Towards an Expanded Disciplinary History

Jonathan Goodwin and I had the chance to team up again at the [Texas Digital Humanities Conference][txdhc]. While our work began with the chronological topic models built last year, Goodwin has recently been experimenting with [co-citational network graphs][jg] based on data drawn from the Web of Science. (We had to depend upon the Web of Science data because the citational data from JSTOR is currently unavailable.)

While we contemplate how to integrate the co-citational data with the topic models, I found myself recalling that the American Folklore Society also has a collection of abstracts submitted for the annual meetings for at least the last few years. I wondered if that material was available through [Open Folklore][]. It isn’t, but the [program brochures and books][bb] produced for AFS annual meetings from 1949 are.

[Open Folklore]:

2 thoughts on “Towards an Expanded Disciplinary History

  1. John–you will have to massage the data, but the abstracts for accepted papers are in the program books that you point to with your final link. Sort on issue date in descending order and you will have a cue of recent program books with abstracts available for your work. I am sorry that you will have to scrape out the data, but its there.

  2. Jason … at some point, someone is going to scrape those PDFs, and we are all going to owe them a debt of gratitude! The abstracts I had in mind were the long ones that are used for organizing the conference: I had the chance to work with some of them when I helped read for the New Orleans meeting, and I think Tim was kind enough to send me a collection of the abstracts from another year.

    I think it would be interesting to compare the foci, the topics, that emerge out of the meeting abstracts and compare them against the topics for the journal that Goodwin and I developed last year. But, now that I think about it, the one thing that wouldn’t show terribly well in such a charting would be the organized panels, which don’t have the same amount of “wordage” as the individually submitted papers. (I do love the kinds of things you realize as you try to think about doing this kind of work.)

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