Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA)
The Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA) is comprised of the Spatial History Project, Mapping the Republic of Letters, and the Literary Lab.CESTA labs pursue research which utilize data and information visualization that span a variety of methodologies, disciplines, and departments, often collaborating with diverse team members from within the Stanford community, but also externally through national and international collaborations.
The Stanford Literary Lab discusses, designs, and pursues literary research of a digital and quantitative nature. The Lab is open to all students and faculty at Stanford – and, on an ad hoc basis, to students and faculty from other institutions.
Collaborative research projects range from dissertation chapters to courses, to individual or group publications, conference papers and panels, and even short books. Ideally, research will take the form of a genuine “experiment,” and extend over a period of one or two years.
With the help of advanced visualization techniques, this project is literally "mapping" the Republic of Letters, by plotting the geographic data for the senders and receivers of correspondences. These maps will allow researchers to perceive the larger patterns of intellectual exchange in the early-modern world and raise new questions about the importance of places, nations, and cities, in the circulation of knowledge.
Spatial History Project
The project brings together scholars working on projects at the intersection of geography and history using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in their research. The overarching goal of the Spatial History Project is to create dynamic, interactive tools that can be used across the spectrum represented by these research projects –from economic and technological changes, to social and political changes, and changes in science and the environment– and bring them all together to enable the creation of new knowledge and understanding of historical change in space and time and the possibilities for our present and future that may be found in the past.
SHC Research Lab
The SHC Research Lab projects put advanced technology to work for humanities research using interpretative, qualitative methods. Projects are mostly long-term (3 yrs +), collaborative, and international in scope.