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"Making Sense of Negotiated Text at Scale" Workshop

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On November 30, 2017, the Quill Project participated in a workshop convened by the Centre for Digital Scholarship and TORCH Negotiated Text Network on “Making sense of negotiated text at scale.” Dr Alfie Abdul-Rahman presented alongside Drs Félix Krawatzek, David Price, Radoslaw Zubek, David Doyle, and Abhishek Dasgupta, who all addressed the relevance of digital methods for the analysis, representation, and visualization of negotiated texts in the context of various projects. Dr Abdul-Rahman presented the Quill Project to the audience, laying out the project’s goals, displaying the interface, and exploring how visualization allows for a new conceptualization of the data contained within the platform. She was followed by a presentation about “Buying Words,” the relationship between money and US congressional politics, in which Dr Krawatzek explained how textual data is turned into a data set that is then assessed through various approaches such as corpus linguistics and text-mining to see how changes in donations affected agenda-setting by certain members of the US Congress. Dr David Price then presented his tool, Debate Graph, and its ability to connect sources and track actions to construct argument maps and reveal their structural similarities/differences. The workshop concluded with a presentation by Drs Radoslaw Zubek, David Doyle, and Abhishek Dasgupta on their project, “Measuring Government Policy with Text Analysis.” Their approach incorporates computational linguistics into corpus analysis to research the question if government policy enhances business activity or restrains it. All four projects brought unique insights to a wide variety of research topics and questions, demonstrating the wide-ranging applicability of digital scholarship.