The Bengal Annual: A Digital Exploration of Non-Canonical British Romantic LiteratureMain MenuAbout the ProjectAn introduction to the project and tools usedGallery of Bengal Annual PagesSelect pages and engravings from The Bengal AnnualFoundational ConceptsBig 6 concepts, Brown Romantics, Orientalism, and Literary AnnualsLiterary AnalysesClose readings of The Bengal Annual and related textsMetrics and Computational ApproachesLooking at The Bengal Annual as DataOur Process and Research ChallengesReflections by participants from Spring 2019Dan Jerome Dirilo5676d58b096c4af6914df4906f99f9fbd1ca5ecbMarisa Plumb21ba4448d26d1c7d243736384410ccb17645b1daKatherine D. Harris2c76f88c9129ca83bd2527cf3ebf553d234db255Keith Gilesdc71521d370db9b470178aa51e4d5b5a14bad314Taylor-Dawn Francis5b1815c93680212e9e5fc883affa153dfce462a3Samantha Douglas3ce20df51e66c28206c668fb9f7e6cc0c3b90b83http://www.sjsu.edu/english
A possible computational approach to analyzing The Bengal Annual for 1830 might be driven by machine learning algorithms that generate word vectors to represent word meanings. My research question is: how might word vectors facilitate a comparison of canonical and non-canonical literature, or a comparison of how concepts important to Romanticism evolved in the nineteenth century?
To take a step back, word embeddings are high-dimensional vectors of real numbers that map tao a lower-dimension vector space. They are based on the “distributional hypothesis,” which states that “difference of meaning correlates with difference of distribution.” concept that word meanings are generated by the contexts in which they are used, and are often employed to perform machine translation or measure word similarity. Their usefulness is dependent on the breadth and domain-relevance of the larger corpus they are trained on. In order to examine how ideas that we typically associate with Romanticism are represented in non-canonical Romantic prose and poetry (and how well those ideas map to wider word associations of the period) I am in the early stages of cleaning and annotating the text of the annual. This will help me experiment with different text analysis algorithms that explore concepts in the annual and differences in author vocabularies. Works under investigation might also include The Oriental Annual, as well as other texts from our course that fall outside the traditional canon of Romantic Literature, such as The Woman of Colour: A Tale.
The close readings of the themes represented in the annual’s poetry and prose are a baseline for understanding differences between the annual’s contents, and the contents of classic Romantic texts like Lyrical Ballads. Concepts like beauty, Orientalism, and gender become more contextual when we formally locate them according to 1) an author's perspective and 2) an author's space and place.
“Spaces of Meaning: Vector Semantics, Conceptual History, and Close Reading” Michael Gavin, Collin Jennings, Lauren Kersey, and Brad Pasanek Debates in Digital Humanities "The Geometry of Culture: Analyzing Meaning through Word Embeddings" Austin C. Kozlowski, Matt Taddy, James A. Evans University of Chicago and Amazon "Diachronic Word Embeddings Reveal Statistical Laws of Semantic Change" William L. Hamilton, Jure Leskovec, Dan Jurafsky Department of Computer Science, Stanford University