Benjamin MacDonald Schmidt
307a Pierce Hall
School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Cambridge, MA 02138
E-Mail: bmschmidt (at) post -dot- harvard -dot- edu
Princeton University, Ph.D. in History (Expected 2013)
Dissertation: “Paying Attention: The psychological subject in advertising, education, and culture, 1890–1960." Committee: Daniel Rodgers, Emily Thompson
Princeton University, M.A. in History (June 2007)
Major field in U.S. History 1865–2000; minor fields in European Intellectual History 1870–2000 and American Intellectual and Cultural History.
Harvard University, A.B. in Social Studies, magna cum laude (June 2003).
Honors thesis: “Adorno on the Air: Theodor Adorno and the Princeton Radio Research Project.”
"Words and Topic-Modeling", Journal of Digital Humanities, Vol 2. No. 1, March 2013 (Forthcoming).
"Theory First", Journal of Digital Humanities, Vol. 1 No. 1, April 2012.
"Bookworm," Interactive website, database, and API. (Collaborative work, Cultural Observatory @ Harvard.
Benjamin M. Schmidt and Matthew Chingos, “Ranking Doctoral Programs by Placement: A New Method”, PS: Political Science & Politics 40 (July 2007): 523–529.
"The Foreign Language of Mad Men" The Atlantic, March 22, 2012
"The Language of Lincoln", The Atlantic, January 10, 2013.
"Unintended Consequences: Digital Reading and the Loci of Cultural Change." Institute for Historical Research, London, March 12 2013.
"Digital Reading." Rutgers University, Center for Cultural Analysis, Digital Humanities and the Americanist Seminar, January 31 2013.
"Humanities Research with Digital Libraries." Presentation for ITHAKA S+R and Jstor teams, ITHAKA building, New York City, April 16 2012.
"A History of Attention." Emily Harvey Foundation, New York City, March 17 2012.
"Bookworm," Beta Sprint Competition Selection, Digital Public Library of America Plenary Meeting, Washington DC, October 2011.
Presentations and Conference Papers
"Reading texts with Big Metadata: the Bookworm platform for books, newspapers, and other texts." Featured Talk, Boston Area Days of DH, March 19 2013.
"Reading Genres: Exploring Massive Digital Collections From the Top Down." Big Data and Uncertainty in the Humanities, University of Kansas, September 22 2012.
"Paying Attention: A Case Study in Conceptual History with Millions of Texts." Panel on Digital Approaches to Conceptual History, 15th International Conference on the History of Concepts. Helsinki, Finland, August 24 2012.
“Drifting Metaphors: Using Digital Libraries to Describe Discursive Change,” Panel on Computational Approaches to Nineteenth-Century Literary History. Conference of the American Literature Association, San Francisco, May 24 2012.
Digital Collections and Research Libraries." Research Libraries in the Digital Age: Needs and Opportunities Conference (Invited presentation, panel on collaboration). American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, MA; March 30, 2012. Online version
“A Conversation about Text Mining as a Research Method.” Roundtable participant, Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association, January 2012.
“Practicing Intellectual History on the Digital Archive," paper, Modern America Workshop, Princeton University, March 2011.
"The Rise of the American Attention Span, 1890-1935," paper, Modern America Workshop. Princeton University, March 2010
“The Home Front in World War II,” guest lecture, History 369. Princeton University, October 2007
Research Assistant, Professor Daniel Rodgers, 2008–2009. Read early drafts and performed background research for Age of Fracture.
American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2003-2005: Research Associate, Humanities Initiative. Created first version of Academy’s Humanities Indicators, a volume of statistics to assist humanities administrators and policymakers in planning; subsequently published online. Collaborated with leaders in national humanities organizations to build stakeholder interest and establish guidelines for Indicators; researched, analyzed, and described statistics in prototype volume.
Research Assistant, Professor Peter Brown, 2011. Created digital maps for Through the Eye of a Needle: Wealth, the Fall of Rome, and the Making of Christianity in the West, 350-550 AD.
Visiting Instructor, Digital methods and Conceptual History: International Research School in Conceptual History and Political Thought. Helsinki University, August 2012.
Preceptor, History 379, History of American Capitalism. Princeton University, Spring 2011.
Preceptor, History 398, Technology in Modern American History. Princeton University, Spring 2010.
Preceptor, History 369, The United States since 1920. Princeton University, Fall 2007.
Fellowships and Awards
Visiting Graduate Fellow, Cultural Observatory @ Harvard, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, 2011–2013.
Full Research Fellowship, Princeton University, 2005–2011.
Shelby Cullom Davis Merit Scholarship, Princeton University, 2005–2010.
Mill-Taylor Prize for best undergraduate paper in Social Studies at Harvard College, 2001.
Invited Participant, Digital Public Library of America Technical Development Meeting, December 2011
Departmental Representative, Princeton Graduate Student Government, 2010–2011
Treasurer, Princeton Graduate History Association, 2008-2010
Secretary, Princeton Graduate History Association, 2006-2008
Director, Modern America Workshop, 2007-2008
Public History and Media
The Kojo Nnamdi Show, WAMU Washington DC, February 19 2013. Guest discussing Digital Humanities.
Language Consultant, Vegas, Eye Productions/CBS television, Season 1 (2012-2013).
On the Media, Friday June 15th, 2012, National Public Radio. Discussing historical fiction and computational changes in language.
Lexicon Valley podcast, Slate.com, June 11, 2012. (Same interview as On the Media, above).
Weekends with Alex Witt, MSNBC, March 24 2012, discussing Mad Men.
Bookworm Project, $50,000 continuation grant from the Digital Public Library of America. Project developer and grant-writer.
Languages: German (intermediate), Spanish (reading), French (reading)
Computer Languages and Programs: R, MySQL, Python, Perl, LaTeX, ArcGIS, MS Access, Unix administration.