Author Archives: Michael Witmore

Latour, the Digital Humanities, and the Divided Kingdom of Knowledge

  Published last week, “Latour, the Digital Humanities, and the Divided Kingdom of Knowledge” is an article developed from the Recomposing the Humanities Conference sponsored by New Literary History at the University of Virginia in September of 2015. Supplemental digital media for the article can be found here. Abstract: Talk about the humanities today tends to […]

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Supplemental Media for “Latour, the Digital Humanities, and the Divided Kingdom of Knowledge”

The data and texts found in this post serve as a companion to my article, “Latour, the Digital Humanities, and the Divided Kingdom of Knowledge” which appears in a special issue of New Literary History, 2016, 47:353-375. The analysis presented in the article is based on a set of texts that were tagged (features were counted) using a […]

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Auerbach Was Right: A Computational Study of the Odyssey and the Gospels

In the “Fortunata” chapter of his landmark study, Mimesis: The Representation of Reality, Eric Auerbach contrasts two representations of reality, one found in the New Testament Gospels, the other in texts by Homer and a few other classical writers. As with much of Auerbach’s writing, the sweep of his generalizations is broad. Long excerpts are chosen from […]

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Finding “Distances” Between Shakespeare’s Plays 2: Projecting Distances onto New Bases with PCA

It’s hard to conceive of distance measured in anything other than a straight line. The biplot below, for example, shows the scores of Shakespeare’s plays on the two Docuscope LATs discussed in the previous post, FirstPerson and AbstractConcepts: Plotting the items in two dimensions gives the viewer some general sense of the shape of the data. “There are more items […]

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Finding “Distances” Between Shakespeare’s Plays 1

In honor of the latest meeting of our NEH sponsored Folger workshop, Early Modern Digital Agendas, I wanted to start a series of posts about how we find “distances” between texts in quantitative terms, and about what those distances might mean. Why would I argue that two texts are “closer” to one another than they are to a […]

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