As this issue shows, there is no shortage of interest among humanists in using topic modeling. An entire genre of introductory posts has emerged encouraging humanists to try LDA. So many scholars in humanities departments are turning to the tool in their research that it is sometimes described as part of the digital humanities in itself.
Topic Modeling Ships
Begin by getting the data in order. (This data is available on request.)
This step pulls in the Maury data and splits it. This is not fully documented as part of this article, since the purpose is to show general geodata parsing.
It’s easy to be reasonable about the relationship we’d like to see between digital humanities and “Theory.” Each should inform the other. After all, humanists who put big-T Theory before any empirical data foolishly close their ears to the new evidence digital can create; digital humanists who ignore theory entirely jeopardize not only their careers but the soundness of their conclusions.