News

What is Data in Literary Studies?

Copy PressA new Colloquy, over at Arcade, features my remarks from the roundtable, “What is Data in Literary Studies?” which took place at the 2014 MLA convention the other week. The panel was organized by Jim English, and also featured remarks by Eric Hayot, Scott Selisker, Peter Logan, David Alworth, and Heather Houser. A Storify of the related tweets can be found here.

Essay in American Literature

home_coverI’m pleased to announce that my essay, “The Image of Absence: Archival Silence, Data Visualization, and James Hemings,’ has been published in the December 2013 issue of American Literature (85.4). You can read my essay, along with many other excellent contributions, here.

The Long Arc of Visual Display

On November 20th, 2013, I presented a talk at the Penn Humanities Forum on the long arc of visual display. The abstract is as follows:

We live in what’s been called the “golden age” of data visualization, and yet, the graphical display of information has a long history, one that dates to the Enlightenment and arguably before. This talk will explore the origins and applications (both historical and contemporary) of data visualization techniques. Drawing from the fields of media history, digital humanities, and information visualization, Lauren Klein will introduce several techniques for data visualization, and reflect upon their uses—and their limits—in humanities research and teaching.

I’ve uploaded my slides (minus the embedded movies) to SlideShare, but they can also be viewed below:

Origins and Applications of Data Visualization

keyboardOn Wednesday, November 20th, I’ll be speaking at the Penn Humanities Forum about the origins and applications (both historical and contemporary) of data visualization techniques. The official abstract is as follows:

We live in what’s been called the “golden age” of data visualization, and yet, the graphical display of information has a long history, one that dates to the Enlightenment and arguably before. This talk will explore the origins and applications (both historical and contemporary) of data visualization techniques. Drawing from the fields of media history, digital humanities, and information visualization, Lauren Klein will introduce several techniques for data visualization, and reflect upon their uses—and their limits—in humanities research and teaching.

For more information, and to RSVP, click here.

Three Research Fellowships

UntitledIn more good news, I’m pleased to announce that I’ve been awarded three research fellowships for the 2013-14 academic year. I’ve received the “Drawn to Art” fellowship at the American Antiquarian Society in order to conduct research for my second book, a cultural history of data visualization from the eighteenth century to the present. I’ve also received a one-month Mellon Foundation fellowship from the Library Company of Philadelphia for that project, which I’ll take up in May 2014.

In addition, I’ve received a Food Studies Fellowship from the New York Public Library in order to complete a chapter of my first monograph, Senses of Taste: Eating and Aesthetics in the Early Republic. My time at the NYPL will be spent exploring their historical cookbook collection, so as to determine how a shared cultural language of food emerged out of the transition from colonial rule to the early republic, and how that language transformed over the generations that followed into a national consensus about the interdependence of the cultivation of the American palate, and the cultivation of virtuous citizenship.

NEH Digital Humanities Startup Grant

neh_at_logo

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.

Many Eyes Workshop

Links to start out:

Workshop Questions:

Inspired by Shawn Allen‘s informative post, “The Value of Many Eyes.”

Can you…

1. …create a scatter plot that correlates vehicle miles traveled with traffic fatality rates in US States?

Dataset: http://www-958.ibm.com/software/data/cognos/manyeyes/datasets/1223a930079511dfb91b000255111976/versions/1

2. …create a line chart comparing annual bicycle and car production worldwide?

Dataset: http://www-958.ibm.com/software/data/cognos/manyeyes/datasets/9daf14ea003811dea883000255111976/versions/1

3. …create a “small multiples” country map of hate crimes by type and state?

Dataset: http://www-958.ibm.com/software/data/cognos/manyeyes/datasets/2e46f3b8959a11dfa587000255111976/versions/1

4. … show the energy consumption rates of autos, motorcycles, light trucks, heavy trucks, and buses, from 1970 to 2003?

Dataset: http://www-958.ibm.com/software/data/cognos/manyeyes/datasets/89ade5ae1cfcfb02011d069fbe42097b/versions/3

5. ….visualize the proportion of fuel used by light-duty passenger vehicles in relation to other transportation modes?

http://www-958.ibm.com/software/data/cognos/manyeyes/datasets/89ade5ae1d2998b0011d45aaa9b51e74/versions/1

6. …adjust the color contrast on a treemap of CO2 emissions by transportation mode to better show proportional differences?

Dataset: http://www-958.ibm.com/software/data/cognos/manyeyes/datasets/89ade5ae1d2998b0011d457956a21e47/versions/1

7. …create a matrix chart to most clearly communicate gender bias by political party represented on the BBC’s show, Question Time?

Dataset: http://www-958.ibm.com/software/data/cognos/manyeyes/datasets/3bf820fa918e11dfaab7000255111976/versions/3

8. …find a new data set and visualize it in an informative way? A performative way? A provacative way?