The First Texas Digital Humanities Conference

I’m just back from the premier offering of the Texas Digital Humanities Conference, and I can’t tell you what a pleasure it was to have such a superb event held so close to home, especially since I won’t be able to make the big Digital Humanities meeting this summer (or next summer, for that matter, since things are unlikely to get better here any time soon). There’s more to write about than what I am posting here, but I wanted to post my notes and links for both my future reference and as part of the conference’s wider historical record: interested readers should also check out the conference’s Twitter stream, [#txdhc][], and Geoffrey Rockwell’s [notes][].

In addition to the notes below, I also want to particularly thank [Elisa Beshero-Bondar][] and Max for walking me through loading networks into Cytoscape.

### Geoffrey Rockwell

Parallel between art critical process — *integritas* (apprehaneding that thing according to its form), *consonantia* (synthesis which is logically and aesthetically permissable), *claritas* (see the thing as it is and no other thing). In text analysis: demarcation, analysis, synthesis.

Tufte suggested the usefulness of spark lines?

CHUM: _Computing Humanities_ (was important journal until 2005).

An interpretive thing, a *hermeneutica*, is like an architectural folly from the nineteenth century: there to prompt our own thinking. Not simulacra.

Text analysis works on surrogates, not the text itself, not as text as conventionally understood. Text as string.

Stephan Sinclair is his collaborator.

Predecessor: HyperBow.

Relationship to bricolage? Embroidery. Contribution by framing. Things for others to think through.

Voyant ( is downloadable and can be run locally.

Beta Yoyant tools are all R for analysis and D3 for visualization.

→ Ask GR about Smith PDF.

→ Contact John Smith about code and about being interviewed.

### Andrew Higgins

Philosophy has an ArXiv?

Co-categorization of articles.

Modularity measure.

Philpapers –> Google Scholar (to scrape citation data).

Bowling Green has an index.

### Anne Chao

Chen Duxiu was the founder of the Chinese communist party. Begins with a social network created in Gephi: threshold was 3 interactions with Chen. [These kinds of faux network visualizations make me realize that having a logic for the layout is terribly important: why are nodes located where they are in the graph? what do the edges represent?]

Later connection with an individual influenced, or trained, by John Dewey.

### Minute Madness

CADOH: Corpus of American Discourses on Health

### Cameron Bruckner

Mike Jones at IU is doing work with topic modeling (of a kind) that takes into account the position of a word in an n-gram.

### Elisa Beshero-Bondar

EBB is interested in mapping poetic structures and ideas in network visualization in the work of Robert Southey. When she coded meta-places and places, she discovered tat the meta-places are necessary for the network to hold together. If they drop out, the network falls apart. Not the case for actual places. Makes sense: you need a cosmology in an epic poem. In-betweenness measures.

Need to know more about measures of centrality. Cf. Alexander Maida (on computer scientists and computational linguistics). Closeness centrality reveals the places that Southey talks about most often.

Startled by the difference between the eccentricity graph.

Shortest half-lengths.

→ KML vs ArcGIS mapping. Cytoscape does mapping.

EBB has students mapping Cook’s voyages. See

### Kathryn Beebe

Medieval historians grapple not with big data but with small, even tiny, data.

Social networks in texts are very popular.

→ Tim Evans.

GR: “There are ways to metasatize your data, build it up quickly: look at what people say about these texts, at reception.”

### Tanya Clement

ARLO displays spectrograms that represents that amount of energy in each frequency band. Some genre detection. Code switching. Genre switching. (This is more information than wave forms, but it strikes me as an evolutionary improvement, not a revolutionary improvement: a comparison would reveal how different performances, different speakers intertwine frequency and dynamics — this must be the “energy” she was talking about.)

Cf. Shannon and Weaver.

→ Cf. Donald MacKay. 1969. _Information, Mechanics, ???_.

### Elijah Meeks

EM: “This is the first conference I’ve seen that specifically focuses on networks in the humanities.”

Working a book about programming D3,js.


EM feels, like many in DH, like he is an impostor. But maybe the better term is interloper.

Interloper *par excellence*: Jared Diamond.

*Neotopology* refers to …

Mike Bostock (mbostock).

→ Anne Knowles. 2002. _Past Time, Past Place: GIS for History_. No volume yet for network visualization.

→ Willard McCarty. 2002. “Humanities Computing: Essential Problems, Experimental Practice.”

The *network turn* is taking place after the *spatial turn*: _Envisioning Landscape, Making World_; _Placing History_; _Spatial Humanities_.

Networks are really simple: it’s the annotation of a connection. E.g., a person is connected to another person, a person is connected to a document. N-partite networks.

A network is a view into your work as a view of the structure and not the components, a part of the process of operationalizing your understanding of the system.

Structure is important.

EM: “We need standards for interactivity.”

EM: “Any network is good as long as you declare the constraints that affected it.”

All of these can visualize a network dataset:

* Arc diagram
* Adjacency matrix (?).
* Force-directed layout.
* Radial layout.
* Donut charts.

You need to know what a random walk is, you need to know what centrality is; you need to understand how modularity detection works, that it returns a value and what that number means. → Learn network statistics.

Invent your own centrality measures. Authorial acts, not authoritative.

→ Understand topology: cool visualization of topoJSON.

See McCarthy’s description of a *trading zone* (2002).

A sloppy way of bundling together socio-physics, traffic analysis, etc.

→ Arts, Humanities, and Networks. (Conference organized by Max. Ebook out from MIT press.)

→ _Book of Trees_.

### Yannick Rochat

*Character-space* is that particular and charged encounter between an individual human personality and a determined space and position with the narrative as a whole, and *character-system* is the arrangement of multiple and differentiated character-spaces — differentiated configuration and manipulation of the human figure — into a unified narrative structure (Woloch 2003: 14).

First graph: occurrences of characters per page with chapter breaks and part breaks indicated.

Second graph: occurrences totaled for each of 12 chapters.

Centrality measures: *degree* rank, *betweenness* rank, *harmonic* rank, *eigenvector* rank.

Louvain [?] clustering in Gephi. (Eigenvector based.)

### Ayse Gursoy

Game criticism as it happens on-line: how discourse happens. (She’s using Google’s slideshow — and maybe EM was too?)

Critics are identifiable personae with many roles: critic, curator, and advocate.

The game _Dear Esther_, an interactive experience, led to debates about *game-ness*: “many discussions of “, “doing the rounds”, and “much has been written about.”

### Neal Audenaert

Collaborated with Nathalie Houston.

Started by calling attention to the difference pages of prose and pages of poetry and three different kinds of features that shape such things *bibliographic* features (paper, binding), *visual* features, and *linguistic* features.

Their research question: How to extract visual features? What are the research questions? How to present/interact with this information? How to analyze this information algorithmically?

Work bubbled out of a THATCamp at Rice a few years ago. Then an NEH StartUp grant. And now a HathiTrust grant.

Used Tesseract to extract page layout.

Nathalie’s questions:

* How long are the lines?
* What’s the spacing between the lines?
* How much text on a page?

Text per page.

Nice use of R with a trend line — like what JG set up.

[Elisa Beshero-Bondar]:

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  1. Report: The First Texas Digital Humanities Conference | Digital Humanities Now

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