Blog post 3: Analysis of an academic DH paper

For this week’s blog post, you will need to read another scholarly article in the digital humanities, which is similar to the article by Tara Menon that you read for class. You can chose between these two articles:

Pelletier, Louis (2018). From Photoplays to Movies: A Distant Reading of Cinema’s Eventual Legitimation from Below. Film History, 30(2), 1-34.
This paper posits that the two divergent strategies aiming to legitimize cinema in the transitional and early classical eras—imitation of the established arts, and emphasis on the popular nature and specificity of the new media—can be correlated to different sets of words and expressions used to label moving pictures

Mahlberg, Michaela and Anna Cermakova (2022). Gendered Body Language in Children’s Literature over Time. Language and Literature, 31(1), 11-40.
This paper studies gendered patterns of body language descriptions in children’s fiction. It compares a corpus of nineteenth century children’s literature with a corpus of contemporary fiction for children. The aim is to identify and describe differences between the description of male and female body language across both corpora.

Just like you did with “Keeping Count”, you should be able to find these articles by searching for their titles on the library’s website. Select whichever article you prefer, and write a 3-5 paragraph summary and evaluation that answers the following questions:

  • What is the article responding to? In other words, what have others said or assumed that this piece is agreeing with, disagreeing with, or modifying?
    • Who is the article responding to? What other scholars or critics have made claims that this article is citing and analyzing? There are several, and you don’t need to discuss all, but mention one or two specific people.
  • What claim is the article making? What is its argument?
  • What evidence is the article using to support that argument?
    • What quantitative data is it including, and where did the author get that data?
    • What specific examples does the article use? How does the article use them to support its argument?
  • How does the article use visualizations (graphs, charts, tables, illustrations, etc.) to support its argument?
    • Select one visualization and explain in a sentence or two what it means.
  • What are the stakes of the argument? Why does it matter, and who cares?

To earn credit on this assignment, your summary and evaluation must answer all of the above questions in enough detail to demonstrate a close, careful examination of the article. The writing does not need to be formal or polished, but it should be clear.