Photo of Chantal Brousseau

Chantal Brousseau

Degrees:Bachelor of Arts Honours in History (June 2021)

EmailCurrent Program MA History (2021), specialization in Data Science
Degrees and Institution: BA Hons. in History, minor in Computer Science (Carleton University)
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Supervisors: Shawn Graham and David Dean

Academic Interests
Early modern Europe, social and cultural history, history of the body, computational creativity, digital history, data analysis and visualization, human-computer interaction, natural language processing, and machine learning

Teaching Experience
HIST1001: The Making of Europe (H. Goldman), Fall 2021 & Winter 2022

Description of Research
In my research, I will be expanding upon the cultural and societal significance of witches in early modern Europe through performing a macroscopic analysis of how witches were portrayed during the early modern period (16th to 18th century) across Europe using a generative adversarial network (GANs) machine learning framework to interpolate a number of woodcut illustrations featured in popular mediums such pamphlets or books depicting these individuals and their practices. Much like how the popular text analysis method of topic modelling identifies natural clusters of words that can be used to find “hidden” topics within a large collection of textual documents, GANs take large collections of images and study them pixel by pixel to produce new images that represent the most significant features found across all photos. By studying the generated images, just as one would study the words clusters produced by topic modelling, one can also study the underlying themes represented in the collection of images. I will use these generated images to look at how the actions and bodies of these individuals who were “othered” in society were both rendered and perceived to further inquire about how ideas surrounding witchcraft intersected with ideas held about the human body— more specifically, gender and disability— during this era of reformation.