ICWA, Baby “Lexi,” and Race

UPDATE: Read the printed piece at WSJ.com Recently, the Wall Street Journal published an opinion piece by Aditya Dynar and Timothy Sandefur regarding Baby Lexi.  Lexi, who is 1.5% Choctaw through her paternal line, was in the foster care system in California.  Under the Indian Child Welfare Act, Lexi is required to return to a […]


Word Clouding: Immigrant Jewish Female Settlers

Assumptions are the enemies of historians.  Well, at least, this historian. I had hoped that the topic modeling for immigrant female Jewish settlers would be gendered in a way that would provide stark contrast to their male counterparts.  You know that old dichotomy—masculine vs. feminine.  Even though I often write against such tropes, I nevertheless […]


Word Clouding: Immigrant Jewish Male Settlers

Historical actors make history!  Such axioms allow my project to include the lives of many Jewish settlers that, by in large, have been excluded in the overarching narrative of the American West.  The entire dissertation views Jewish settlers as part and parcel of a much large settler colonial project set into motion by the federal government […]


Word Clouding: American Indian Men

This Native American history project required me to create additional stop words that might be considered sacred.  Interviewers had not practiced this when these oral histories took place in the 1970’s, but historians do now.  I created an additional set of stop words that by some standards, means that I have already played with the […]


Methods

As the incubator portion of this digital project comes to end, I’d like to provide a bit of transparency about how and why I am using the text files. As a historian and digital humanist, I am always plagued by the lack sources. For those of us who work in Native American history, it is […]


Data Management

  Being a digital humanist, and before that, a bit of a web nerd, I had file naming and data management conventions drilled into my head.  At least that is what I thought.  As part of our incubator, we had the opportunity to meet with Assistant Professor and Data Curation Librarian, Jennifer Thoegersen.   Here […]


Oral History + R

Oral history presents certain challenges that you never think about when you start a digital project.  Over the past few weeks I have been struggling to make certain choices about how to handle and then process the text files.  For example, do I change the diction to standard English?; Do I include both the questions […]


Regaining Literacy in R+

Some people may wonder why a historian would use computational analysis over a close reading of documents. My reason is simple: computational analysis provides me an opportunity to extract meaning from large volumes of data over time.   Historians look for change over time and R is a tool that helps me do that. In short, […]


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