Introduction to Digital Humanities

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


Telcons ‘Textplot’ Memcons – Stacked Bar Graph

This week’s readings were fairly difficult, but as with all the other readings, they expanded our knowledge about Digital Humanities.

In “Humanities Approaches to Graphical Display,” Johanna Drucker compares “data” with “capta,” as touched on by several other blog posts. She says that data can be seen as a “given” while capta is “taken and constructed.” It seems that capta is used to create the visuals, though you first need data.

Kaufman’s piece was actually my favorite. On the “Quantifying Kissinger” page, she describes the proejct in which the researchers analyze historical records of the Kissinger collection in the Digital National Security Archive (DNSA). I loved the visualizations page, which pieced together “1300 most frequent words in each corpus.” Their work reminded me of what we did in class with Voyant, where we also found words that appeared often and used a visual to further understand them.

Digital Humanities is still a confusing concept but I felt like the readings this week explained more about its potential and what you can do with it.


  1. Andrew J. Rocha

    October 22, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    I think one of the things that I find most interesting about your post is that you were able to connect the readings with the Voyant project we did in class. I think that helps with the understanding of the readings – it’s not as abstract. And yeah, Digital Humanities is still a tricky concept, but I think we’ve all come a long way and understand it a bit more.

  2. I also enjoyed the Kissinger piece and how it tied in to our work earlier on in the semester with distant reading, and I think it would have been very useful to have these readings closer to our work with Voyant so that we could better see and understand practical applications. The visualizations you chose are also very catching, and are interesting ways to look at the data/capta as described by Drucker.

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