Voltaire and the Press Hackathon

20/06/2024 - 21/06/2024

Date: 20-21 June 2024

Registration Deadline: 10 June 2024


The ERC ModERN project: Modelling Enlightenment (hosted at Sorbonne University) and the Voltaire Foundation (University of Oxford), in collaboration with the DataLab of the French National Library (BnF), invite applications for a two-day hackathon themed “Voltaire and the Press”.

Event Overview:

This collaborative event aims to bring together participants from varied backgrounds, including sudents, engineers, developers and 18th-century scholars to collectively explore the digitized collection of 18th-century French press provided by the ModERN project and the BnF DataLab. Under the guidance of digital humanities experts, participants will work in teams to extract information about Voltaire, his works, and his role as a prominent Enlightenment figure within the cultural landscape of the time.

Questions to Explore:

Was Voltaire explicitly named and cited in the press of that era? What types of discourse developed around him? Are there areas where his authority and prestige were especially recognised? To answer these and other stimulating questions as part of the Hackathon, a wide range of topics and digital methods can be explored, including various text mining techniques, data extraction and visualization, stylometric experiments, quotation and reuse extraction, sentiment analysis, topic modeling, etc. All new literary, technical, and analytical hypotheses are welcome!

Collaborative Project Presentations:

Projects developed will be presented on the second day of the Hackathon and evaluated by the team from the ModERN project and the Voltaire Foundation. Three prizes will be awarded: the Enlightenment Prize for the project with the most robust techniques and results; the Digital Innovation Prize celebrating the most original approach that could lead to new treatments of other corpora; and the Philology Prize honoring the project most attentive to data and its scientific value, offering new research perspectives around Voltaire and his centrality to the 18th century.


Participants can register using this link: Hackathon Registration
Registration Deadline: 10 June 2024

Practical Information:

Location: The event will take place at the DataLab: BnF François Mitterrand, Quai François Mauriac, 75013 Paris.
For any inquiries, please contact: dario.nicolosi@sorbonne-universite.fr

Voltaire Foundation

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