For Thursday (10/26)

For Thursday, we’ll meet in HUM 410 – – the computer lab.

You should be starting to draft your Wikipedia article in your sandbox.

And, based on the computational textual analysis of your corpus (e.g. Voyant tools analysis), use Google’s Ngram viewer to contextualize your corpus and research questions via Big Data!

For Tuesday (10/24)

How might “Big Data” change the way we study things in the humanities? For Tuesday, let’s talk about Dan Cohen’s view of things in his essay, “Searching for the Victorians.”

In the meantime, write a blog post describing Phase II of your Voyant experience.  As you used questions inspired by Hoover’s essay, what new things have you noticed about your corpus? about the Voyant tools?  Can you describe a hypothetical research project based on Voyant tools?

In the wiki-world – – you should have collected five or six good sources and posted these – – with citations – – in your wiki sandbox.  This week, you want to start drafting your Wikipedia article/edits in your sandbox.

For Thursday (10/19)

On Thursday, we’ll meet in the computer lab (401).  Come to class with the following:

  • a text or corpus of texts you’d like to analyze via computational textual analysis (e.g. Voyant) and at least two questions generated by our exercise with Hoover’s essay on Tuesday.
  • five or six sources for your Wikipedia page project.  These should be entered into your sandbox.
  • take a look at Week 8 on our Wikipedia project dashboard.  On Thursday, you’ll start drafting your page and/or page edits.

For Tuesday (10/17)

Let’s continue our exploration of computational text analysis by reading David Hoover’s “Textual Analysis.”

A couple of other things to keep on your docket:

  • throw up a blog post about your Voyant reading of the text you looked at last Thursday.  Some questions to consider: what kinds of patterns did Voyant help you see in the text? which of the Voyant tools seemed most helpful and why? what kinds of things did Voyant not show you about the text you analyzed? (Here’s an account of how James Baker used Voyant to analyze a huge corpus of British political cartoons.  And, here’s a whole gaggle of Voyant-inspired projects worth perusing.)
  • you want to find five or six sources for your Wikipedia editing project.  Enter the texts and their bibliographical citations in your sandbox and use a sentence or two to explain why/how they’ll be helpful to your editing work.

For Thursday (10/12)

For Thursday, first head over to and find a text you’re interested in analyzing.  The text should be fairly long, i.e. try a novel or a collection of short stories, etc.  Pro tip: download the text as a .txt file.

Next, go to Voyant Tools.  This is a free, open source suite of text analysis tools.  Before you start using the various tools, look at the tutorial on “Getting Started.” Also, take a look at the “Tools Index“; this will give you a sense of the kinds of things you can do to your selected text.  (You can also watch short video tutorials of particular tools and how to employ them.)  I highly recommend that you check out Alexis Priestley’s essay on using Voyant – – it’s a great, concrete example of how to do computational text analysis and how to think about its results.

Once you’ve familiarized yourself a bit with Voyant, upload your selected text and let the games begin!

For Thursday (10/5)

Thursday, we’ll meet in the computer lab (HUM 401).  Before you arrive, make sure you’ve completed the Wikiedu tutorial on sources and citations.  In class, we’ll do a Citation Hunt!

Now is also a good time to make sure you’re up-to-date with our Wikipedia project.  This means:

  • you have identified a page to work on (and that page has been assigned to you on our Wikiedu dashboard);
  • you have completed all the tutorials/trainings up through Week 6 on our Wikiedu timeline;
  • you have posted an entry to your blog that links to your chosen Wikipedia page, that explains the content gaps you’ve found on this page, and that sketches out the kind of work you’ll need to do to edit your page;
  • you have posted an evaluation of your chosen Wikipedia page to your Wikipedia sandbox (see Week 5 on our timeline for specific questions and heuristics helpful to your analysis, or check out Angelo’s sandbox).

Next week, we’ll start looking at “algorithmic criticism.”




For Thursday (9/28)

Thursday, we’ll meet in the computer lab (HUM 401).  Before we meet, you should make sure you do a couple of things:

  1. Create a blog post that indicates the Wikipedia page you’ve chosen to work on.  In the blog post, explain where the content gaps are on your chosen Wikipedia page. (The Wikiedu module for this week on “Evaluating Wikipedia” may help you think more specifically about content gaps etc. on your page.)  Having pointed to the content gaps on the page, write up a short sketch of the kind of work that you think needs to be done – – editing, adding, formatting, etc. – – on your page.
  2. On our Wikiedu dashboard, make sure you complete the “training” on “Evaluating Articles and Sources.”  Use your sandbox to note what tasks you need to do to edit/improve/create your page.  As you work on your page, use the sandbox to update your progress.
  3. And, whatever you do, don’t visit the five creepy Wikipedia pages noted in the video above.  Please.  Don’t.