Introduction to Digital Humanities

RELI/ENGL 39, Fall 2015, University of the Pacific

Voyant-Challenged

Let me start off by saying that I am not a very technology-savvy. When I first opened voyant, I was overwhelmed by the layout, graphs, and tools. After a few tutorials and watching Dr. S, I somewhat got the hang of it and realized that it is a very unique and interesting tool. I have never heard of it before and I have mixed feelings on its usefulness.

I decided to upload the test corpus into voyant at home since I had already tried the other two in class.  I wanted to see if I could figure out what the text was about by using voyant. After eliminating stop words from the word cloud, I was left with unique words such as “God”, “judge” “Christ” “Habib” “tyrant” and “governor” . By these highly used words alone, I was able to gather that this is some sort of religious text, or at least involves religion in some way. The word “tyrant” is is more of a dated word so I can assume that this is an older text.

However, one of my issues with voyant is that, for example, just because “tyrant” is a dated word, it doesn’t mean that the text is dated. The word could be used in a different context or have a totally different meaning all together and there wouldn’t be a way that I would know just by looking at statistics.

All and all, voyant is interesting tool for the advanced, but it can not go into the depth of a text and break it down that far.

 

–Jillian S.

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3 Comments

  1. I like how you convey the Voyant’s ease of use by letting the reader know that you are “not very technology-savvy”.

  2. As someone who is technically challenged, I was wondering in what ways you think that this program could be simplified to be more user friendly for beginners?

  3. I agree, like there are many difficult and challenging tools in the Voyant program. Making it difficult for beginners.

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