Pacing Scholarly Conversations

The advancement of scholarship relies on the timely communication of questions, methods, results, and reflections. The iterative publications Digital Humanities Now and the Journal of Digital Humanities are intended to facilitate this process. DHNow surfaces and distributes the conversations weekly in order to invite participation and feedback. The Journal of Digital Humanities then identifies the conversations that need a stable landing on which to pause and reflect before continuing onward.

In the past year the scholarly conversation about the practice of topic modeling has taken place in workshops and through extended conversations online. This issue of the Journal of Digital Humanities draws from that gray literature of presentations, blog posts, and unpublished papers. Under the guidance of our guest editors Elijah Meeks and Scott B. Weingart, several new pieces were solicited for this special issue, and two were greatly expanded from ongoing research projects.

This issue reflects the expertise and investment in topic modeling from a wide range of disciplines and practitioners, including historians, literary scholars, archaeologists, technologists, and information scientists. We think you will agree that topic modeling is a practice within digital humanities that is ready for a moment of serious engagement with questions and methods before taking another leap forward.


Daniel J. Cohen and Joan Fragaszy Troyano, Editors