Jeremy Mikecz

About me

I am currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Neukom Institute for Computation Science at Dartmouth College. I previously was an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Digital Humanities at the University of Southern California.

I am a historian doing research at the intersection of geography and ethno-, social, and digital history. My current research combines old-fashioned archival research and 'close reading' with digital text analysis, 'distant reading,' and digital mapping to reconstruct Indigenous activity and its role in shaping the events of conquest-era Peru. More broadly, I experiment with the use of digital tools to reconstruct the history of marginalized people and, more generally, propose an agenda and a methodology for a 'digital history from below.' Drawing on experience working with a big data, quantitative, digital history project that examined migration in the United States during the Great Depression, I also explore ways to integrate data science approaches into my scholarship on Indigenous history. As a result, I experiment with the integration of seemingly incompatible fields from applying data visualization to ethnohistory, data science to place name studies, text-mining to historiography, and corpus linguistics and spatial history to Indigenous history. Finally, I explore ways to apply such methods at a variety of different scales: from the hemispheric, to the regional, and local. For example, I am currently augmenting my research on Peru and the Indigenous Americas, more broadly, with local history research. I believe digital and spatial history allow the unique means to engage with local communities and, in doing so, rethink local history and one's place within the wider world.

Career Paths

The ebbs and flows of my professional and intellectual biography.

My work was most recently published in the Hispanic America Historical Review, (May 2020): "Beyond Cajamarca: A Spatial Narrative Reimagining of the Encounter in Peru, 1532-1533." It explores how our view of an enormously consequential historical event changes when viewed from a distance and from different places. In a previous article, published in a leading digital humanities journal, I demonstrated the value of applying digital and spatial history approaches to early colonial conflicts. This article appeared in the International Journal of Humanities and Arts Computing (Edinburgh University Press, March 2017): "Peering beyond the Imperial Gaze: Using Digital Tools to Construct a Spatial History of Conquest." I am currently finishing a born-digital article tentatively titled "Shadowy Figures," which explores the ways data visualization can facilitate the reconstruction of history's silenced events, invisible actors, and lost geographies. I recently completed a paper for a volume comparing imperial strategies of geographical knowledge collection in Spanish America with that in China and I am working with a student research assistant at Dartmouth and a digitization company to finish the digitization phase of my Early Colonial Andes Digital Text Corpus.

This project examines what can be learned by applying a 'big data' approach to place names. The creation of large digital datasets and the tools to process and analyze these datasets have revolutionized other fields of study, such as demographic history, public health - and for textual study, corpus linguistics - to name a few.

Words on a C.V.

I made this word cloud from an earlier version of my C.V. just for fun. After extracting a frequency list of words from my C.V., I then removed all words except for nouns.

Word clouds are not the most useful form of visualization. However, this graphic does reveal some of the major themes of my career at a glance.