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Text Analysis Research Cluster Meeting: Topic Modeling Projects in Progress
Apr 3, 2019 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Scholarly Innovation Lab, Charles E. Young Research Library + Google Map
The project I’m working on deals with about 55,000 Holocaust and genocide testimonies of survivors of the Holocaust as well as survivors of the Rwandan genocide, the Armenian genocide, and the Nanjing Massacre. The testimonies are video interviews (only about 10% with full transcripts), but they all have an extensive keyword tagging by minute drawn from a 50,000-word thesaurus, which forms a database of about 7 million records. I’m also working with a smaller collection of 120 testimonies made in 1946 by David Boder (on a wire recorder in Displaced Persons Camps), and all of these testimonies exist as transcripts in their original languages (nine) and English translation. I’ll probably focus on this smaller dataset showing some of the results from my DH 199 capstone seminar using topic modeling and other text analysis tools.
Andrew Marvell’s “An Horatian Ode Upon Cromwell’s Return from Ireland” continues to puzzle Early Modern literary scholars. The current assessment is that this poem contains “layer upon layer” of “ambiguity,” is “multivalent,” possibly “[c]overtly royalist, double; Machiavellian,” and “confusing for its political ambivalence.” In this paper, we use topic modeling to place “Horatian Ode” in the context of other authors writing in English in the first half of the seventeenth century. Our analysis shows that, far from being ambivalent, “Horatian Ode” expresses a subtle, but clear, critique of Cromwell.