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Posted by Natasha Ochshorn on

When I began research for this bibliography, I was hoping to find explicit discussions on users affectual responses to technology, especially new technologies, and how those should or should not be considered when doing digital humanities projects. I was not able to find much in that meta-theoretical area, which could absolutely be due to my research skills, but may be indicative of an under-explored area of the field.

What I was able to find were accounts of specific digital humanities projects or research that either used or discussed affect as part of their work. There was also less in this area than I was hoping for, although I suspect that there may be scholars who are actually looking at affect, but are using different words, or directories that are not always including it in the metadata, which makes it difficult to search for without looking through every single digital humanities project.

I was interested by many of the articles that I found, and genuinely excited about a few, and so I’m choosing to be excited about an area of entanglement that is rife with possibility for the future, instead of being frustrated by the lack or difficulty of what is currently available.


Buiani, Roberta. “Performing the Web: Negotiating Affect and Online Aesthetics.” Journal of Aesthetics & Culture, vol. 6, no. 1, Jan. 2014, p. 23699. Crossref, doi:10.3402/jac.v6.23699.

Buiani examines the work of The Sandbox Project, an art collective which aimed to have an online space that would not only act as a catalogue of the physical work done during “labs” or live interactive performance/art events, but that would function as an extension of that space where the digital projects would compliment and enhance the physical ones. Buiani investigates the difficulties of this project, including the lengthy time commitments required by digital projects, the feeling of “distance” from their audience that some artists felt in an online space, and the difficulty of translating affect from a physical space into a digital one. Buiani looks at affect both as an artistic preoccupation and a community based one, especially since the goals of the project were always intended to be as political as they were artistic.

The website for The Sandbox Project has become a static archive, and while Buiani explores all the reasons, logistical and otherwise, why that came to be she is most curious about whether artists and users pre-existing ideas about internet spaces created too much rigidity to make effective use of their website. “It follows that only a shift of perspective in what “online content” means in relation to the “lived world” might liberate the Sandbox project from it’s own impasse” (13). Although they were not ultimately able to achieve what they wanted to with their digital project, the experiment raises a lot of interesting questions about digital and physical performance spaces.


Cocciolo, Anthony, and Debbie Rabina. “Does Place Affect User Engagement and Understanding?” Journal of Documentation, vol. 69, no. 1, 2013, pp. 98-120. ProQuest, http://ezproxy.gc.cuny.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.gc.cuny.edu/docview/1268758130?accountid=7287, doi:http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.gc.cuny.edu/10.1108/00220411311295342.

A case study of an educational mobile app, GeoStoryteller, which gives interactive educational guided tours of New York City, focusing on a specific historical story (such as German immigrants). The app uses cellphone technology to give the users videos, stories, and historical facts as they become physically present in a space. The idea was to see whether or not being physically present in a space enhanced or aided the learning process for the users. After testing, the researchers (who wrote the article and developed the app) were satisfied that being physically present in a space does enhance historical learning. While the article doesn’t discuss affect directly, the questions the researchers are asking are ones that are concerned with the affectual responses of users of a digital humanities project. The user responses that they were the most pleased with were the ones where the user not only felt like they had come away with some kind of “knowledge,” but with an emotional experience directly connected to the use of the technology.


Deng, Liqiong, and Marshall Scott Poole. “Affect in Web Interfaces: A Study of the Impacts of Web Page Visual Complexity and Order.” MIS Quarterly, vol. 34, no. 4, 2010, pp. 711–730. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/25750702.

I included this article as an example of the type of academic writing concerning web affect that I came across most frequently: authors concerned with web marketing and web design for consumer use. This article is specifically interested in affectual responses to order and complexity on websites. It’s a highly technical analysis measuring users emotional responses (specifically “pleasure” and “arousal”) to different amounts of visual complexity in web design. The study found that users responded positively to a complex visual design, even more than a strictly efficient functional one, and that those feelings would carry on as they went further “in” to their website use. While this has potentially interesting humanities applications, the goal with this study is obviously purely commercial and consumer driven.


Graefer, A. (2016), “Reading” Through the Skin: Lady Gaga’s Online Representation and Affective MeaningMaking. J Pop Cult, 49: 522-540. doi:10.1111/jpcu.12424

Graefer uses this article to do a highly personal affective reading of celebrity gossip blogs; specifically looking at articles about pop singer Lady Gaga. She is particularly interested in the concept of “skin”, taken from various media scholars, the idea that our relationship to any visual media is a tactile one and affective one, and not just a conversation between a recording eye and a processing brain. Graefer believes the concept of skin is especially useful for discussing affect and online media, because it’s a media whose pace and gaze we control through our touch, via a mouse or trackpad. This creates a responsiveness that can create specific affective responses. She is concerned not only how these gossip websites look, but how they make her feel.

I would be interested to see this kind of thought and analysis extended to digital humanities projects; to consider not only how to best represent information digitally, or look for information digitally, but how digital humanities projects can play with or replicate the affectual experience of the text that they’re analyzing.


Gregg, Melissa and Gregory J. Seigworth “An Inventory of Shimmers”. The Affect Theory Reader, edited by Melissa Gregg, and Gregory J. Seigworth, Duke University Press, 2009. ProQuest Ebook Central, https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/cunygc/detail.action?docID=1172305.

The beautiful introduction to The Affect Theory Reader, Gregg and Seigworth outline how they understand affect theory as it stood at the time of their writing it, as well as what they believe to be the potentiality of the theory. They do not discuss the digital humanities by name in this introduction, but several of the eight “regions of investigation” that they lay out are areas that intersect if not completely entwined with digital humanities work (7). Most specifically, the sixth region, “that can be seen in various (often humanities-related) attempts to turn away from the much-heralded “linguistic turn” “ which calls up images of Moretti’s distance reading, amongst other foundational digital humanities texts. This is a thorough, and wonderfully written tour around the ideas that affect theory embraces.


Landsberg, Alison. “Theorizing Affective Engagement in the Historical Film.” Engaging the Past: Mass Culture and the Production of Historical Knowledge. Columbia UP, 2015. MLA International Bibliography, https://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/N2812963610/MLA?u=cuny_gradctr&sid=MLA&xid=980396cb. Accessed 29 Apr. 2018.

At the beginning of this chapter, Landsberg lists common critiques of historical films, all of which have also been lobbied against Digital Humanities projects. “That it inevitably “dumbs down” historical events, reduces the complexity of the past, and lacks the rigor of written history” (27). Landsberg uses the concept of affect to combat these claims, expanding on the work of Robert Rosenstone who posited that the formal elements of a move could make up “another kind of data,” that was as valuable as traditional historical research. “Like Rosenstone,” Landsberg writes, “I do not mean to dismiss written history or the purposes it serves but rather to suggest the specific power of a sensuous, experimental medium such as film to disseminate alternative but no less instructive forms of knowledge about the past” (29). Landsberg sees affect as a key tool in understanding the capacity of historical film as “another data”. She views the affective responses viewers have to historical cinema not only as engagement, or identification, but as a mode of knowledge through which they can come to have new understanding about history.


Losh, Elizabeth, et al. “Putting the Human Back into the Digital Humanities: Feminism, Generosity, and Mess.” Debates in the Digital Humanities 2016, edited by Matthew K. Gold and Lauren F. Klein, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis; London, 2016, pp. 92–103. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/10.5749/j.ctt1cn6thb.13.

This article works as a good state of the field report of feminist movements in the digital humanities in 2016. The authors discuss the work of collective FemTechNet, amongst other scholars addressing feminist concerns in the digital humanities. They assert that there needs to be a refocusing on not only overtly gendered modes of discourse, but to also embrace modes such as affect, embodiment, and critical “mess,” which tend to be queer/feminine modalities even when they aren’t specifically gendered.


Nowviski, Bethany. “What Do Girls Dig?” Debates in the Digital Humanities Created April 7th, 2011. Accessed April 29th 2018. http://dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/debates/text/1

Sparked by a conversation on twitter, (the article is written using Storify, which allows users to archive and order tweets into a narrative), Nowviski dives into the possible reasons why women are a scare presence in textual data mining. One of the reasons she thinks likely, and which she states is true for herself, is the rhetorical language used around data mining, which makes it appear very tech heavy, and not in line with the more “interpretive” forms of digital humanities that interests her. She widens the scope of this question to invite a larger conversation about how the rhetorical language we use may be inadvertently causing gender disparities in certain parts of digital humanities study.


Oppermann, Matthias. “Digital Storytelling and American Studies: Critical Trajectories from the Emotional to the Epistemological.” Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, vol. 7, no. 2, 2008, pp. 171-187. MLA International Bibliography, https://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/N2812682908/MLA?u=cuny_gradctr&sid=MLA&xid=9906690e. Accessed 29 Apr. 2018.

In this article, Oppermann defines an affective dimension of learning as “their own voice and opinion”, them referring to students (177). He believes that digital storytelling, multi-media personal/historical storytelling projects, can be a way to combine affective and cognitive (outside stories and facts) learning in a way where the dimensions enrich one another. By positioning their own personal stories in the same context as the historical or cultural areas that they are studying, Oppermann believes students can see the academic conversation more clearly, and feel more empowered to become a part of it.


Rice, Jeff. “Folksono(Me).” JAC, vol. 28, no. 1/2, 2008, pp. 181–208. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/20866831.

Rice begins this article by introducing Bob Dylan’s famous turn to electric instrumentation at the Newport Folk Festival as a framing device through which to look at the ways in which rhetorical categorization and pedagogy has embraced or rejected digitalization. When Dylan shifted from acoustic to electric instruments and still called it folk, while also widening the lyrical scope of what topics folk music could include, Rice argues that he created an affective experience (one that folds in the enraged audience reaction, and the sheer power of the music he played) which shifted the category of “folk” to include new definitions. The shift in the humanities and pedagogy to digitalization, he argues, is similarly using affective experience to not create new categories, but to enable a widening or shift of categorization.

The fold of affect into taxonomy is a method called Folksonomy. It includes open tagging systems (bookmarks, or hashtags), and lets users categorize things based on their own intuition instead of by a premarkated system. Rice combines this idea with digital technologies that allow for a combination of written/audio/visual mediums to create a new form of rhetorical writing that he calls Folksono(me), where the author is placed centrally within a remixed and highly personally referenced set of categorizations.


Praxis – Mapping Geographies of Self

Posted by Jesse Rice-Evans (she/they) on

For this praxis assignment, I chose to work with Google Maps. I am already experienced with the platform, and the other suggested mapping softwares seemed intimidating on top of the abundance of other stuff I had to do over the past two weeks, so Maps was a perfect choice. I’ve actually been working on mapping locations where I work on my new writing project: a collection of autotheoretical short prose essays on chronic pain and embodiment. This project gave me the actual push I’ve needed to digitalization my lo-fi mapping (writing down lists of places I work in my phone).

As I develop notes towards my dissertation, I am embracing the role my own body plays in my writing and reading practices more and more. It seems silly to write about embodiment in any sort of abstracted way since the body is the thing doing the work of writing and theorizing. The weirdness appears in figuring out the relationships between and among the body and disembodied sites of writing and practice, like digital spaces. This mapping gave me a needed opportunity to start tracing a visual-spatial trail of how I move through 3D geographies while contributing to my ongoing move towards digitalizing my notes in readable forms.

Since I was stuck an extra day in Chicago, I decided to add locations where I had been on email, writing, reading, doing homework assignments, or otherwise “laboring” while in town. (This is also maybe revelatory of my reframing of “work” to shake off a long time on shift schedules, and to provide evidence that being an adjunct/“funded” graduate student means *never not working*.) Next, I’m adding layers of commuting and travel maps to make visible my movement around the city by car and train and walking—I haven’t yet figured out how to express that which choice I make depends largely upon my health at that moment, or anticipating my health later in the day.

Maps doesn’t make it easy to input actual circuitous routes, as it automatically adjusts the routes to highlight the fastest way from point to point, which isn’t actually always the way we went. That aside, though, I like this feature, and I know of accessibility scholars who have taken up adding notes of locations of curb cuts and other accessibility markers.

I also tried to implement this mapping strategy across my home state of North Carolina, which I visit about once a year, but the much larger scale made mapping less effective:

I’d like to figure out more intuitive ways to trace movement, but I do appreciate that I could demarcate each location with a customized icon and color. I don’t really understand why my own maps aren’t integrated with my use of the Google Maps app, but I’m also iffy about all my data being used everywhere!


Mapping the route of “A streetcar named Desire”

Posted by clararamazzotti on

For this assignments I looked at the different tools offered to find what could be more “user-friendly”, and unfortunately I have Linux so I had some problem with Google Earth and the Tour Builder tool that I wanted to use. For this reason I chose ArcGIS.

I just spend some days in New Orleans so my idea was to try to understand the real route of a streetcar, and the most famous streetcar ever in that city is the William’s one.

Tennessee Williams lived in New Orleans for several years, and for this reason he decided to write about it, as he recognized in NOLA his “spiritual town”. The William’s house was (or better to say IS, you could visit if you want) in the French Quarter, at 1014 Dumaine Street.

The mapping: first of all, “Desire” is the name of a street where the streetcar did its route, so actually this should enter in the itinerary. The Desire Line ran from 1920 to 1948. It ran down Royal, through the Quarter, to Desire Street in the Bywater district, and back up to Canal.So the characters in the play took a streetcar named Desire, transfer to one called Cemeteries and ride six blocks and get off at Elysian Fields Avenue on its way to Canal Street (I checked with the RTA website: http://www.norta.com/Maps-Schedules/System-Map/Line.aspx?ID=10836).


I put images on the map but PROBLEM: I’m not able to see them (in my mind their visualization was the same as on Google Maps when they pop-up at the mouse’s passage) and I didn’t understand how to use them properly in this map and PROBLEM II: I’d like to create a more complex and detailed map, but at the end I created something too simple. 

Link to the The map

I could do the same with more effort using literary guide books (as I have about my city, Milan, in Italy) but it really needs time and great attention to details, and maybe a real visit on the streets.

During this assignments I was thinking to The Lord of the Rings: we could create an imaginary itinerary about all the books that talks about travels and discovery, also if they are not in a real world? I found this: http://lotrproject.com/map/#zoom=3&lat=-1315.5&lon=1500&layers=BTTTTT.



Bookworm Assignment – New Words in the World

Posted by clararamazzotti on

Hi everyone!

I’ve tried both Bookworm and Voyant just to be sure that I was using properly this kind of tools.

My first idea was to look at several kind of words related to the gender (female/woman/girl/wife) in correlation with sexuality (sex/love/candor/prude/licentious/libertine/womanizer) and deviance (the idea came up thinking to Freud’s works and Bleuler who invented the word “schizophrenia”, for a long time these words and the female gender were related one to each other.) but I was not very sure of how I could do that.

So I chose a topic: I was curious about how much female characters in Literature were linked to words belonged to psychiatric or sexual deviances, and my first thought was to the Gothic productions, on published books between 1890 and 1920. I used Dracula by Bram Stoker, where the main female character has a very strong fascination to a misterious sexuality (in a great struggle because of the pruderie of the time).

I know, it’s not a very happy topic, but I thought it was cool to understand with a computer analysis which kind of words were used most!

I’ve tried with Voyant but I was not so much satisfied. I don’t know if I’ve did wrong, I want the system could let us to choose the words to analyze or to put some words in correlation, but the results were not very interesting (they just confirm to me something that I already know about the book).

The system analyze Dracula and found, of course, al lot of verbs but in particular a great use of “SHALL”. Lucy was nominated 225 times while the name Dracula appeared 188 times (probably because it’s like Voldemort, “you don’t have to say his name, he’s a monster!”). I chose several words for an analysis:

After many experiments I decided to not use my first idea (I have to learn better how to use this tools) and I’ve tried just with Dracula. So, we have eyes + Dracula + face. In this segment you could find Lucy and Mina going up and down, in a sort of dance.

So I thought “ok, and Bookworm?”. I thought this second tool could be more interesting, but maybe the topic was perfectible 🙂 In this case I just put “sex” and “schizophrenia” in a limited time (1890-1910), just to look at the number of books that used this words in the same period in which Stoker wrote his novel.

Guys, they wrote a lot about sex:


Unfortunately I have no idea of which kind of books Bookworm analyze, or with what criteria so it could be everything: medical books (and it’s ok), novels? – and it’s not so common, etc.



Annotated Bibliography – Big Data Impact on Literature

Posted by clararamazzotti on

Clara Ramazzotti

Prof. Matthew K. Gold

Approaching to Digital Humanities, 4 credits

March, 6th 2018

Topic: Big Data. Their first impact on literary studies and how they could be used in Digital Humanities.

Thesis statement: Digital Humanities is a big category that includes several things not yet clearly definied. In this context, doubts and attempts about what Big Data could do in the Humanities seems to be very stimulating, in particular in the period between 2005 (Google Books launch) and 2017. I focused my research on sources from 2015 to the end of 2017. What I understood so far is that the great quantity of informations and digitalized materials seem to be the center of an intellectual struggle where scholars are asking each other whether the great “quantity” of information, interpreted in contrast with their “quality”, was what we need for a better job on literary sources. I found interesting the articles I listed because some of them provide some possible answers or explanation about the Big Data/Literature duo (Mazzola, Lei Zeng) or because some of them tried to understand how to use Data at its best, as business/industry/scientific researchers did.

Annotated Bibliography

Crane, Gregory. What Do You Do with a Million Books? D-Lib Magazine, 2006. http://www.dlib.org/dlib/march06/crane/03crane.html. Last access: 03/05/2018

The ability to extract from the stored record of humanity useful information in an actionable format for any given human being of any culture at any time and in any place will not emerge quickly, but the fundamental tools on which such a system would be built are moving forward.

Multiple choices for multiple options on the same text: this is what a digital library could do. Crane discussed in 2006 about how a digital library could work with a still valid critique on the way books and sources are reproduced (rooted in tradition of print, as merely recreation of a printed book into a pdf or HTML text online). Traditional researches were obviously much more limited in their ability to meet a particular needs, and of course computers need much less time to do that.

Ganascia, Jean-Gabriel. The Logic of the Big Data Turn in Digital Literary Studies Front. Digit. Humanit., 2015. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fdigh.2015.00007/full. Last access: 03/05/2018

But, what does “big” mean for the Digital Humanities? A million, a billion, and a trillion bytes are small compared to the Terabytes and Petabytes that are usually considered as the standard for “big data.” In the case of Digital Literary Studies, the total number of texts that can be characterized as literary works, including novels, poetry, and theater, does not exceed a few million books, which has been seen characterized as a delimiting horizon.

Thanks to this article it’s possible to clarify where Digital Humanities started, proposing technologically equipped methodologies in activities where, for centuries, intuition and intelligent handling had played a predominant role. Big Data, in this context, become revealing of how these new approaches can be applied to traditional scholarly disciplines, such as Literature, and what digitization allows; also, they discuss the nature of the Humanities in general. In fact, the main value of the Big is that they can renew, with the use of computers, the Humanities.

Kaplan, Frédérick. A map for big data research in digital humanities Front. Digit. Humanit., 2015. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fdigh.2015.00001/full. Last access: 03/05/2018

Will we learn more by analyzing 10 millions books that we cannot read individually or by reading five carefully (Moretti 2005)?

The author chose to analyze how humanist processed and interpreted data, explaining the differences between Big Data and Small Data: researches in Big Data usually mean a focus on large or dense cultural datasets, which call for new processing and interpretation methods. On the other hand, Small Data regroup more focused works that do not use massive data processing methods and explore also interdisciplinary dimensions linking computer science and humanities research.

Lei Zeng, Marcia. Smart Data for Digital Humanities Journal of Data and Information Science, Volume 2, Issue 1, Pages 1–12, 2017. https://doi.org/10.1515/jdis-2017-0001. Last access: 03/05/2018

“Data is the new oil” (Humby, 2006) has become a defining phrase used by many in recent years as the evidence became more and more convincing. “However, in its raw form, data is just like crude oil; it needs to be refined and processed in order to generate real value. Data has to be cleaned, transformed, and analyzed to unlock its hidden potential” (TiECON East, 2014). […] advanced technologies, under the umbrella of Big Data and Smart Data, allow researchers of the humanities to join the mainstream of the digital age with new abilities as never before.

I chose this article because it clarifies some issues on the usage of Big Data in the Humanities, and it explains in a very simply way the differences between Smart and Big (quality and quantity) and what we are probably missing to achieve a goal (Lei Zeng talks about technological issues, for example).
The author hopes a very positive evolution in DH’s use of “Smart Data”, the ability to achieve big insights from trusted, contextualized, relevant, cognitive, predictive, and consumable data at any scale, as the only kind of data that could gives value in this field. In a few words, the Smart Data approach is useful to transform unstructured data to structured and semi-structured data.

Mazzola, Roberto. Google Books e le scienze (post)umane Laboratorio dell’ISPF, XII, 2015. https://doaj.org/article/5c7d4a8edb5941c890c3d30f72a4f568. Last access: 03/05/2018

L’estensione agli studi umanistici di questo nuovo approccio alla realtà e alla conoscenza ha suscitato le resistenze di quanti hanno difficoltà ad accettare l’idea di ridurre un libro, un dipinto, un brano musicale ecc., a mero flusso di informazioni codificate.

This article is an interesting analysis of what kind of work was done in Europe (Italy, France, Germany) when Google Books came out. The essential questions “how we could use Big Data” and “how we could save our heritage” found some clarifications in this article. It’s relevant how the author explains the passage from a scientific method (hyphotesis – verification) to data/algorithms new era, with the possible consequence to see the “traditional humanist” as an old character without purpose.
The example of Google Books and the work made by the company to obtain a free open access to all the knowledge is really fascinanting, but it’s more like a library of snippets, using the words of Nicholas Carr, pieces of knowledge useful as second-hand quotes.

Moretti, Franco. Canon/Archive. n+1 Foundation, 2017, New York City.

On the basis of programming, much more becomes possible: from the refinement of the corpus to the analysis of initial results; from the review of the critical literature to the design of follow-up experiments. This functional division of labor, whose results no individual scholar could ever achieve in isolation, is clearly indispensable to modern research.

This book could demonstrate that everything is measurable and, thanks to technology, studied as in a laboratory. It’s not casual that the first thing very noteworthy in this series of pamphlets are all the ways a book could be investigated. The way a writer uses paragraphs, the number of character’s presences in a story, etc. Literary Laboratory is fundamental to understand how far could go the DH: a series of tests and experiments to obtain a result, not just electronical transfer from paper to usb.
It’s a fascinating source for this topic because a scholar could find a method, an attempt to do something relevant for DH,
but at he same time the honest perception that DH have presented themselves as a radical break with the past, with the paradox that, in a new approach, not everything has to be new.

Ramsay, Stephen. The Hermenutics of Screwing Around; or what you do with a million booksDigital Culture Books, 2010. http://dx.doi.org/10.3998/dh.12544152.0001.001. Last access: 03/05/2018

There was no way to ask, “Which of these books contains the phrase ‘Frank Zappa?’ ” The fact that we can now do that changes everything, but it doesn’t change the nature of the thing. When we ask that question—or any question, for that matter—we are still searching. We are still asking a question and availing ourselves of various technologies.

Are we reading always the same book? Are we too canonical and perhaps Big Data are the way to compare and read more than a percentual? These are the questions that came up with this essay with the perception that more digitalized books (or cultural products) doesn’t mean a change in the critic’s scholar himself (the deeply research on a topic or the comparision between sources), but a significant evolution in the way scholars could do that, using their time and their knowledge in more than one field/topic/location.

Rojas Castro, Antonio. Big Data in the Digital Humanities. New conversations in the global academic context AC/E Digital Culture Annual Report, 2017. https://hcommons.org/deposits/item/hc:11759/. Last access: 03/05/2018

We should begin by dismissing certain clichés about the humanities and ask ourselves about their classic objects of study, bearing in mind the methods that are currently available. This requirement is not unrelated to the work of humanists, who have always been in contact with other fringe disciplines such as anthropology, Marxism and gender studies.

Humanists have established a dialogue with computer studies, and humanists are working on several methods: in this article, the author hopes that literary studies and computer analysis can eventually reconcile.
In particular, I found it helpful because, as Rojans Castro explains, the classic definition of Big Data is a formula: Volume (Terabytes, Petabytes, Exabytes), Velocity (data that is constantly generated) and Variety (texts, images, sounds), and if we take the three Vs as a basis, Big Data don’t fit in the humanities. But in the literary academic context, the expression Big Data, as we know, is associated more to “distant reading” (Moretti, 2007) or “macroanalysis” (Jockers, 2013) and we could start from this new way to “read” cultural products.

Schuessler, Jennifer. Reading by the Numbers: When Big Data Meets Literature. The New York Times, 09/30/2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/30/arts/franco-moretti-stanford-literary-lab-big-data.html. Last access: 03/05/2018

[…] scholars need to consider the tens of thousands of books that have been forgotten, a task that computer algorithms and enormous digitized databases have now made possible.

In this 2017 interview to Franco Moretti, there is an interesting series of considerations, useful for this study. First of all, the literary criticism tends to emphasize the singularity of exceptional works that have stood the test of time, like the creation of a canon and its use, and also it considers the literature as a drastic evolution from a period (or an author) to another one.
What Data and computer analysis could do is to give us lab’s results that could unsettle established ideas of literary history.

Svensson, Patrick. Big Digital Humanities: Imagining a Meeting Place for the Humanities and the Digital. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 2016. http://dx.doi.org/10.3998/dh.13607060.0001.001. Last access: 03/05/2018

The bigness of big data in the humanities may refer to the number of perspectives inherent in the material and the richness of critical inflection rather than the sheer quantity of data. In addition, the digital humanities has also come to be seen as a site for challenging and renewing the humanities and academy.

Every definition and example, from Google Books to Stanford Lab, gave the opportunty to think to DH throught different points of view. And this article adds another word to this “DH vocabulary” debates: engagement, something that a professional figure finds on the social media insights and during a strategic work.
So, DHs and Big Data could be seen also as a strategic work where
 the digital humanities engages with the digital as a tool, as an object of inquiry, and as an expressive medium.

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