ThatCamp Jersey Shore: Engaging With Massive Humanities Datasets

The final panel of ThatCamp: Jersey Shore was run by Amanda French on engagement with massive humanities datasets. I’ve been tipping my toes into this field a bit recently, so I was eagerly awaiting this panel.

  • Franco Moretti’s very important Graphs, Maps, and Trees was discussed. Even with canon expansion, still only 10% of 19th century publications.
  • Digital humanities apply millions of pieces of data to Dickens instead of Foucault.
  • Moretti article Style Inc. looks at thousands of titles.
  • What does these large datasets do to applications like the Oxford English Dictionary? For example, the OED’s proclamation that OMG was first used in 1914.
  • Someone (Amanda?) wondered if these large datasets are leading to something like Borges’ Library of Babel.
  • Datasets more about questions than theory.

After ThatCamp was over, I headed out for lunch With Amanda, John Theibault, and Deb Gussman. A great end to an excellent conference.