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Digital Humanities and Internet Research: shared methods and perspectives

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Slides for a presentation given on July 29th 2009 at the 1st European Summer School "Culture & Technology" in Leipzig.

Slides for a presentation given on July 29th 2009 at the 1st European Summer School "Culture & Technology" in Leipzig.

Published in: Education, Technology

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  • 1. Digital Humanities and Internet Research: shared methods and perspectives Dr. des. Cornelius Puschmann Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf cornelius.puschmann@uni-duesseldorf.de European Summer School "Culture & Technology" University of Leipzig 29 July 2009
  • 2. This is not a project presentation …but a (subjective) overview of two emerging fields and their relation
  • 3. Providing context ● I am a postdoc researcher in English linguistics at the University of Düsseldorf ● my to-date work has focused on what linguists usually call computer- mediated communication or computer-mediated discourse analysis (CMC/CMDA) ● I study pragmatic and discourse-related aspects of CMC (e.g. blogs, Twitter) ● PhD thesis on stylistic variation in corporate weblogs ● additional background in information science and STS ● interested in digital methods, visualization and trends in the Humanities research agenda
  • 4. Questions I'll address in this presentation 1) What is the relationship of Internet Research/Internet Studies and Digital Humanities? 2) What kinds of questions are formulated in Internet Studies and in what regards are they relevant to DH scholars? 3) How can the philologies benefit from participating in Internet Studies and what methods and theoretical frameworks can they contribute?
  • 5. Internet Research and Internet Studies Internet Research Internet Studies “Internet research is the “Internet studies is a field of academia practice of using the Internet, dealing with the interaction between especially the World Wide the Internet and modern society, and Web, for research.” the sociological and technological implications on one another.” → doing (academic) → doing research about the Internet research via the Internet
  • 6. Digital Humanities engenders Internet Research Via practices such as... ● sharing rich digital resources (classical manuscripts, cultural artifacts, 3D models of places) ● using web-based tools (visualization, annotation) ● integrating linked data (RDF-based mashups) ● employing new publishing practices (Open Access, Open Data, academic blogging) → using the Internet is increasingly a social and collaborative activity and academia is no exception
  • 7. Internet Studies as a distinct emerging field ● core fields: sociology, social psychology, ethnography ● additional fields: mass communication, political science, religion studies, library and information science, linguistics, computational linguistics, literary and cultural studies ● diverse landscape, but the core fields are larger and more strongly involved ● disciplines traditionally invested into studying artefacts, technologies and abstract concepts (books, mass media, language) must adjust more significantly than those that study people and their behavior
  • 8. Topics in Internet Studies ● Internet architecture/security/technology (identity management, encryption, spam, viruses) ● sociology of online worlds, communities and networks (SL, WoW, FB, blogs) ● culture and conventions (netspeak, netiquette, video game culture) ● new forms of communication (chat, microblogging) ● digital rights (privacy, free speech, intellectual property, digital rights management)
  • 9. Institutes, societies, journals ● Institutes: Oxford Internet Institute, Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3, Open University of Catalonia), Berkman Center for Internet and Society (Harvard), Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society, Institute for Internet Studies (Tel Aviv), Singapore Internet Research Centre ● Societies: Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR), German Society for Online Research (DGOF) ● Journals: Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication (JCMC), First Monday, Information, Communication and Society ● … and a number of others
  • 10. Preliminary observations 1) There is a strong bias towards the Social Sciences in Internet Studies 2) The philologies are not very significantly represented 3) This is in spite of our natural affinity for the kind of data – text – that analysis of Internet communication is based on
  • 11. A few reasons why we should study online communication ● in functionally-oriented linguistics there is no such thing as “too much data” → Internet is huge ● Internet language data reflects a broad spectrum of speakers and genres; in some regards “more natural” than other registers ● avenues of research for pragmatics, discourse analysis, applied ling. ● to study the creation, reception and criticism of (popular) culture on the Web ● to evaluate the impact of techniques such as non-linear storytelling (e.g. in fan fiction and blogs) ● but most importantly: it's about text!
  • 12. Internet Studies examples: Twitter ● Twitter (microblogging service) shares properties of blog and chat formats ● study by Honeycutt and Herring (2009) describes topic drift in threads of dyadic conversation ● coding and visualization of the data via VisualDTA
  • 13. Internet Studies examples: use of hyperlinks in blogs ● research by Efimova and Anjewierden explores link structure in blogs ● typical: language data and linking practices are not correlated
  • 14. Internet Studies examples: self-linking in blogs ● different visualization techniques enable a panoramic view on the content ● facilitates computational analyses of language on the Net (e.g. a visual representation of Biber's multi-dimensional analysis model or Csomay's Vocabulary-Based Discourse Unit)
  • 15. Interactive concordance of Barak Obama's inauguration speech
  • 16. Visualization of token frequency in Marriot on the Move blog
  • 17. Word frequencies in different registers
  • 18. Conclusions ● philologists are largely missing from Internet Studies, though their expertise is direly needed ● qualitative analysis and manual annotation is underexplored ● Internet communication not just another data source (though it can be used in that way) ● new methods and visualizations needed ● application, refinement and development of theories
  • 19. Thanks for listening!
  • 20. Digital Humanities and Internet Research: shared methods and perspectives Dr. des. Cornelius Puschmann Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf cornelius.puschmann@uni-duesseldorf.de European Summer School "Culture & Technology" University of Leipzig 29 July 2009

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