This first week of the “Close and Distant Reading in the Historical Practice” section, we’ll mostly focus on the theory and purpose of text mining – we’ll get to try out more later. Several of our texts explore the 19th century and how digital methods have reshaped the study of the Victorian era.
I apologize for the somewhat messy formatting of this list, by the way. I would be very grateful is someone could properly input these references in our Zotero bibliography.
- Matthew Jockers, “On Distant Reading and Macroanalysis,” http://www.matthewjockers.net/2011/07/01/on-distant-reading-and-macroanalysis/
- Alan Liu, “Close, Distant, and Unexpected Readings” HUMlab 10 May 2011. http://stream.humlab.umu.se/index.php?streamName=closedistant
- Tim Burke, “Book Notes: Franco Moretti’s Graphs, Maps, Trees” http://www.thevalve.org/go/valve/article/book_notes_franco_morettis_graphs_maps_trees/
- Daniel Cohen, “From Babel to Knowledge: Data Mining Large Digital Collections,” (March 2006). http://chnm.gmu.edu/essays-on-history-new-media/essays/?essayid=40
- Tim Hitchcox, “Academic History Writing and the Headache of Big Data,” Historyonics blog, Jan. 30, 2012. http://historyonics.blogspot.com/2012/01/academic-history-writing-and-headache.html
- Dan Cohen and Fred Gibbs, “A Conversation with Data: Prospecting Victorian Words and Ideas” http://www.dancohen.org/2012/05/30/a-conversation-with-data-prospecting-victorian-words-and-ideas/
- Michel, et. al. Quantitative Analysis of Culture Using Millions of Digitized Books http://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/2010/12/15/science.1199644
- Patrick Leary, Googling the Victorians http://victorianresearch.org/googling.pdf Journal of Victorian Culture, 10:1 (Spring 2005) 72-86
- Paula Findlen, “How Google Rediscovered the 19th Century,” http://chronicle.com/blogs/conversation/2013/07/22/how-google-rediscovered-the-19th-century
- Ian Milligan, “Mining the ‘Internet Graveyard’: Rethinking the Historians’ Toolkit”, Journal of the Canadian Historical Association, Vol. 23, no. 2, 2012
What do you think of these texts? Did something surprise you? Provoke you? Can you see potential applications to your own research? What are the obvious and not so obvious limits to text mining as a research method?
Please use the comment field on this post for the discussion – and suggest other texts as well.
I would also like you to install Zotero if you haven’t already, and then Paper Machines – we will be doing some work with it next week.