Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Digital Humanities - First Foray

Thanks to my current Faculty Research Grant from Tennessee Tech U, I have more time to explore what interests me at the moment--the intersections of literary studies and technology. I am in contact with many colleagues at other institutions who received training in the Digital Humanities, and I am hoping to learn about the new discipline by collaborating with my colleagues. Over the summer, Katie Rawson (currently, a Clir fellow at UPenn Library) introduced me to a few of the research tools at a DH scholar's disposal, and during a stroke of creativity this morning, I came across Voyant Tools  and decided to take the first step in developing a new project (more on that when I have enough to share). Here is the result of my work this morning:

Click here to view the Cirrus Word Cloud on Voyant

A Word Cloud of the Woyzeck Corpus (at least, the corpus available on Project Gutenberg).
What surprises me most is that "ich" (the pronoun "I") appears nearly as frequently as "Woyzeck". The protagonist Woyzeck is in nearly every scene of the dramatic fragment, and other characters (der Hauptmann, der Doktor, especially) call him by his first name, mainly because they are constantly admonishing him. Still, the frequency of "ich" is surprising, and bears some deeper analysis with DH tools. Which character uses "ich" most often? Another interesting area to explore would be which characters do not use "ich"?

This is just a cursory Word Cloud. Given more time, I will refine how I use Voyant and explore how other scholars have used similar tools to analyze texts.

Do you have any conclusions to draw about "Woyzeck" from the word cloud? Any suggestions of what my next step should be?

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