Lectures on Digital Humanities

The eleventh lecture

Constructing a Political Celebrity.
Lajos Kossuth and travelling newspaper texts in the mid-19th century 

Dr. Mila Oiva
22 November 2019, 12 am
Instytut Informacji Naukowej i Bibliotekoznawstwa UWr,
pl. Uniwersytecki 9/13
Room 104

In the lecture I will analyse construction of Lajos Kossuth as a political celebrity in the 19th century newspapers. The visit of the Hungarian lawyer, politician, and freedom fighter of the 1848 revolution in the United States in 1851-1852 was widely covered by the newspapers. Although Kossuth’s reputation was based on his activities during the revolution in Austria, this paper demonstrates that his international fame was established after the failed revolution during his travels. I seek to understand what kinds of texts were published, which ones spread wider, and how he was perceived by the newspaper publicity, and finally how the news and news flows constructed Kossuth’s fame and him as a celebrity figure.
The analysis uses digitized newspaper collections of Australia’s Trove Newspapers, the British Newspapers Archive, Chronicling America, Europeana Newspapers, Hemeroteca Nacional Digital de México, the National Library of Finland, the National Library of the Netherlands, the National Library of Wales, New Zealand’s PapersPast, and Cengage Newsvault. As research methods the project uses the text reuse detection program Passim and close reading.
The work is based on Oceanic Exchanges research project and is funded through the Trans-Atlantic Platform / Digging into Data funding (2017-2019).The project was prepared by the following team of scholars: Jana Keck (U Stuttgart), Mila Oiva (U Turku), James Parker (Northeastern U), Paul Fyfe (NC State U), and David Smith (Northeastern U).
Project website: https://oceanicexchanges.org/

Mila Oiva (PhD) is a Cultural Historian, digital humanist and an expert on Russian and Polish 20th century history. Dr. Oiva is currently working as a post-doctoral scholar at the University of Turku. Her current research interests focus on circulation of information. She is involved in projects studying the phenomenon through the 19th century global news flows, contemporary Finnish and Russian internet forum discussions on the medieval history, and the Cold War era transnational information circulation between Polish, Finnish and Soviet foreign trades.
Her PhD
Creation of a Market Space. The Polish Clothing Industry, Soviet Union, and the Rise of Marketing, 1949-1961 (University of Turku, 2017) focused on cultural history of trading practice. Alongside her home university, Dr. Oiva completed her PhD as a member of the Finnish-Russian Network in Russian and Eurasian Studies in the Field of Social Sciences and Humanities (FRRESH) hosted at the Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki. She was a visiting Fulbright scholar at the Institute of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ISEEES) at UC Berkeley in 2014-2015, and participated in the Culture Analytics long program at the Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics (IPAM) at UCLA in the spring of 2016. 

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