Team Assignments

As discussed yesterday in class, we are going to split up into new teams to begin working on our final web project.

Both teams will contribute two things to the final project:

  • A webpage that contains an introduction to the question, a step-by-step section discussing different methods you tried to answer the question, and a summary of findings and questions for future research.
  • At least one non-narrative visualization illustrating some of the team’s findings.
  • A brief, traditional historical essay that answers the team’s question using a close reading of the available sources. These will be combined together on one page separate from the digital methods reports.

Your team should not only try the methods identified below to answer the question, but also reflect and report on whether these methods actually help us answer the question posed. You should also not take for granted that the corpora we have are already suitably prepared for the methods you want to try; your team may need to think through how to turn the transcriptions and metadata we’ve collected into datasets that are actually susceptible to the kinds of analysis you want to try.

Team 1

Alyssa and Daniel


How similar were Texas ads to ads from the nearby states of Mississippi and Arkansas?


Use text mining methods, such as word trends (in Voyant), TF-IDF, and topic modeling, to compare corpora from Texas, Mississippi and Arkansas.

Team 2

Aaron, Clare, and Kaitlyn


Judging from runaway ads, how were Texas, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana connected geographically in the antebellum period?


Use Named Entity Recognition to extract place names from the ad corpora and then try different methods (place count tables and graphs, Google maps, network graphs) to visualize how often places from one state were mentioned in another state’s ads.

Deadlines for Progress Reports

All progress reports from here on out will be due before class begins.

  • March 31: Report should include schedule for team’s tasks and work and initial delegation of tasks among team members
  • April 7: Report should include a draft of the "close reading" essay required for the final project, as well as update on other tasks
  • April 14 and 21: Report on progress toward final webpage

Got questions? Leave comments!

Comments are closed.