Intellectual History and Computing: Modeling and Simulating the World of the Korean Yangban, by Javier Cha
The intellectual history of early modern Korea is defined by the coalescence of four major schools of Neo-Confucian thought and a number of literary trends. These developments took place at a time of increasing localization of population, material resources, state institutions, as well as culture.
The connections between the material and ideational aspects of the yangban aristocracy has been unclear, owing in large part to the reliance on case studies and an extraordinary attention given to a small number of personalities, sources, and locations. To address this shortcoming, this talk presents some quantitative analysis of structured data as well as semi-supervised and predictive interpretation of a large corpus on the basis of diction, style, and figures of speech.
The long-term objective is to create a simulation model for the social environment and textual world of the yangban in early modern Korea. The pilot run draws from three data sources: (1) the roster of 5,000 civil service examination degree holders; (2) 12,000 nodes representing their extended kinship network; and (3) an estimated 7 million characters of prose extracted from 200 collected works.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Although focused on the Korean case, the analytical approaches examined here are valuable for scholars working across Asia, on all time periods.