Class 8 (English 238 – Fall 2019)

Class Business

  • Enrollment
  • Tech support for the course: Ryan Leach’s drop-in hours in Transcriptions Center (see Transcriptions site)
  • Readings for next class
  • Questions about the mock grant research proposal assignment?
  • Presentations in Class 10 based on the narrative and the example dataset or experiments in your “mock grant proposal”
      • 7 minutes for each presenter (followed by 3 minutes Q&A)
      • Create slides for efficiency of presentation
      • We will share screens in Zoom (bring in your laptops in Class 9 for a rehearsal in sharing screens)

Prelude

Pablo Picasso

Picasso drawing in Light for Life Magazine, 1949

Hans Rosling

Hans Rosling’s 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes - The Joy of Stats - BBC Four (video, 2010)

Alice Thudt et al., “Exploration and Explanation in Data-Driven Storytelling”

Herein lies the first tension between storytelling and data. Stories are about individuals and data are about generalities. (18-19)

Provocation

Lev Manovich, The Language of New Media (2001)

As a cultural form, the database represents the world as a list of items and it refuses to order this list. In contrast, a narrative creates a cause-and-effect trajectory of seemingly unordered items (events). Therefore,, database and narrative are natural enemies. Competing for the same territory of human culture, each claims an exclusive right to make meaning out of the world. (p. 225)

The new media object consists of one or more interfaces to a database of multimedia material…. The “user” of a narrative is traversing a database, following links between its records…. A traditional linear narrative is one among many other possible trajectories, that is, a particular choice made within a hypernarrative. Just as a traditional cultural object can now be seen as a particular case of a new media object (i.e., a new media object that has only one interface), traditional linear narrative can be seen as a particular case of hypernarrative. (p. 227)

Data-Structure-Narrative diagram
N. Katherine Hayles, "Narrative and Database: Natural Symbionts" (PMLA, 2007)
N. Katherine Hayles, “Narrative and Database: Natural Symbionts” (PMLA, 2007)

Telling Data

Michelle Scalise Sugiyama, “The Forager Oral Tradition and the Evolution of Prolonged Juvenility”

One way that foragers share information is by “telling the hunt” … –- that is, by recounting and listening to others recount their hunting experiences.” (2)

Polly W. Wiessner, “Embers of Society: Firelight Talk among the Ju/’hoansi Bushmen”

When the night appears to have really mattered was for the extension of cultural institutions over time and space to link individuals from different bands into larger “imagined communities” beyond village limits, an enterprise that involved complex cognition and time-consuming information transfer. In most hunter-gatherer societies, firelit hours drew aggregations of individuals who were out foraging by day and provided time for ventures into such virtual communities, whether human or supernatural, via stories and ritual. (14033)

Fleuron icon (small)

 
Homeric formulae explanation Homeric formulae explanation

Caedmon's Hymn
Caedmon’s Hymn

Homer's Iliad (2.494-759)
Homer’s Iliad (2.494-759)

Genesis, Chapter 5
Genesis, Chapter 5

Vladimir Propp, Morphology of the Folktale (p. 93)
Vladimir Propp, Morphology of the Folktale (p. 93)

Diagram of narrative from A. J. Greimas, Structural Semantics
Diagram of narrative from A. J. Greimas, Structural Semantics

Writing Data

Origins of writing -- Clay tokens and envelopes
Origins of writing — Clay tokens and envelopes

Early writing --- Lists (from Jack Goody, The Domestication of the Savage Mind , 1977)
Early writing — Lists (from Jack Goody, The Domestication of the Savage Mind , 1977)

Annals of Saint Gall, 8th century (from Hayden White, The Content of the Form: Narrative Discourse and Historical Representation, 1987)
Annals of Saint Gall, 8th century (from Hayden White, The Content of the Form: Narrative Discourse and Historical Representation, 1987)

Fleuron icon (small)

Data stories and Scientific Workflows

Scientific data workflow visualized in the WINGS semantic workflow system
Scientific data workflow visualized in the WINGS semantic workflow system

Diagram of automated data workflow generation (from Yolanda Gil and Daniel Garijo, "Towards Automating Data Narratives" [2017])
Diagram of automated data workflow generation (from Yolanda Gil and Daniel Garijo, “Towards Automating Data Narratives” [2017])