Text Analysis

This week, our focus was on “Text Analysis” and “Distant Reading,” and we engaged with different fascinating readings. Permit me to summarize the understanding I garnered from the assigned readings.

Text Analysis can be understood as one of the methodologies of digital humanities, together with other activities like online mapping and digital exhibits. It can be described as a way of using computer/technology to understand and appreciate a corpus of data through text and visualization. I find the visualization component of Text Analysis very fascinating. I am intrigued by how a wide range of data, qualitative or quantitative data, that capture a vast period get presented in a graph – Google NGram – and allow the reader the room to interpret the displayed image from different perspectives. Surely, you will need the skill set (Python, R, etc.) to be able to digitally analyze your text.

Thinking of these readings in terms of my project, I do not see myself doing a text analysis. However, I strongly believe that it is a useful methodology for digital handling data.

During our section, we used the Voyant tool to tinker with some texts. Of particular interest to me was one of Frederick Douglass’ documents titled, “My Bondage, My Freedom.” Below is one of the fascinating correlations that me and my partner, Ryan Carty, identified.

From the above, it is apparent that there exist a high frequency and a significant correlation between frequency of the words, “slave,” slavery,” “man,” and “woman.” Is it this fascinating…?

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