Wednesday, June 8, 2016

#NEHBlackSpace – Space & Place in Africana/Black Studies

By Kenton Rambsy

This week, I have the privilege to serve as institute faculty at the NEH funded “Space & Place in Africana/Black Studies” summer institute co-directed by Professors Kim Gallon (Purdue University) and Angel David Nieves (Hamilton College).

The institute brings together twenty early and mid-career Africana/Black Studies scholars, graduate students, librarians and archivists as a means of “bringing Africana/Black Studies scholars into the fold of digital humanities through the critical nexus of race and space. The Institute also prepares participants to view Black Digital Humanities as a way to challenge and transform discourse and activities across the humanities.”

My presentation addresses how geography can facilitate engagements with African American literature and digital humanities. Specifically, I focus on aspects of cultural geo-tagging (similar to my work on writer Edward P. Jones) as I explore 10 short stories by Zora Neale Hurston and Richard Wright and explain how quantitative data can assist in identifying a variety of stylistic features of the South and southern literature.

Below, I have provided links to brief posts that explain how utilizing text mining software helps to illuminate the significance of geography and the predictive function of core texts by Hurston, Wright, and other select black writers.

Useful Posts:
Some Free Digital Software Programs and tools
Voyant Tools Brief Overview
Voyant Tools General Features
Voyant Tools Ratios and Language Density
Stop Words and AAVE
Voyant Tools: Data Visualizations
Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, and Text-Mining Experiments
How short and long are African American short stories?
Zora Neale Hurston & Richard Wright Similarities (In Graphs)
Zora Neale Hurston & Richard Wright Differences (In Graphs) 

African American Language and Culture Lab

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