In my final week of classes for the school year I finished my online exhibit by adding a couple of graphs showing text analyses in place of a couple of the word clouds. The word clouds are pretty, but less informative than the graphs at making the kinds of arguments that I wanted to make. I also finished my essay by inserting several graphs into it, for the same reasons. I included mainly graphs generated by the Voyant text analysis tool, which focuses on the words in a specific set of texts that I had chosen. I also included a graph generated by Google books nGrams that analyzes all the texts that have been digitized to date by Google books, subdivided by nationality.
This final analysis seems to suggest that there was a difference in the focus on slavery in the U.S. compared to Britain between 1800 and 2000. The difference is that slavery continued on and off to be a significant topic in the U.S. through this period, while it was much less significant in Britain. You will notice that I say “Britain” and not “Canada.” This is because Google books has categories for American books and British books, but not Canadian books. Since Canada was a British dominion until 1867 I have used the British corpus as a proxy for a Canadian corpus. This is not ideal, but it is a result that is surfacing too late in my research to address now. I pursued it to try to further my previous research about the ‘burying’ or ‘disappearance’ of Black history, and particularly slavery, in Canada. This new information raises questions about whether this burying or disappearance was unique to Canada or if it included Britain. Either way, was different from the U.S.
I spent some time this week figuring out what to include in my presentation for the “Make History Matter” event but need to go back and see if I can fit it into 7 or 8 minutes. I sent version 3 of my essay to Drs. Miller and Graham, and also sent them the link to my most recent online exhibit.
This is my last posting for the 2012-2013 school year. I hope to come back to it again either this summer, for my final credit course in May, or next fall, as I begin my Master’s degree. The topic will change slightly, but will still be about Black history, and will still be myforeignland.