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Meeting 2014-02-18

Page history last edited by Alan Liu 7 years, 9 months ago

Project Idea | Project Personnel | Project Planning (text prep| document collection)


WhatEver1Says Project Idea


Research Material:

  • WhatEvery1Says Corpus #1 (collected manually)
  • WhatEvery1Says Corpus #2 (extended corpus collected systematically or algorithmically)

Research Questions:

Example of trying to rebut clichéd premises on discussions of education: Valerie Strauss, "Five Bad Education Assumptions the Media Keeps Recycling")
Our hypothesis is that digital methods can help us learn new things about how media pundits, politicians, business leaders, administrators, scholars, students, artists, and others are actually thinking about the humanities. For example, are there sub-themes beneath the familiar dominant clichés and memes? Are there hidden connections or mismatches between the “frames” (premises, metaphors, and narratives) of those arguing for and against the humanities? How do different parts of the world or different kinds of speakers compare in the way they think about the humanities? Instead of concentrating on set debates and well-worn arguments, can we exploit new approaches or surprising commonalities to advocate for the humanities in the 21st century?"


                   Specific research questions:
    • What are the common "themes" (ideas, theses, evidence, metaphors, etc.) that divide or join people discussing the humanities?
    • What are the lower-level or latent themes beneath those everyone "knows"?
    • What are the outlier themes?
    • What are the patterns of connection between themes, between spokespersons, and between media outlets?
    • How do themes compare across time?
    • How are themes differentiated by nation, region, gender, age, etc.?
    • Other questions ... 

Research Method: Topic Modeling


                   Other Possible Methods
    • Corpus linguistics (e.g., using antConc) (example)
    • Social network analysis (e.g., using Gephi)
    • Information visualization (e.g., using Many Eyes)



Early Proof of Concept


Intended Outcomes
  • Creation of interactive site for exploring the topic model of WhatEvery1Says. (Cf., DFR-Browser, a browser-based visualization interface created by Andrew Goldstone for exploring his topic model of JSTOR articles).


  • Co-authored research report or article on outcomes.


  • Workshop to brainstorm ways we can apply the outcomes in facilitating, guiding, or creating advocacy arguments and materials.



Project Personnel

(to date)


Current Personnel (Tentative)


  • Text Preparation and Topic Modeling Group
    • Lindsay Thomas
    • Alan Liu
    • Liz Shayne 
    • Priscilla Leung
  • Collection Methodology Working Group
    • Alan Liu
    • Harold Marcuse
    • Bhargavi Narayanan
    • erin Khue Ninh


Plan for Future Personnel

    • Involve students from the "Writing and Civic Engagement" minor in UCSB's Professional Writing program (serving as interns)?
    • Involve UCSB English honors students or English Club?
    • Collaborate with other 4Hum local chapters
    • Ask for critique of methods and further help from international DH


































































































































































































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