The Crisis: Analyzing Text at Scale (10/2)

This class day will be devoted to our first in-class project. We will use Voyant Tools to analyze text from the early years of The Crisis. Founded by in 1910, The Crisis is the official magazine of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). W.E.B DuBois was the founding editor, serving from 1910 to 1934, and used the magazine to advocate for social justice and promote Black literature, poetry, and art.

At the end of class, each student will write a blog post on the course website presenting their research question, a visualization they created, and analyzing their results. Post a link to your blog post in the class Mattermost. By the beginning of class next week (10/09), each student will provide feedback and comments on 3 of their classmates’ blog posts in Mattermost by replying to their blog post link as a threaded comment.

Aims of The Crisis project

 Through The Crisis: Analyzing Text at Scale, students will gain: 

  1. Experience with text analysis as method
  2. Exposure to Voyant as a tool and to experimentation with a tool and critique of a tool
  3. Practice making a research question
  4. Exposure to TEI
  5. Exposure to WordPress
  6. Experience working with unstructured data
  7. Familiarity with Named Entity Recognition

To do before class

  • Post your final project ideas (from the final project brainstorm activity) to #class-discussion (please post this directly as text, not by uploading a file).
  • Sign up for MSU Commons ( using your netid) or Humanities Commons ( directly
  • Sign up for a tool for the tool presentation
  • Explore The Crisis through the Modernist Journals Project
    • Try out the different viewing options
    • Choose one or two issues and read a bit
  • Consider these discussion questions:
    • What types of writing/materials are in the issues?
      Editorial, poetry, ads, etc?
    • How are the issues structured? 
      Lots of text? Lots of images? Like a magazine? Like a newspaper?
    • What does it remind you of? Anything you know of or read that’s similar in terms of content/structure?
  • Paste a screenshot of your favorite find in the Modernist Journals Project in #class-discussion.

Readings due

Projects to explore

To do after class

  • Finish your individual blog post and post a link to it in the #class-discussion channel in Mattermost by 5pm on Tuesday, October 6.
  • Before class on Friday, October 9, provide feedback and comments on 3 of your classmates’ blog posts in Mattermost by replying to their blog post link as a threaded comment.