It was just a coincidence that I interviewed these two women right before NYC Digital Humanities Week (Feb. 5-9, 2018). In episode 8, I chat with my colleague, Robin Davis, grilling her about the thesis that she completed for the CUNY Graduate Center’s MA in Computational Linguistics. It’s titled “Nondescript: A Web Tool to Aid Subversion of Authorship Attribution.” After listening to her, I guarantee you’ll be intrigued and want to keep thinking about the topic. Fortunately, Robin offered some suggestions:
- T.C. Mendenhall Shakespeare paper, with charts and graphs: https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Popular_Science_Monthly/Volume_60/December_1901/A_Mechanical_Solution_of_a_Literary_Problem
- JK Rowling outed: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-a-computer-program-helped-show-jk-rowling-write-a-cuckoos-calling/
- Reading Experience Database: http://www.open.ac.uk/Arts/reading/UK/
- Robin’s thesis: https://academicworks.cuny.edu/gc_etds/1343/
- Code & screenshots: https://github.com/robincamille/nondescript
The second interview, Episode 9, is with Micki Kaufman, also a GC student, who’s working on her dissertation for a PhD in History. Her project is called “Everything on Paper Will Be Used Against Me:’ Quantifying Kissinger.” She uses computational text analysis and visualization techniques to work with material from the Digital National Security Archive’s Kissinger collections. As serious and important as this project is, Micki prioritizes fun. Just listen; she’ll explain.
Digital Humanities is a large, encompassing, often ill-defined field. If you keeping hearing about it but aren’t sure what it is, these two interviews will help shed some light. Robin’s project is not strictly DH, since computational linguistics is actually a science, but the fields are definitely cousins, as Robin says, and I find that similar parts of my brain are used in trying to gain an understanding. Robin and Micki are both good at describing complex concepts in a way that’s clear and enjoyable to take in. Bottom line: These two projects are both very cool and socially relevant.
Subscribe on iTunes!