10/10: Underwood Lecture Discussion Sheet

Discussion worksheet for Ted Underwood, “Can Mining a Million Books Tell Us Anything New?”

Write your answers below each question and bring this sheet to class on Tuesday. If you are unable to attend the talk, you must read Underwood, “Digital Humanities and the Future of Literary Studies” and answer the same questions. Must be completed to receive credit for “Week 4.”

  1. What does Underwood mean by “mining a million books”?
  2. How is text mining similar to and/or different from others forms of literary analysis?
  3. What sorts of problems do scholars face when they try to analyze large bodies of text-data?
  4. What does Underwood conclude? Can mining a million books tell us anything new? Why or why not?
  5. What do you think the answer is to Question 4? Was Underwood’s talk persuasive? Why or why not?

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