This blog is a record of our findings regarding our Digital Humanities research at Skidmore College during July 2014. The goal of our project is to examine the unexpected connections unearthed by a distant reading (using topic modeling in MALLET) of eighteenth and nineteenth-century texts using a dataset obtained from HathiTrust. We will maintain an in-depth record of our research to share with the DH community. Recently, Digital Humanists have argued that topic modeling can be a useful starting point for scholars of literature. We contend that topic modeling and close reading should actually be used in a parallel manner. Topic modeling should not replace close reading; it should supplement it. The addition of topic modeling to the traditional method of reading allows scholars a more comprehensive understanding of a time period.

Professor Scott Enderle


Scott Enderle is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY. He received his B.A. at Texas A & M University and his M.A. and Ph.D at the University of Pennsylvania.


Mae Capozzi


Mae Capozzi is a rising senior at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY. She is an English major/Italian minor. Her hobbies include playing jazz piano and speaking Italian. Find her on twitter @MCapoz.


2 thoughts on “About

  1. Really excited to see this and to follow this blog–I have only just discovered Moretti, but apparently have been using distance reading in my dissertation since 2011! I’ll be interested in reading your thoughts on using DH and distance reading in the future!


    1. Hi! Thanks for the comment. I’m glad to see you’re interested in our blog––we are very excited to share our research with you!

      Just to clarify, the term is “distant reading,” not “distance reading.”

      If you’re interested in reading more about Moretti you should check out his recent book DISTANT READING. It was published in 2013 and is a compilation of his essays over the years.



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