Complexity Explorer Santa Few Institute

Foundations & Applications of Humanities Analytics (Spring 2023)

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3.1 Guest Lecture: Lauren Klein » Test Your Knowledge: Explanations

Q1. How does intersectional feminism inform Lauren Klein's work?

(A) It amounts to a foil for her to criticize.
(B) It solely determines the content of the corpora that she chooses to study.
(C) It undermines more qualitative approaches in the humanities.
(D) It provides a framework to structure critiques of power.

Correct Answer: (D) As Klein says at the start of the lecture, "data is incredibly powerful. But, that power is currently wielded unequally." (2:05)

(A) Klein's work is more consonant with, than critical of, intersectional feminist approaches.

(B) While Klein's choices about which corpora to study are informed by intersectional feminism to some degree, their content is determined by a host of historical and sociological contingencies.

(C) is at odds with a rich tradition of qualitative humanities approaches that are in keeping with intersectional feminism.

Q2. Which of the following is not a research question explored in Lauren Klein's lecture?

(A) Were there meaningful differences in the content of abolitionist newspapers edited by, and aimed at, different audiences?
(B) Is pointwise mutual information a good measure of the relationship between a topic and a particular subset of a corpus?
(C) How are the leadership dynamics of the abolitionist movement manifested in abolitionist newspapers?
(D) All of the questions above were explored.

Correct Answer: (B).  While (A) and (C) are research questions that Klein explicitly mentions in her lecture, (B) is an assumption that underlies her approach. That is, Klein takes it for granted that pointwise mutual information is a good measure of the relationship between a topic and a particular subset of a corpus when she deploys that particular mathematical framework within the context of her study.

Q3. What is surprising about the finding that the abolitionist newspaper The Lily exerted a high degree of semantic leadership within a corpus of abolitionist newspapers?

(A) It was run by white women suffragists, who are known to have often been quite racist, and to have prioritized the goal of white women's suffrage over Black corporeal freedom.
(B) It published the fewest editions per year of any newspaper in the corpus.
(C) It was published in the United States' South, where abolitionist newspapers were liable to violent retribution.
(D) It is the only newspaper in the corpus published in Canada.

Correct Answer: (A). The Lily's semantic leadership is discussed in the lecture in 20:56 – 21:30. The other three answer options are invented.

Q4. Lauren Klein's lecture explores the notion of semantic leadership among abolitionist newspapers. To which of the examples described in Chapter 1 ("Introduction to Humanities Analytics") is the concept of semantic leadership most similar?
(A) The correlation between court proceedings and indictments in Old Bailey transcripts.
(B) The varied thematic patterns associated with "diary" in Russian diary entries.

(C) The perpetuation of Robespierre's ideas in French Revolutionary parliamentary discourse.
(D) All of the above.

Correct Answer: (C). Both Klein's guest lecture and DeDeo's example of French Revolutionary speeches address leaders and followers. Klein's work looks at word usage (semantics) as a measure of innovation; DeDeo's work uses topic modeling to assess novelty. Both studies are concerned with who – as editor or speaker – serves as a leader in terms of introducing new ideas that are then adopted by others. Klein's "semantic leadership" parallels DeDeo's "resonance".