Tools for Critical Discourse Analysis – and introduction to tool critizism

Tools for Critical Discourse Analysis – and introduction to tool critizism

In this video, Drs. Stephanie Vie and Jennifer deWinter explain some of the tools digital humanists can use for critical discourse analysis and visualization of data collected from social media platforms. Although not all the tools they mention are open source, the majority of them have free to use or freemium versions, including AntConc, a free-to-use concordancing tool, or several Twitter data visualisation tools such as Tweeps map or Tweetstats.

Even though the video does not provide just-as-good open source alternatives to Atlas.ti or MAXQDA (an obviously a recurrent question or shortcoming that is recurrently discussed on OpenMethods), it sets an excellent example for how to introduce tool criticism in the classroom alongside introduction to certain Digital Humanities Tools. After briefly touching upon both advantages and disadvantages of each tool, they encourage their audience (students in Digital Humanities study programs) to pilot each of them by using the same data-set and not only compare their results but also reflect on the epistemic processes in-between.

Sharing the video on Humanities Commons with stable archiving, DOI and rich metadata is among the best things that could happen to teaching resources of all kinds.

What is PixPlot? (DH Tools) – YouTube

What is PixPlot? (DH Tools) – YouTube

Introduction: This short video teaser summarizes the main characteristics of PixPlot, a Python-based tool for clustering images and analyzing them from a numerical perspective as well as its pedagogical relevance as far as
machine learning is concerned.

The paper “Visual Patterns Discovery in Large Databases of Paintings”, presented at the Digital Humanities 2016 Conference held in Poland,
can be considered the foundational text for the development of the PixPlot Project at Yale University.
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LoGaRT and RISE: Two multilingual tools from the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science

LoGaRT and RISE: Two multilingual tools from the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science

Introduction: This post introduces two tools developed by the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, LoGaRT and RISE with a focus on Asia and Eurasia. […]The concept of LoGaRT – treating local gazetteers as “databases” by themselves – is an innovative and pertinent way to articulate the essence of the platform: providing opportunities for multi-level analysis from the close reading of the sources (using, for example, the carousel mode) to the large-scale, “bird’s eye view” of the materials across geographical and temporal boundaries. Local gazetteers are predominantly textual sources – this characteristic of the collection is reflected in the capabilities of LoGaRT as well, since some of its key capabilities include data search (using Chinese characters), collection and analysis, as well as tagging and dataset comparison. That said, LoGaRT also offers integrated visualization tools and supports the expansion of the collection and tagging features to the images used in a number of gazetteers. The opportunity to smoothly intertwine these visual and textual collections with Chinese historical maps (see CHMap) is an added, and much welcome, advantage of the tool, which helps to develop sophisticated and multifaceted analyses.
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Annotation Guidelines For narrative levels, time features, and subjective narration styles in fiction (SANTA 2).

Annotation Guidelines For narrative levels, time features, and subjective narration styles in fiction (SANTA 2).

Introduction: If you are looking for solutions to translate narratological concepts to annotation guidelines to tag or mark-up your texts for both qualitative and quantitative analysis, then Edward Kearns’s paper “Annotation Guidelines for narrative levels, time features, and subjective narration styles in fiction” is for you! The tag set is designed to be used in XML, but they can be flexibly adopted to other working environments too, including for instance CATMA. The use of the tags is illustrated on a corpus of modernist fiction.
The guidelines have been published in a special issue of The Journal of Cultural Analytics (vol. 6, issue 4) entirely devoted to the illustration of the Systematic Analysis of Narrative levels Through Annotation (SANTA) project, serving as the broader intellectual context to the guidelines. All articles in the special issue are open peer reviewed , open access, and are available in both PDF and XML formats.
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GitHub – CateAgostini/IIIF

GitHub – CateAgostini/IIIF

Introduction: In this resource, Caterina Agostini, PhD in Italian from Rutgers University, Project Manager at The Center for Digital Humanities at Princeton shares two handouts of workshops she organized and co-taught on the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF). They provide a gentle introduction to IIIF and clear overview of features (displaying, editing, annotating, sharing and comparing images along universal standards), examples and resources. The handouts could be of interest to anyone interested in the design and teaching of Open Educational Resources on IIF.
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The First of May in German Literature

The First of May in German Literature

Introduction by OpenMethods Editor (Erzsébet Tóth-Czifra): Research on date extractions from literature brings us closer to answering big questions of “when literature takes place”.  As Frank Fischer’s blog post, First of May in German literature shows, beyond mere quantification, this line of research also yields insights on the cultural significance of certain dates. In this case, the significance of 1st of May in German literature (as reflected in the “Corpus of German-Language Fiction” dataset) was determined with the help of a freely accessible data set and the open access tool HeidelTime. The brief description of the workflow is a smart demonstration of the potential of open DH methods and data sharing in sustainable ways.

Bonus one: the post starts out from briefly touching upon some of Frank’s public humanities activities.

Bonus two: mention of the Tiwoli (“Today in World Literature”) app, a fun side product built on to pof the date extraction research.

Undogmatic Literary Annotation with CATMA in: Annotations in Scholarly Editions and Research

Undogmatic Literary Annotation with CATMA in: Annotations in Scholarly Editions and Research

Introduction: Digital Literary Studies has long engaged with the challenges in representing ambiguity, contradiction and polyvocal readings of literary texts. This book chapter describes a web-based tool called CATMA which  promises a “low-threshold” approach to digitally encoded text interpretation. CATMA has a long trajectory based on a ‘standoff’ approach to markup, somewhat provocatively described by its creators as “undogmatic”, which stands in contrast to more established systems for text representation in digital scholarly editing and publishing such as XML markup, or the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI). Standoff markup involves applying numbers to each character of a text and then using those numbers as identifiers to store interpretation externally. This approach allows for “multiple, over-lapping and even taxonomically contradictory annotations by one or more users” and avoids some of the rigidity which other approaches sometimes imply. An editor working with CATMA is able to create multiple independent annotation cycles, and to even specify which interpretation model was used for each. And the tool allows for an impressive array of analysis and visualization possibilities.

Recent iterations of CATMA have developed approaches which aim to bridge the gap between ‘close’ and ‘distant’ reading by providing scalable digital annotation and interpretation involving “semantic zooming” (which is compared to the kind of experience you get from an interactive map). The latest version also brings greater automation (currently in German only) to grammatical tense capture, temporal signals and part-of-speech annotation, which offer potentially significant effort savings and a wider range of markup review options. Greater attention is also paid to different kinds of interpretation activities through the three CATMA annotation modes of ‘highlight’, ‘comment’ and ‘annotate’, and to overall workflow considerations. The latest version of the tool offers finely grained access options mapping to common editorial roles and workflows.

I would have welcome greater reflection in the book chapter on sustainability – how an editor can port their work to other digital research environments, for use with other tools. While CATMA does allow for export to other systems (such as TEI), quite how effective this is (how well its interpretation structures bind to other digitally-mediated representation systems) is not clear.

What is most impressive about CATMA, and the work of its creator – the forTEXT research group – more generally, is how firmly embedded the thinking behind the tool is in humanities (and in particular literary) scholarship and theory. The group’s long-standing and deeply reflective engagement with the concerns of literary studies is well captured in this well-crafted and highly engaging book chapter.

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Fragmentarium: a Model for Digital Fragmentology

Fragmentarium: a Model for Digital Fragmentology

Introduction: One of the major challenges of digital data workflows in the Arts and Humanities is that resources that belong together, in extreme cases, like this particular one, even parts of dismembered manuscripts, are hosted and embedded in different geographical and institutional silos. Combining IIIF with a mySQL database, Fragmentarium provides a user-friendly but also standardized, open workspace for the virtual reconstruction of medieval manuscript fragments. Lisa Fagin Davis’s blog post gives contextualized insights of the potentials of Fragmentarium and how, as she writes, “technology has caught up with our dreams”.