“Practice and Theory of ‘Distant Reading’: An Introductory Workshop on Digital Humanities Methods.” Experimental Humanities program, Bard College. 7 November 2014.

  • Web site for workshop with detailed agenda and resources.
  • Abstract: In this hands-on workshop and discussion, Alan Liu will introduce some commonly used analytical tools in the digital humanities—e.g.,
    • Google Books Ngram viewer & the Bookworm tool for exploring Hathi Trust texts;
    • Voyeur Tools, AntConc, and similar text-analysis tools;
    • Topic modeling tools;
    • Social network analysis tools;
    • Visualization tools.

    Participants will then try their hand at one or more tools, aiming not for mastery or even competence but just to capture an interesting “souvenir,” e.g., a screenshot. (For the purposes of the workshop, even failed attempts can produce an interesting souvenir.)

    Alan Liu will then lead a broader discussion based on the souvenirs about the opportunities and limitations of digital humanities methods. The largest question that the workshop will open to view is: how do digital humanities methods signal today’s changing ideas about the human world?