I spent the day preparing Voyant Tools corpora for an in-class lab tomorrow. The following links lead to a chronological corpus of all 9 magazines currently offering TEI XML files in the MJPLab Sourceforge site. I also broke them down and offered individualized corpora by magazine to facilitate comparative analysis.
To make the datasets, I used a regular expression in TextWrangler to strip all the tags out of the XML files, and then used a command line script to batch rename them. The first attempt at the comprehensive corpus resulted in weird results on account of Voyant’s ordering the files alphabetically, so I manually renamed all 508 of them to place the publication date (yyyy-mm-dd) at the beginning of the naming convention to keep the representation of materials chronological. The individual magazine corpora are chronological on account of the volume and issue numbers having been part of the naming convention first used by Mark Gaipa.
MJP Corpora at Voyant Tools
It was just announced that the BBC is launching a digital archive of The Listener, its radio magazine that ran from 1929 to 1991.
The Listener not only published the BBC’s programming schedule and promoted upcoming radio content, but featured many writers from the Bloomsbury Set such as Virginia Woolf, E.M. Forster, and T.S. Eliot. It was also at the forefront of the popular science industry, explaining and promoting theories such as Einstein’s relativity, quantum mechanics, and wave-particle duality to a generally educated audience. The Listener, along with BBC pamphlets and other related ephemera, not to mention the BBC’s signal itself, had a wide reach into the European continent and had a broad impact on discourses in all areas of culture, both mainstream and avant-garde.
This resource will make it much easier to study the history and culture of the 1920s and 1930s, and beyond.
I’ve finally got a draft of my syllabus on France and Modernist Magazines. I thought the community would be interested to see it, and would appreciate any feedback or criticism.
Author, Genre, and Concept Network for Blast in the Modernist Journals Project
Using software that corporations use to understand organizations, we can establish relationships among magazines, contributors, literary genres, and concepts over time. In fact, we can involve a much more complex set of parameters for more meaningful mining of the data in ways that potentially open up even newer vistas within the field of modernist periodical studies. We should create a central database — my vote would be to locate it at the Modernist Journals Project (MJP) — on which modernism scholars can collaborate.
Social network analysis (SNA) software combines a variety of methods commonly used in digital humanities research, such as text mining, visualization, and modeling. Since modernist periodical studies has since its inception been driven by an archival need to restore information to our knowledge network, SNA software has the capability of synthesizing and analyzing the new information we find as we move forward in our research. Applications like ORA, which I have used to create visualizations in this post, run on spreadsheets that are easy to fill out. So the work of adding information to the archive would not be difficult or time consuming. Continue reading
In the Times today I saw a review of the new HBO series “Boardwalk Empire,” which takes place during Prohibition. It stars Steve Buscemi and a number of stellar actors, and had some advisement I believe from Martin Scorsese.
The show seems to pay an unprecedented attention to accuracy of historical detail, and some of the sources were magazines. The caption to one picture in the slide show reads: “Whenever possible, John A. Dunn, the show’s costume designer, used authentic clothing from the period, either rented or bought on eBay or in vintage clothing shops; otherwise the costumes were handmade to designs of the period. He rummaged through the collections at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Museum and studied old magazines catalogs and tailoring books.”
It also indicates that the soundtrack features music found in silent movie scores and old nickelodeons that hasn’t been heard for almost a century.
It would be interesting to know why the people on the production side were so interested in material culture sources for a show depicting such a symbolic period in American history (beyond the simple need for realism). I don’t have time at the moment, but I’m going to try and follow up with links to some interviews that might elucidate the creative processes behind this show. Makes me wish I had a subscription to HBO.