Introduction to Text Analysis

Friday, April 15, 2022 12pm to 1pm

Instructor: Kaylen Dwyer, Digital Media Specialist, The Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities


Computational text analysis (also known as text mining) is the automated processing of large amounts of text for the purpose of finding, extracting, interpreting, and analyzing information. Scholars turn to computational methods when faced with collections of text larger than what humans could hope to read or analyze. In the humanities, computational text analysis is mainly used among literary and linguistic scholars, with growing popularity among historians. In these cases, computational approaches to studying text can help categorize and classify documents, reveal unexpected patterns, trace the history of particular features (such as words or phrases) over time, identify the main topics of a set of documents (topic modeling), analyze sentiments, and visualize complex models. In short, “the literary scholar hopes to be surprised by the computer scientist” (Sculley and Pasanek, “Meaning and mining: The impact of implicit assumptions in data mining for the humanities,” 2008). 


This workshop will give an introduction to computational text analysis concepts, current research in the field, what it’s good for (and not), and resources for getting started. 


No prior knowledge of programming is needed. 


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