4Humanities@UCSB’s activities for Winter quarter 2014 start with a meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 18th, 3:30-5:00 (South Hall 2509) focused on starting work on the 4Humanities@UCSB “WhatEvery1Says” text-harvesting and topic modeling project. The mission of the project is corpora-scale digital text analysis of public discourse about the humanities. We want to look for things we don’t already know about how segments of the public discuss the humanities, where they agree, where they don’t, and what narratives or topics underlie the “obvious” ones that everyone is talking about (e.g., the imputed “decline” of humanities majors, the fraught relation between humanities disciplines and jobs in the marketplace, etc.). (See the notes from the last 4Humanities@UCSB meeting in the Fall for a briefing on this project:).
4Humanities welcomes people who can help brainstorm the research for this project, or would just like to come and find out more about the methods involved. Most needed are ideas, and possibly (from some) relatively discreet, delegated tasks–all on a relaxed, no-hurry timeline. Due to the fact that everyone is busy with their regular faculty, student, or staff lives, WhatEvery1Says is an “on the side, once in a while” project. But it’s a research project that is well worth doing, and should also pay off in spreading in our UCSB community some of the methodologies needed to do this kind of research.