Digital Humanities + Applied Linguistics Lab


About Digital Humanities + Applied Linguistics

The digital humanities has expanded in recent years from mostly text-based analysis to digital mapping and the study of large corpora and datasets. Yet these various parts of the digital humanities do not always speak to each other well, in part because scholars who do textual analysis are not in conversation with scholars who do network analysis or digital mapping. We propose a community of scholars on the University of Memphis campus to explore new methods in the digital humanities, or computational responses to traditional humanistic questions, especially in relation to multivariate and complex datasets, or incomplete datasets, which are common in fields such as history, literature, social sciences, and the study of languages.

Humanistic disciplines, like literary studies and history, in their own ways, attempt to connect texts to people. Yet the computational study of texts has mostly occurred in isolation from the study of historical or contemporary networks or groups of people. Advances in digital technology—notably geocoding, textual analysis software, and large databases—have made the analysis of large corpora or large networks more accessible to scholars in the humanities. Yet large-scale analysis of corpora and networks tend to occur in isolation. Can we find new methods for relating the results of network analysis and textual studies? Can we incorporate time and spatial relationships into our study of networks? Can we relate insights about textual patterns into our study of people? If so, how? These are the questions that we will ask in the first meetings of our research community.