Blog Post #2

Blog #2: “On Distant Reading” Due: 2/8/ 11 pm

  • Context: From this point forward in the course you will engage in critical analysis as we experiment with each Digital Humanities approach. Critical analysis in this case involves articulating a research question, examining that research question using the DH approach that you have experimented with, and synthesizing from that experimentation two things:
  • Does this particular approach help you to answer your research question
    If it does (or if it leads you to unexpected and compelling new questions), what conclusions can you draw that you might not with more traditional humanistic means?
  • If the approach does not help you to address your research question, why not?
    This week you have experimented with several text analysis visualization tools within the Voyant tool suite. Each tool “reveals” different things about a text – relationships between types of words, frequencies, etc.
  • In this blog post you are going to use the full compiled transcription of the Payne/Froehlich Travel Journal.
  • Historical perspective on an event can vary dramatically depending on a number of factors:
  • Was the person describing the event involved in the event itself and if involved, how so?
    Was there a particular perspective  revealed in the language used to describe the event?
    To what degree was the related experience a part of the author’s world-view?
    Payne and Froehlich are on this journey to proselytize.  How would you use distant reading to answer the questions above?  What dominant words in the travel journal reveal their purpose?
  • In your post include 3 visualizations of your own and refer to three points in the Whitley reading.

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