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Undergraduates Collaborating in Digital Humanities Research


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One of the key appeals for digital humanities at small liberal arts colleges has been as an avenue for undergraduate research in the humanities. In this seminar, a panel of undergraduates will share their research, as well as their goals, challenges, and what they have learned from the process of digital humanities research. A moderated discussion on undergraduate research in the digital humanities will follow. Details are here:

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Undergraduates Collaborating in Digital Humanities Research

  1. 1. Undergraduates Collaborating in Digital Humanities Research NITLE Digital Scholarship Seminar April 27, 2012
  2. 2. Panelists• Moderator: Janet Simons, Associate Director of Instructional Technology, Co-Director, Digital Humanities Initiative (DHi), Hamilton College• John Burnett, Wheaton College• Sarah Schultz, Hamilton College• Amanda Kleintop, University of Richmond• Gabrielle Kirilloff, University of Pittsburgh• Janis Chinn, University of Pittsburgh
  3. 3. John Burnett, Wheaton College• Wheaton College Digital History Project• project/
  4. 4. Sarah Schultz, Hamilton College• Agha Shahid Ali Poetry Project•
  5. 5. Amanda Kleintop, University of Richmond• History Honors Thesis, “Networks of Resistance: Black Virginians Remember Civil War Loyalties”
  6. 6. Gabrielle Kirilloff, University of PittsburghHow Digital Tools Impact Research Questions and Methodologies in Literary Studies
  7. 7. Research overview• Previous research – Speech as agency – Speech hierarchies• Research question – What are the correlations among speech, gender, and moral alignment?
  8. 8. Research methodologies• Why XML? – Unique, descriptive tags – Processing a large number of tales – Creating multiple views of the same data• Learning XML and related technologies
  9. 9. The website
  10. 10. The website
  11. 11. The website
  12. 12. The website
  13. 13. The impact of DH• Examining a large number of texts• The power of visualizations• Creating a research tool• Looking at texts differently
  14. 14. Studying RegisterVariation UsingComputational MethodsJanis ChinnUniversity of PittsburghApril 27, 2012
  15. 15. To what extent do twitter users exerciseregister shifting when communicatingwith twitter users at large, non-verifiedusers, and verified users? Research Question
  16. 16. Linguistic Register• Situation-specific variety of language• Spoken Register • Unconscious effort • Acquired naturally• Written Register • Conscious effort • Acquired through study
  17. 17. Corpus Building• Python script collects tweets from the public • Current Statistics: timeline• Shell scripting and Perl filter down the corpus • Total words: 5,375,767• XML encoded, accessed via • Unique words: 654,755 XQuery • Type-token ratio: 0.12 • Average tweet length (words): 10.36• English tweets • Average tweet length (characters):• US and Canada 60.39 • Total tweets: 519,018• Currently 519,018 tweets • Total authors: 483,940• 98% accurate filtering to English only text • Total verified authors: 687 • Total non-verified authors: 483,253
  18. 18. What’s next?• Judge tweets on relative register based on: • Expletives and profanity • Rate of non-dictionary word usage • Average word length of dictionary words • Appropriate capitalization • Standard punctuation • Leetspeak • Chatspeak • Ratio of function words within a tweet• Potential additions: • Analysis of word n-grams and character bi-grams • Prescriptive use of ‘whom’ over ‘who’.
  19. 19. • “…The Telegraph quoted an actor and a television producer emitting typically brainless "Kids Today" plaints about how modern modes of communication, especially Twitter, are degrading the English language, so that "the sentence with more than one clause is a problem for us", and "words are getting shortened".“ –Mark Liberman, Language Log, 2011 Motivations
  20. 20. • Impossible without DH• Quantifiable and repeatable results• Empowering to build and manipulate tools to work with data Motivations