Project Contributors


Principal Investigator

Dr. Stephen Davis, PhD.

Dr. Stephen Davis, PhD. is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Kentucky.  He specializes in anti-apartheid politics with specific focus on the armed struggle and the practice of political violence.  He is the author of The ANC’s War Against Apartheid; Umkhonto we Sizwe and the Liberation of South Africa, which offers a critique of celebratory ‘struggle histories’ through a close reading of five episodes from the armed struggle that trouble triumphalist narratives.  He oversees the production of all research outputs, validates and curates extracted datasets, and manages the development of the website in consultation with other team members.  In addition, he is currently working on publications that will introduce the project to scholarly audiences and situate the project in broader literature related to South African history, human rights discourse, and comparative work on other truth commissions.  He received his doctorate and MA in History from the University of Florida.


Principal Investigator

Dr. William Mattingly, PhD.

Dr. William Mattingly, PhD. is a postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Institution’s Data Science Lab and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, where he is developing machine learning methods for cataloging Holocaust images and the natural language processing methods and models for handling Holocaust textual data.  Originally trained as a medievalist, he specialized in applying deep learning to historical documents. In his capacity as lead developer on the Bitter Aloe Project he is responsible for training ML models, extracting structured datasets, building out our web backend, and workshop program development. He is also developing the Classical Language Toolkit’s named entity recognition pipeline and lead developer for the Digital Alcuin Project, which stems from his dissertation. The Digital Alcuin Project uses custom machine learning named entity recognition methods for extracting entities from unstructured and orthographically varied medieval Latin texts to then identify and extract epistolary social networks in the letters of Alcuin (730-804).  Dr. Mattingly also maintains and the YouTube channels: Python Tutorials for Digital Humanities, Digital Humanities, and R Tutorials for Digital Humanities, all of which makes coding accessible to humanists with or without a coding or mathematical background.  He received a doctorate in History from the University of Kentucky and a MA in History from Florida Gulf Coast University.


Jennifer Hootman, MS, MA

Jennifer Hootman, MS, MA is the Digital Humanities Librarian and Academic Liaison to History at the University of Kentucky Libraries.  In this role, she provides consultations for digital projects, supports faculty and student research needs, offers digital literacy workshops, collaborates on digital projects with colleagues, and contributes to the development of UK Libraries’ collections for history.  Jennifer holds a MS in library and information science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and a MA in History from Illinois State University.  She is advising the project on data management planning, protocols, and development of the project website.


Jamari Turner

Jamari Turner received her BA in History from the University of Kentucky in 2021.  While at UK she completed coursework on the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission and digital history.  Her digital portfolio includes an interactive timeline that explores the internal and external systems of oppression at play during vigilante violence in Crossroads, an informal settlement outside Cape Town.  She is currently developing social media campaigns that will help users of all skill levels better utilize project tools.


Robert Vaughan

Robert Vaughan is an undergraduate History major at the University of Kentucky, serving as a research assistant to the project.  He has completed extensive coursework on the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission Archives and Graphic Information Systems (GIS).  Robert creates and manages interactive visual representations of spatial data extracted from TRC materials and from other sources.