• Visualization Tools for Interdisciplinary Scholarship

    Various types of visualization tools for conceptualizing relationships between different types of media seem particularly hot in the DH community right now, and I’d like to explore the possibilities of these tools further. I’m a PhD student in English currently working on an interdisciplinary dissertation that focuses on connections between early photography and Victorian poetry, and thus my interest is primarily orientated towards networks between art and literature, although this topic could also be productively extended to involve other media (like sound or music, as Eric discusses in an earlier blog post).

    I know that text analysis search interfaces like Voyant Tools and Word Seer can help me execute complex queries that would enable me to analyze the linguistic and rhetorical structures surrounding my search terms within selected databases (and thereby address the literary side of my project). Likewise, data visualization software like ImagePlot can enable me to explore patterns in large collections of images. I’m not sure how to use these tools to their full potential in my research, however, and I’d like to discuss how best to employ these devices in a practical sense. As my research focuses on intersections between literary and visual texts, I’m personally interested in investigating ways to combine these two areas of inquiry productively using existing online tools. (As I mention above, however, this session would certainly be relevant to other types of media.) The potential of these tools for expanding scholarship beyond disciplinary boundaries has not yet been fully utilized, and I’d like to expand the discussion to consider how existing tools might be enhanced to better address the needs of interdisciplinary (and inter-media) research and scholarship.

    In a more theoretical sense, I’d be interested talking about how to use tools like these as jumping-off points to complex academic arguments about the relationships they represent. How can the use of dynamic interdisciplinary DH applications be integrated within the traditional boundaries of the traditional static article, dissertation, or book?

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