Close-Reading the Endnotes for Word-Frequency Signposts & Polyvocal Citations

paper, specified "short paper"
  1. 1. Sean A. Yeager

    Ohio State University

Work text
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This paper describes a machine-assisted bibliographic analysis of the intertextual networks which are housed in an academic text's endnotes. My method is a three step process: first, run a word-count algorithm over the endnotes; next, identify patterns by subjectively grouping high-frequency words into loose clusters; finally, use these high-frequency signposts to perform a symptomatic close-reading of the endnotes. This project falls under Alison Booth's paradigm of "mid-range reading" because it sacrifices both the granular details of close reading and the massive scalability of distant algorithms. The payoff, however, is a versatile methodology through which digital research is consciously co-constructed with a mechanical collaborator.My test case is Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri's Empire. I not only identify how monovocal scholarship can intertextually reify hegemonic hierarchies, but also how polyvocal citation can produce the opposite effect. I hope to prompt discussions about the intersections of digital scholarship.

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Conference Info

In review

ADHO - 2020
"carrefours / intersections"

Hosted at Carleton University, Université d'Ottawa (University of Ottawa)

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

July 20, 2020 - July 25, 2020

475 works by 1078 authors indexed

Conference cancelled due to coronavirus. Online conference held at Data for this conference were initially prepared and cleaned by May Ning.

Conference website:


Series: ADHO (15)

Organizers: ADHO