• A Million Tweeted Tributes to Toni Morrison

    Toni Morrison, one of the best and most influential literary writers of the 20th and 21st centuries, died on Monday. She was the first Black woman to win the Nobel Prize in literature and the author of eleven novels, dozens of essays, as well as literary criticism. When Morrison’s publisher announced the news of her death on Tuesday morning, thousands of people began mourning her incredible life on Twitter. Within a little over a day, more than 500,000 Twitter users in fact cited Toni Morrison specifically by first and last name in a million tweets and retweets.

  • Mourning Mary Oliver in 100,000+ Tweets

    I saw her lift her honeyed muzzle
    into the leaves, and her thick arms,
    as though she would fly -
    an enormous bee
    all sweetness and wings -
    -Mary Oliver, “Happiness”

  • Things That The U.S. Presidents Described as "Great" in Their Inaugural Addresses

    For the February 2017 meeting of the Digital Approaches Reading Group (DARG), which I help co-convene at WashU, we explored 58 Presidential Inaugural Addresses as a common dataset — in the hopes of collectively showcasing and experimenting with different DH methodologies and tools. I was personally curious about a tiny word that I suspected might have big(ly?) implications: the word “great.”

  • "The Mythology of James Baldwin on Twitter"

    The following is a transcript from my paper “Tweets of a Native Son: The Mythology of James Baldwin on Twitter,” which I gave at the MMLA conference on November 12. Huge thanks to Doug Knox from the HDW for helping me figure out how to wrangle Twitter data and to Ed Summers from MITH for generously sharing data, tools, and thoughtfulness.

  • Part 2: Building the "Tweets of a Native Son" Archive (jq and regular expressions)

    In Part 1, I explained how I “hydrated” 17 million tweets that mentioned “Ferguson” from August and November 2014 by using twarc and how I generated summaries for these collections (# of tweets and users, top hashtags, top URLs, top image URLS, etc.) using twarc-report. But how and where does James Baldwin fit into the picture?

  • Part 1: Building the "Tweets of a Native Son" Archive (twarc and twarc-report)

    So my project “Tweets of a Native Son” examines the way that Twitter conversations about Ferguson and the #BlackLivesMater movement invoke the literary author James Baldwin. What’s my archive? How did I build it?

  • Introduction: "Tweets of a Native Son"

    I started this blog largely because I wanted to start sharing some thoughts and updates about my project “Tweets of a Native Son,” a large-scale computational analysis of tweets that mention “James Baldwin” in relationship to Ferguson and the #BlackLivesMatter movement.