Creative Commons licensed photograph, "Underwood," by Flickr user Canned Muffins

Lab #9

Computational Reading II

Fieldbook Prompt

As we did for Lab #8, I encourage you to experiment with this code in a new RMD file. Copy, paste, adapt, run, revise, run again. Can you import a different genre of literature from Project Gutenberg, for instance, and analyze it in the ways we did for science fiction? See the project’s bookshelves to figure out what you would substitute in the code to do this. Can you experiment with the paramenters of the code in other places: look at a different sentiment, for instance, or change the number of topics in your topic model? Ultimately, your fieldbook should think through the potential (and potential pitfalls) of these sorts of computational text analysis. What new possibilities do methods such as sentiment analysis or topic modeling open, and what aspects of the texts they are used to study are obscured by such methods? Finally, what other patterns might you be interested in tracing across a large collection of books? For this last question, don’t worry about whether you know how to code such an analysis—instead, focus on what you would want to do if you had the requisite familiarity with programming.