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Workshop | Topic Modelling. Hands-on Training and Discussion Session

Dec 19, 2019 | 01:00 PM - 06:00 PM
Topic Modelling Australian Newspaper Fiction

Topic Modelling Australian Newspaper Fiction

Research Area 5, "Building Digital Communities" of the Cluster of Excellence "Temporal Communities", organises a hands-on training and discussion session about Topic Modelling in collaboration with BMBF-funded research infrastructure project CLARIAH-DE. During this half-day workshop, participants will receive an introductory training in topic modelling as well as discursively investigate its methodological and theoretical implications within literary studies.

To do so, we will begin with a practical session on topic modelling (13:00 – 16:00) led by Dr. Steffen Pielström from the University of Würzburg. Participants will have the opportunity to learn basic topic modelling methods with a corpus of transnational fiction and explore the technical requirements and practical considerations involved in this process. After this hands-on experience we will discuss a particular example of the use of topic modelling in EXC 2020 Fellow Prof. Katherine Bode’s book, A World of Fiction: Digital Collections and the Future of Literary History (2018). This discussion session (16:00 – 18:00) will explore the wider possibilities and problematics of topic modelling within the field of literary studies.


Hands-on Training 13:0016:00 with Steffen Pielström (University of Würzburg)

The introductory workshop to topic modelling welcomes complete beginners as well as those who are more experienced and will provide a (formula-free) introduction to underlying algorithms relevant to topic modelling. Participants will gather practical experience of working with the DARIAH Topics Explorer. During the training session we will draw our data-based corpora from Katherine Bode’s To be continued: The Australian Newspaper Fiction Database.

Discussion Session 16:0018:00 with Katherine Bode (Australian National University)

The sixth chapter of Katherine Bode’s book, A World of Fiction: Digital Collections and the Future of Literary History (2018) offers a case study using topic modelling and decision trees to investigate a vast corpus of fiction published in 19th century Australian newspapers. Following our own use of some of Bode’s material to experiment with topic modelling, in this discussion session we will consider what is required to use the tool in a way that advances understanding of literary history.

Time & Location

Dec 19, 2019 | 01:00 PM - 06:00 PM

Freie Universität Berlin
EXC 2020 "Temporal Communities"
Room 003b
Altensteinstraße 15
14195 Berlin