Author Archives: juliaturner

Final Project Proposal: Female Poetic Language vs. Male Poetic Language

As indicated in my final project brainstorm, I will proceed with the difference in language use by women and men analysis. Using Voyant, I will textually analyze 20-25 poems of 10-12 female poets and 10-12 male poets (all from the 20th or 21st century), and then compare the statistical results. My hypothesis is that the occurrence of object and action words will be more prevalent in male poets work while female poets will have more “social process” words, or words reflecting emotions and concepts.

My initial list of poets is as follows:
Lucille Clifton
Anne Sexton
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Elizabeth Bishop
Audre Lorde
Marianne Moore
Mina Loy
Adrienne Rich
Sylvia Plath
Rita Dove
Gwendolyn Brooks
Ezra Pound
T.S. Eliot
Wallace Stephens
Robert Frost
e.e. Cummings
Langston Hughes
Stanley Kunitz
Allen Ginsberg
Amiri Baraka
Robert Hayden
Robert Lowell

Final Project Ideas

Originally I was considering the idea I mentioned in my last reflection, about using Jigsaw on a letter or diary based text; however, I have since moved on to an idea that I could use for both this final project and to help with a thesis paper I’ve been working on this semester.

I have been researching spoken word poetry, and specifically, women spoken word artists, over the course of the semester. Recently, when I was doing some research on gender studies and how men and women use speech, I found a study out of the University of Texas that showed that men and women not only use different words, they use them for different reasons. I spoke to my thesis adviser about this idea, and it was his suggestion to use some of the text analysis tools/visualizations we’ve used in this class to represent this difference–or disprove it–in female and male poets from the 20th century. I like this idea because it gives me a clear objective with the project (and the bonus of a contribution to my thesis, which is lagging a little behind..yikes…), and because I’m truly intrigued to see what I will find.

I wish there were a tool I could use to do the same sort of thing, but with the videos of slam performances. That could be truly interesting data. Perhaps I can include it in the project, a sort of add-on tool… We’ll see.

Assignment 4: Voyant

I’m having a lot of trouble getting beyond a superficial understanding of the collection of stories. If you use the summary tool, you can get an idea of what each story is about. For instance, the top words from a Scandal in Bohemia are photograph, king, majesty, Adler, and Irene. If you click on a story, you can perhaps get an even better idea by using the Words in Documents, Keywords in Context, and Word Trends tools together.

So, I’m definitely understanding these tools as ways to practice computer assisted reading—if I’m understanding it correctly as a way to more efficiently scan a document, but focusing on its keywords.

But, I have not been successful in making any headway in this “screwing around” methodology. There are perhaps several reasons. First and foremost, I don’t think I understand the tools and how to use them effectively. Mostly what keeps coming to my mind is, I don’t know what I’m looking for… which I realize is exactly the point of Ramsay’s essay, so I guess I don’t fully buy into his idea.

I suppose, to some degree I’m “looking for” an interesting image that makes me ask a significant question, or leads me to some kind of conclusion that brings some kind of significance to what I’m doing. But I haven’t seen anything yet, except the summarization quality of the tool, which allows me to get an idea of what the stories are about.

I thought that, perhaps, one of the more visual tools would be more engaging, so I tried both the knots tool and the collocate clusters tool. I found both these tools to be less than helpful in my understanding of the texts. When I tried to click on the various segments of the knots, the screen would reload, and the lines would draw themselves over and over again. With the collocate clusters, I liked that I could visually see what was apparent from the summary tool, but it didn’t deepen my understanding any.

In summary, I will be the first to admit that I have been hindered by a lack of interfacing skill in my ability to arrive at any conclusions from screwing around on Voyant; however, as I was screwing around, I couldn’t help but think that if I had something specific for which I was looking for support, I could definitely use these tools to help me find it.

Peter Walsh Character Analysis

Peter Walsh is an old acquaintance from Clarissa’s past. They were somewhat romantically involved when they were younger, but she turned him down when he asked her to marry him. After her refusal, he left for India and does not return until the day in which the novel is set.

Walsh is an intellectual. He is “bookish” (152) and “had been a Socialist” when he was in school (49). His interests lie in “the state of the world” rather than pragmatic concerns in every day life. Essentially, he is more inclined toward ideas than to observations of life; as Clarissa puts it, “He would put on spectacles, if she told him to” (7), but otherwise he does not live in the moment as she does.

More so than living life, Walsh feels it. He acts impulsively and with great passion, but he rarely follows through with his ambitions. When he does carry through one of his capricious acts, he ends up in a situation that he would prefer not to be in. Take, as examples, his quick marriage to a girl he met on the boat to India, his current love affair with a married woman, and his sudden stalking of the girl described on pages 52 and 53. His lack of follow-through is seen as a character flaw by other characters, such as Hugh Whitbread and Richard Dalloway. They see him as a failure, and though they will try to help him find work, they know they won’t be successful at finding him something, as Whitbread puts it, “permanent, because of his character” (105).

“…his lack of the ghost of a notion what anyone else was feeling…” (45) is a part of his personality that annoys Clarissa. He is incapable of seeing what people are feeling to the point that he cannot even admit to himself what his real feelings are. Instead he attempts to convince himself of what he’s feeling. For instance, his trying to convince himself he is not still in love with Clarissa.

A final trait I think is important in Walsh’s character is his dependency on people. He particularly enjoys the presence of women (152), though this quality has contributed to his problems with them. Walsh does admit this trait to himself, and it is part of the reason he goes to the party at the end of the novel, the other part being to see Clarissa.

Assignment 2: Julia Turner

Looking back over the myriad definitions we’ve read for digital humanities, I think the one that has made the most sense to me, in the most succinct form, was the one from Kathleen Fitzpatrick that Chris Forster repeated on his post. I also appreciate the way Forster portions off the discipline in his four rings, even if by sectioning it off this way, some nuances of the field are left uncovered.

With the digital humanities, I think there is an obvious advantage and equally obvious pitfall associated. For the benefits, or possibilities, being able to analyze humanities objects of study through digital tools not previously available will allow scholars to gain new insights, open new areas of inquiry, lead to discoveries that were not conceivable without these tools. The pitfall, which is the same pitfall, I think, that besets any technological advancement, is that it is very easy to become ensnared by what the tools do without reaching real or original conclusions.

With that said, however, I’m all for digital humanities work. I think the opportunities they afford are very exciting, especially the first two rings that Forster mentions—new methodologies and new media. The Orlando Project, for example, is a project that strikes close to my interests, and it opens to me female writers I may never find in any anthology or classroom. In a scholarly approach to considering the project, I think it could be interesting to investigate where these writers are distinct from their male counterparts. Another area of digital humanities—which may actually be less a part of the discipline than as tangential to it—is media/internet studies. I just think it is interesting to explore how the internet and new types of communication available through new media have altered our society and societal conceptions.
On a final note, I went back and read the ideology vs. methodology link that Forster has in his post, and the idea of the fluctuation from methodology in the late 19th & early 20th centuries to ideology during the 20th back, I suppose, to methodology now is a nice way of thinking of that debate. It also directs me to think that my previously mentioned pitfall is perhaps not so much that as a growing pain—right now, it seems, there are so many new methodologies available, maybe scholars do need to get caught up in them… and the new ‘isms’ will follow later.

Assignment 1: Introduction

Name: Julia Allen Turner

Major: STaC

Minors: Spanish & INTA

Year: 4th, graduating in May

I am originally from LaGrange, GA, and I have 3 sisters, one of whom also went to Tech. On campus, I am involved with Erato, Women’s Awareness Month, CHEFS, and the Triathlon Club. I’m also a G.I.T. FIT instructor for cycling and yoga.

When I graduate, I want to pursue a career in publishing, but I try to think about graduation only as necessary. I love traveling and chocolate, and I hope one day to be the owner of a Newfoundland dog.