Quintus Van Galen

Graduate Teaching Assistant & Doctoral Candidate in History

Department of English, History & Creative Writing

I joined Edge Hill University as a GTA in September 2016, after completing a MA in the Digital Humanities at KU Leuven (Belgium) the previous year. Additionally, I hold an MA in History (2015) from the same university.

My thesis will attempt to open research of historical archives to a larger scale. Until now, most research on large collections of historical material had to be necessarily limited in size, because nobody has the time to read millions source texts. I propose a method to use a combination of OCR, corpus linguistics and data visualisation to use these archives to their fullest. To test this method I am mining the British Library’s Digitised Victorian Newspaper database for evidence of the construction of British Imperial Identities. Newspapers are both a producer and a ‘repository’ of group identity, and during the Victorian period newspaper circulation was at an all-time high. This makes it an ideal vessel to investigate group identities of the time. Analysing data on a larger scale than was possible before might contribute to the 30-year old debate on the importance of the Empire in British Identity.

In addition to my doctoral work, I also have a role teaching a full seminar group for first-year students, and occasional sessions in other modules.

Research Interests

My interests are very broad, and include, but are not limited to:

  • Imperialism in Asia
  • Historical (group)identities
  • Historical Data Mining and Analysis
  • History of technology
  • Post-Napoleonic military history
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