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About the project

Status: archive

Project team: Mark Algee-Hewitt, Erik Fredner, Charlotte Lindemann, J.D. Porter;

Start date: May 1, 2019

End date: Jul 29, 2021

Last updated: Jul 29, 2021

Presentation on the Celebrity collaboration with the Smithsonian Museum of American History
May 18, 2020

Presentations on “Star Texts” and “Celebrity”
May 22, 2019

This project, a partnership between the Stanford Literary Lab and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, sought to explore the intersections of fame, identity, and materiality over the past 250 years of American culture. We applied text mining-based methods of the Digital Humanities— including Named Entity Recognition, Natural Language Processing, and supervised modeling— to a massive digitized corpus of American newspapers and periodicals that comprise the literary history of celebrity. This collaboration with the Smithsonian aimed to be the most comprehensive study of American cultural celebrity to date, in terms of both archival materials and historical scope: the work reveals a new, multiple history of fame in America by focusing on the changing ways that fame was embodied on different geographic scales (nationally, regionally, and locally), within different communities (political communities, underrepresented racial or ethnic communities, or language communities), and across time (1740-present).