The Dangerous Art of Text Mining: A Methodology for Digital History

The Dangerous Art of Text Mining

A Methodology for Digital History
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Date of Publication:
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Product details:

No. of pages:436 pages
Size:230x150x20 mm
Weight:720 g
Short description:

Shows how text mining - the art of counting words over time - spurs insights into politics, culture, and historical change.

Long description:
The Dangerous Art of Text Mining celebrates the bold new research now possible because of text mining: the art of counting words over time. However, this book also presents a warning: without help from the humanities, data science can distort the past and lead to perilous errors. The book opens with a rogue's gallery of errors, then tours the ground-breaking analyses that have resulted from collaborations between humanists and data scientists. Jo Guldi explores how text mining can give a glimpse of the changing history of the past - for example, how quickly Americans forgot the history of slavery. Textual data can even prove who was responsible in Congress for silencing environmentalism over recent decades. The book ends with an impassioned vision of what text mining in defence of democracy would look like, and why humanists need to be involved.
Table of Contents:
Introduction; Part I. A Ropes Course for Exploring the Territory: 1. Why textual data from the past is dangerous; 2. From fantasy to engagement; 3. Words are keys and words are barriers; 4. Critical search, a theory; 5. To predict or to describe?; Part II. The Many Windows of the House of the Past: 6. The many windows of the house of the past; 7. Of memory; 8. The distinctiveness of certain eras; 9. The measure of influence; 10. Of rock and fire; 11. Whither modernity; 12. What computers can explain and when to stop: a case study in the political history of climate change; Part III. Critical Thinking with Data Makes Stronger Disciplines: 13. A world map of culture, purged of bias; 14. The future of the art.