Exploratory Text Analysis for Philologists

Department WKT,Digitale Hermeneutik

Exploratory Text Analysis for Philologists

Termine: 11. und 12. Juli 2022 (Montag - Dienstag): jeweils von 14.00Uhr bis 18.30Uhr, via Zoom

Referent: Dr. Patrick Burns (Harvard University)

Where should historical-language researchers get started with computational analysis of the texts they work on? This is the focus of Patrick Burns' latest project “Exploratory Philology” and this two-day workshop will guide participants through a series of computer programming exercises designed to help them, building on the work of Nick Montfort and Marina Umaschi Bers among others, learn “how to think with computation” as philologists. Sample “exploratory” exercises including counting animal terms, searching for acrostics, generating random text, and creating cryptogram puzzles.

Two half-day sessions will give participants experience reading, modifying, and writing computer code (in Python and using the Classical Language Toolkit and CLTK Readers) to explore textual data for philological ends—Session 1: What is Exploratory Text Analysis? and Session 2:  Exploratory Text Analysis in Practice. The first session will guide participants through six text analysis experiments designed to introduce them to describing, searching, manipulating, and generating texts in Latin, Ancient Greek, Old English, and Middle High German. The second session will dive deeper into the design of corpus readers and how to use them in their own research projects. Participants are encouraged to bring sample texts from their own projects to learn how to build custom readers.

No prior installation is necessary to participate in the workshop. All experiments can be run, refactored, and rerun in a web browser like Firefox. That said, the final part of Session 2 will demonstrate how to get a minimal installation of the tools from the workshop running on a local machine (Mac/Windows); for participants who want to follow along with this part of the workshop, it will be helpful to have a code editor (e.g. Microsoft Visual Studio Code) already installed.

Anmeldung: via dh.wkt@uni-rostock.de, bis zum 7.7.2022.


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