I presented it first at the Canadian Society for Renaissance Studies (CSRS) conference at Congress 2015, and a revised version a few weeks later at the 2015 Shakespearean Theatre Conference in Stratford, Ontario.
My subject is “Augmented Criticism and Rhetorical Figures.” If that sounds highly technical, let me assure you that Adam and I are literary critics first and digital humanists second. That is, we use computers only to augment traditional research inquities, that are rooted in philology.
Here, for instance, our inquiry is into rhetorical figures, or the patterns of repetition and variation that make poetic language memorable, compelling, and beautiful.
One of my favorite podcasts, Mac Power Users, has just released a stand-alone show on DEVONthink, the information-management system for Mac that I’ve used for the past five years or so. If you’ve heard of Evernote, which is the system that MPU’s hosts Katie and David frequently talk about, then you know what DEVONthink is.
This paper explores literary complexity as it manifests in rhetorical figures, or the patterns of repetition and variation that make language beautiful and memorable, and thus make it powerful. Figures have the advantage of being computationally tractable. My research team has a Python script that uses regular expressions to detect them — first in Shakespeare’s works, and then in a 400-play corpus (supplied by Martin Mueller) from 1576 to 1642. Below, I compare Shakespeare’s use of one figure to these broader habits of usage. I conclude that while Shakespeare’s use appears to be more nuanced, it is also more narrow in its ambitions.
A CFP for RSA 2016, 31 March – 2 April, Boston MA
Since 2001, the Renaissance Society of America annual meetings have featured panels on the applications of new technology in scholarly research, publishing, and teaching sponsored by Iter. Panels at the 2016 meeting (31 March – 2 April, Boston) will continue to explore new and emerging projects and methodologies — this year also featuring virtual presentations and interactions at and in advance of the conference in Boston, in partnership with Iter Community.
We welcome proposals for papers, panels, and or poster / demonstration / workshop presentations on new technologies and their impact on research, teaching, publishing, and beyond, in the context of Renaissance Studies. Examples of the many areas considered by members of our community can be found in the list of papers presented at the RSA since 2001 and in those papers published thus far under the heading of New Technologies and Renaissance Studies.
The Renaissance Society of America and the Text Creation Partnership (TCP) jointly offer a $600 article prize for scholarly uses of the range and depth of digitized Renaissance materials. The purpose of the prize is to encourage and reward scholarship that expressly emerges from the scholar’s use of databases or digitized research objects.
I’m spending the day at this conference, chairing a panel on collaborative networks, video games for police training, and visualizations of a science fiction collection here at the University of Calgary. Earlier today, I captured this gallery of notes on considerations and themes when prototyping or launching digital research centres and visualization studios.
Capitalizing on Big Data: Toward a Policy Framework for Advancing Digital Scholarship in Canada
I spent today in an Ottawa conference room talking about data management plans for Canada’s digital scholars. It was hosted by the main federal granting agencies (SSHRC, NSERC, CIHR, and the CFI), collectively known as the TC3+. The TC3+ recently reported on the future of research data, including data stewardship and funding guidelines. Today’s conversation was based on that report, and on its 58 responses from universities, organizations, and individual researchers.