Dr. Zef Segal

Zef Segal is a historian and digital humanist at the Department of History, Philosophy and Jewish Studies, as well as a mathematics lecturer. His research interests are mobility, space, and communication in the nineteenth century, as well as the application of digital methodologies in historical research. His recent books include  Motion in Maps, Maps in Motion (Amsterdam University Press, 2020) and The Political Fragmentation of Germany (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019). His forthcoming book, Culture in the Age of the Enlightenment: Reshaping the Private Sphere, will soon be published by the Open University of Israel. A digital textbook, Who's Afraid of Numbers?: Mathematics and Computer Programming for the Humanities, co-authored with Dr. Nurit Melnik, is now being edited as a manuscript. He is also a review editor of JHistory at h-net.org.

Segal's involvement with digital humanities has shifted from his initial interest in mapping and GIS through network analysis and visualization to textual analysis in various forms and digitization. He is currently working on nineteenth-century transnational networks of Hebrew and American periodicals using textual reuse algorithms and topic modeling, for which he has been awarded multiple internal and external grants. In 2022, Segal, together with Prof. Menahem Blondheim, from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, won an Israel Science Foundation grant. The project, titled “Uniformity and Diversity in the US Press, 1841-1884: A Computational Analysis of Space, Time and Content" is expected to provide a broader overview of processes of convergence and divergence within nineteenth-century American society, particularly within American communication networks.