Professor Gwendolyn Sasse awarded John Fell Fund Grant

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    German American Parade 2014, Chicago - Photo by Sean Benham (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Congratulations to Gwendolyn Sasse, who has been awarded a small John Fell Fund grant (No. 143/003) for the project “Using new computerised techniques for the social science analysis of historical texts: Building a database of letters sent by German immigrants in the US (19th/20th centuries)”.  This project has grown out of Gwendolyn’s three-year project “Political Remittances: Understanding the Political Impacts of Migration” funded by the Leverhulme Trust (Ref-No RPG-338).  It is a cooperation with Dr Felix Krawatzek, BA Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in DPIR, and Intranda GmbH, a specialised company developing the software for the semi-automatised correction of the letters.

The project aims to lay the foundations for a quantitative text analysis of a large and already digitised corpus of more than 6,000 letters sent by ‘ordinary’ Germans who migrated to the US between the 1830s and the 1970s (permission to use the collection has been granted by Professor Ursula Lehmkuhl, University of Trier, and the Research Library Gotha).  This unique historical corpus reveals how ‘ordinary’ migrants experienced the political, economic, and social order in the US, their successful or failed integration into the host society, and their views on Germany from afar.  They also provide insights into the structure of networks shaping the migration process over time and practices of staying in touch with the homeland.

The project starts on 1 September 2016 and runs for one year.

Prof. Gwendolyn Sasse is Professor in Comparative Politics, Professorial Fellow, Nuffield College, Harassment Officer