Author Archives: Travis Bartley

NYCDH Week – Travis

For NYCDH Week, I went to a workshop on literary cluster analysis at NYU. Never having an opportunity to do cluster visualizations with literary texts (I only have had the opportunity to experiment with some language data from undergrad), I was rather interested in some of the projects that the workshop surveyed. Some particular standouts were: stylistic similarities between Fielding’s parodies and Richardson’s novels, language preferences across ghost writers in children’s literature, and deviations from style when James switched to dictating his novels. My curiosity was also piqued when we discussed analytic techniques to compare topic preferences of two groups against each other, as there seems an interesting possibility to incorporate the technique into the Newbery project as a stretch goal. I’m interested in seeing how topic preferences vary between those novels that feature diverse characters and those that trend towards white only characters. While we will likely not have the time to gather data from every nominee under discussion, I’m wondering if we can find the time to take a look at simply the summaries provided by the Newbery group for award winners.

Another point that came up to me upon reflection is the question of proprietary software in project design. Strangely, while the workshop presented a host of open source tools that could be used, we only practiced with proprietary software (IBM origin to be specific). While the results were fun to produce, I couldn’t get a bad taste out of my mouth regarding a need to learn these techniques all over again through a different platform for those participants that lacked reliable access. As well, I kept reflecting on how ugly some of the platforms we were using presented themselves as- in spite of their proprietary nature. It appeared as though we were working in a sphere where industry dominance leads to an immediate disregard for intuitability and design, despite such aspects being the ideal selling point over open source alternatives.

Skillset Post – Travis

Hello everyone! As I’m used to doing most of my digital work solo, I’m a tad unfamiliar with the appropriate categories to parcel my skillset out into. So forgive me if this comes off scattered.

Technical/Developer: Thanks to an awkward few months of employment anxiety, I possess programming knowledge of Python, R, Java, Lisp, and (at a surface level) SQL. (Also knowledge of BASIC if people still use that…) I also have working familiarity with HTML, CSS, and general principles of web design. Regarding theoretical knowledge, my background is in Computational Linguistics and I’m fairly comfortable with using text analysis models. In the past, I’ve designed web-sites for coursework and managed a blog for an online supplements company. As well, I implemented a command line tool in Python for grapheme-to-phoneme conversion for Korean texts. As much of my technical background has been acquired piecemeal, I would prefer to work in a developer role to help sand out the rough edges and help me become more comfortable in technical implementations.

Project Manager: The past year I was an editorial assistant for the 2019 edition of Debates in the Digital Humanities and Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities, during which I was responsible for tracking and managing the multiple edits going between contributors and the publisher’s copy-editors while ensuring adherence to established time frames. From that I learned to be comfortable managing the multiple parts involved in a project and how to keep accurate accounting of project advancement.

Design: The only asset I really provide in terms of a designer role is that I’m fairly knowledgeable about ARIA rules and their enforcement for accessible web-design and about the use of open-source formatting to ensure a more broad user experience. I would like to try and learn more about design philosophies through this role.

Outreach Coordinator: I have a background in sales and outreach thanks to multiple hats I’ve worn over the years and know how to manage public engagement. However, to be perfectly frank, I’ve always disliked this role and would not really enjoy working in this capacity more than necessary.