at-home orders -influenced the behavior and range of wild animals in urban spaces.

Urban Studies and Practice of Theory

Deploying an interdisciplinary approach, this project refocuses the discussion of Accra, New York, London, and Hong Kong in ways that have so far gained scant attention.

Using Data Visualizations to Help Students See Texts Differently in English Language Arts

The goal of this project is to introduce data visualizations and data analysis into English Language Arts classes

Visible Bodies

Where are the African female writers of the 20th century? This project addresses the critical issue of the invisibility of female authors within established canons of 20th-century African literature.

Voortrekker Monumentality

Voortrekker Monumentality is a curated archive related to From Memory to Marble, providing high-resolution images and documents on which the book was based.

Warhol’s Photo Archive

This project originated when the Andy Warhol Foundation selected Stanford University as the home for a collection of more than 3,600 contact sheets.

Women in Provenance

The Women in Provenance project intertwines object and personal biography to explore how gender shaped the Stanford University Archaeology Collections.

Writing Rights

Writing Rights visualises the evolution of ideas that inform the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.

Young Readers Database of Literature (YRDL)

The Young Readers Database of Literature contains rich metadata for over 25,000 works of children’s, middle-grade, and YA fiction novels.