2017-10-01 – 2020-09-30
Lead Principal Investigator:
The "WhatEvery1Says" project (WE1S), with core collaborators at UC Santa Barbara, California State University, Northridge, and the University of Miami, studies public discourse on the humanities using digital-humanities methods. At its pilot-study scale, WE1S is now using topic modeling to study a small number of high-value journalistic sources in order to explore the following initial research hypotheses: 1) That articles containing the literal phrases "humanities," "liberal arts," and "the arts" are likely places to look for focused discussion of the humanities and socially broad discussion of the humanities; 2) That the crossing point between such focused and broader views can help us understand the "architecture" of the "complex idea" of the humanities; 3) That there is a canon of themes, narratives, examples, metaphors, and evidence types used by journalists, educators, politicians, parents, students, and others to weigh public or personal decisions about the humanities; 4) That there may be other commonly used themes, narratives, examples, metaphors, and evidence types whose role in public discourse on the humanities is unrecognized or underweighted; 5) That there are differences in the way the humanities are discussed across different media sources, nations, and time. WE1S aims to serve three overlapping audiences in the following ways: * For the public, WE1S will provide research-based recommendations and examples of fresh themes, narratives, metaphors, example evidence, and value statements about the humanities, together with curated links to readings in the original journalistic material. These resources will be publicized to help guide discussion of the humanities by journalists, politicians, business people, university administrators, parents, and students. * For humanities scholars, WE1S will provide articles, white papers, open metadata, interpreted results, and reproducible research workflows and tools for study in such areas as: university studies; the idea and value of the humanities; the history of the humanities; and "global" or comparative humanities. More broadly, the project will provide methods and tools for humanities researchers studying the role of other complex ideas in societies both past and present. * For digital humanities scholars, WE1S will contribute a currently much needed paradigm (supported by methods and tools to be used "as is" or adapted) for open, shareable, and reproducible data analysis and interpretation.