I’m pleased to announce that my project with Jacob Eisenstein, Assistant Professor in the School of Interactive Computing, has been awarded a Digital Humanities Startup Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Our project, TOME, which stands for Interactive TOpic Model and MEtadata Visualization, is a tool to support the interactive exploration and visualization of text-based archives. Drawing upon the technique of topic modeling—that is, a computational method for identifying the themes that recur across a collection of texts—our tool will allow humanities scholars to trace the evolution and circulation of these themes across social networks and over time.
An archive of nineteenth-century antislavery newspapers, characterized by diverse authors and shifting political alliances, will serve as our initial dataset. Our analysis promises to motivate new methods for visualizing topic models and extending their impact. In turn, by applying these methods to these important texts, we hope to illuminate how issues of gender and racial identity affect the development of political ideology in the nineteenth century, and into the present day.
For updates on the TOME project in the coming year (and beyond), check back in on the Digital Humanities Lab website.