The Third Year of the Deep Dive Series

A montage of images related to the lecture and the workshop

This fall, as the Deep Dive into Digital and Data Methods for Chinese Studies series enters its third year, we will be bringing in more international scholars to discuss the latest trends in digital scholarship beyond the United States.  We are excited to host Dr. Michael Stanley-Baker (Nanyang Technological University) and Dr. Chijui Hu (National Taiwan University) on November 15 and 16. They will discuss the DocuSky platform, developed by National Taiwan University, and its use in research projects on Chinese religion. 

Lecture: Situating Daoist Medicine: Digital Tools to Track Materia Medica in the Daoist and Buddhist Canons

Dr. Michael Stanley-Baker 徐源, Nanyang Technological University
Thursday, November 15, 12-1pm
Clark Library Instructional Space (240 Hatcher Graduate Library)

Light lunch will be provided. Free and Open to the Public.

The recent rise of medical history as an analytical lens to study the history of early religions raises new questions:  What is medicine? In what sources can we find it?
This presentation introduces a case study of how to adapt digital tools to study medicine and religion in China, focusing on the distribution of drug terms in religious and medical sources from the Six Dynasties (220-589).  After constructing a text database and attaching bibliographic data about the texts, Docusky can track the distribution of large term sets (I collected 12,000 drug names) according to time, space, sect and genre. This facilitates entirely new kinds of historical argument.  I will demonstrate three examples, showing 1) new evidence of Buddhist transmission of medicine to China and the new historical questions it leads to, 2) how to use the toolset to make context-discovery of unknown sources, and 3) using geographic data of materia medica to argue for regional origins of primary sources. The paper further considers the philological violence done to primary sources when working in digital media.


Workshop: Data Mining the Daoist and Buddhist Canons with DocuSky

Dr. Michael Stanley-Baker 徐源, Nanyang Technological University
Dr. Hu Chijui 胡其瑞, National Taiwan University
Friday, November 16, 9-11:30am
ScholarSpace (206 Hatcher Graduate Library)

This workshop requires registration here and is open to faculty, students, postdocs and visiting scholars at the University of Michigan. It is not open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided. The room is equipped with laptops, but please feel free to bring your own.

Designed by the Research Center for Digital Humanities and CSIE Digital Humanities Lab of NTU in Taiwan, DocuSky is a digital humanities research platform created specifically for researchers of texts, to suit various needs and different stages of research. It provides tools to build up their own personal database of texts for text processing, tagging, text reorganizing and contextualizing, text-mining, GIS and visualization.

In this hands-on workshop, participants will learn to use Docusky and Palladio for large scale analysis of the full-text Buddhist and Daoist canons. You will learn how to search for large term sets, determine their statistical distribution by chapter, and then sort these chapters according to time period, intellectual genre, sectarian attribution and place of origin. You will then learn how to produce simple but powerful visualizations to show the similarities or differences between term clusters in different scriptural groups. This toolset is open access, and the Daoist and Buddhist canons data file will be made available as an open-source, citable document.


Dr. Michael Stanley-Baker 徐源 is assistant professor in History and at the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He researches medicine and religion in early medieval and contemporary China. He developed tools for the study of religion and medicine in China with National Taiwan University and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, and is now developing them for the study of multi-lingual primary sources for medical history across the classical world. He also serves as Vice-President of the International Association for the Study of Traditional Asian Medicine (IASTAM). More information is available here.

Dr. Chijui Hu 胡其瑞 is a postdoctoral researcher at the Research Center for Digital Humanities at the National Taiwan University. Dr. Hu received his PhD degree from the Graduated Institute of Religious Studies from National Chengchi University, Taiwan. His research focused on the cultural and history of the minority groups in Southwest China, and now, he wants to put this research into the digital humanities tools to see what may happen.