One of the innovative papers I heard at the SSHA last week was a presentation by Harvard graduate student Ian Miller, with a paper called “Reading 500 Years of Chinese History at Once”. (In the end Ian apologized for only getting to the last 188 years of the Qing Dynasty.) I won’t mention the details, since Ian hasn’t yet published any of this work. But it was a genuinely fascinating exploration of emerging tools in the “digital humanities,” to apply topic analysis to a 188-year series of Imperial memoranda. Ian’s goal was to identify spikes of interest in topics such as rebels and bandits, and the work was really fascinating to hear about.