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 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.