Caught by the Dragonfly’s Gaze

Now here is a wonderful example of a challenging digital humanities in action! I’m delighted to follow the adventures recorded by Christof Schöch in The Dragonfly’s Gaze. I’m just beginning some adventures with topic modelling with the Digital Archives and Pacific Cultures project, as I’m assembling large quantities of text, and MALLET is the first (and only) tool I’ve been planning to use…But I learn of other fascinating possibilities through this site, and see some brilliant experiments with distant reading and graphic visualization here, using Gephi. Very impressed! I can’t say I understand it all yet, but I want to watch and maybe I’ll catch up with the statistics one day.

What I love about this: It’s highly technical, yes, but also very encouraging of adventuring forth into quantitative analysis as a humanities scholar. For example, see the very personable yet highly educational post on “Catching up: ‘Statistics: Making Sense of Data’ on Coursera.” And Schöch enthusiastically investigates topics in literature and about humanities–he’s theorizing about what can be happening–how the digital humanities can change our frames of reference for studying literature and culture.  I confess–I greatly admire this!

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Elisa Beshero-Bondar

Associate Professor of English http://about.me/ebbondar

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