Text analysis and the digital humanities

Huco 500 – Weekly questions

Should the mission of electronic text preservation, as described by Rockwell and Lancashire, be a national project?  Should such a service be bounded by national divisions, or should it rather attempt to transcend boundaries?  If cultural heritage is key, what about “global” culture— what about electronic resources that are not specifically “Canadian” or “American” or “British”, but that represent a cultural group that does not neatly fit within a single country’s borders?  If these e-texts are preserved for future generations, it is important to frame them in the proper context.  Who decides what that is?

Whereas play thrives on improvization and imagination, formal approaches to text analysis thrive on formulaic methods that can be reliably repeated. (Sinclair)

How could we apply an improvisational (“play”) approach to text-analysis?  What tools would we use (e.g. game-play, interactive visual interfaces)?  What would be the benefit(s) of such an approach?


Rockwell, Geoffrey and Ian Lancashire. “What is Text Analysis?” (date? early/mid-90’s). | Last accessed 8 October 2009.

Sinclair, Stéfan. “Computer-Assisted Reading: Reconceiving Text Analysis.” Literary and Linguistic Computing. 18:2, 2003.

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