Project Proposal

Digital Humanities Project Proposal-
This project’s purpose will be to conduct a mass textual analysis of primary documents relating to the French rubber industry in Indochina. This will serve to identify linguistic trends, points of conflict, the public resonance of certain individuals and locations, as well as identifying key points of contention throughout the time period in question. Given the scope of the project in question (the 1920s and 1930s), a textual analysis will act as a quantitative supplement to qualitative close readings of particular issues and texts, providing a broader context for the emergence of patterns.
Phase 1: Accumulation of Sources
This first step will likely be the most time consuming, as it entails the collection and preparation of several years’ worth of periodicals, newspapers, magazines, and other documents for textual analysis. Key to this section will be the search for a broad document harvesting tool, to streamline downloads. All of these documents are digitally available on, making individual access extremely simple. Mass access will require a little extra work, but should be doable, given the high digital presence. Happily, each of these potential documents has both a visual (scanned) component as well as a purely textual version available.
Time to completion- 3 weeks
Phase 2: Organization of Sources
This step will be somewhat shorter than the previous, effectively cataloging the documents in question to determine particular questions which need to be asked. This will also consist of the construction of data categories based on source dates, publication, physical location at time of publication, and type of document.
Time to completion- 1 week
Phase 3: Conduct of quantitative analysis
This phase will comprise the meat of the project. Utilizing Voyant software, I will input the documents listed above and begin the quantitative analysis. As stated earlier, this will be divided into certain categories prior to the initial uploads, though time will be taken during the analysis to develop new categories and adjust existing ones as necessary. This process will generate correlative relationships between certain subject matters, dates, and publications. A general observation of patterns will signify this phase.
Time to completion- 3 weeks
Phase 4: Conduct of qualitative analysis
This phase, which will continue beyond the completion of this semester, will see the incorporation of this data with a broad range of qualitative research that has been previously conducted, or will be conducted in the future, to contextualize the data and place it within the broader scope of my dissertation project. The connections between previously identified patterns and other significant events (as well as silences and contradictory patterns) will be investigated thoroughly in an effort to glean a rough composite of the state of the French colonial media conception of the rubber industry in Indochina and its varied processes. This will also incorporate visual analysis of publications, in particular newspapers, to illustrate other dynamics at play in the dissemination of information.
Time to completion- ongoing
Phase 5: Presentation of findings
This phase will consist of the visualization of the collected data and its presentation in a digital format, including on this blog. This will make the data legible and decipherable to a wider audience than its raw format, while simultaneously illustrating the correlative elements determined from the research itself.
Time to completion- 1 week

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