Saturday, December 31, 2022

5 Ways the Literary Data Gallery Engages African American Literary Studies

The Literary Data Gallery (LDG) uses data and visualizations to address ongoing concerns in African American literary studies. Below, we have identified five concerns we try to address: 

1. The large, growing numbers of publicly available data visualizations rarely concentrate on African American literature and literary studies. The LDG privileges compositions related to Black authors, novels, and scholarship on literary art. 

The LDG contains over two dozen visualizations related to Black novels, novelists, and literary critics. 

 2. Scholarly projects often present information using narratives (i.e. articles and book chapters). The LDG, however, makes use of scrollytelling to displaying data and findings concerning African American novels and novelists. 

This visualization uses the scrollytelling feature to classify various elements among 25 of the most frequently discussed African American novels.

3. Articles and book chapters on African American literature often concentrate on one or two novels or novelists at a time. Conversely, the LDG offers an extensive resource of visualizations that account for dozens of African American novels and novelists.

This visualization identifies 300-plus articles on the six most frequently featured authors in African American Review.

4. Standard, linear bibliographies are longstanding methods for charting sources in African American literary studies. The LDG, however, presents bibliographic information in multiple, sometimes shifting formats and thus creates numerous ways for viewing sources. 

This visualization highlights more than 700 articles, published since 1973, focusing on Toni Morrison.

5. The scholarly discourse on African American novels usually privileges narratives and qualitative assessments. The LDG, though, highlights and foregrounds quantitative information about literary art. 

This visualization tracks every character in Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon by chapter.


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