Cultural Advocacy Internship – “Gender Bias in Book Reviews”

We are excited to announce the 2017-2018 Internship in Cultural Advocacy, focusing on gender bias in book reviews. The internship will address how women are both mis-represented and under-represented in the public discourse of book reviewing. Book reviews represent a significant cultural outlet that bestows authority, but as our lab’s new website called “Just Review” shows, there are a variety of ways that women writers are still being framed as though they belong to a Victorian set of values. A team of interns will be responsible for crafting a year-long advocacy plan to address how book reviews represent women, using a combination of computational approaches, social media campaigns, and social advocacy to engage key stakeholders. We are looking for motivated, self-directed students who want to make a positive change in the world. The internship will begin on October 1, 2017, and end on April 30, 2018.

Award: $1,000
Application deadline: Wednesday, September 20, 2017
To apply, send cover letter and resumé to alayne.moody@mcgill.ca

.txtLAB Internships 2016: Computational Cultural Advocacy

.txtLAB is pleased to offer four undergraduate internships for the coming academic year. This year’s theme is “Cultural Advocacy: Women in the Public Sphere.”

The aim of the internship is to address how women are both mis-represented and under-represented in the public discourse of book reviewing. Book reviews represent a significant cultural outlet that bestow authority, and yet recent research by our lab and others has shown a variety of ways that women are still being framed as belonging to a nineteenth-century set of values, if they are represented at all.

A team of 4 interns will be responsible for crafting a year-long advocacy plan to address how book reviews represent women, using a combination of computational approaches and social advocacy by engaging with key stakeholders. We are looking for motivated, self-directed students who want to make a positive change in the world. 2 interns will be drawn from the Faculty of Arts and 2 from the School of Computer Science. The internship award is worth $1,000.

For inquiries regarding the internship program, please contact the .txtLAB Project Manager: tracy.valcourt@mcgill.ca.

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Congratulations to this year’s .txtLAB interns!

The .txtLAB internship program held its end of the semester presentations this past week. Projects ranged from the study of prize-winning novels, comparisons of nineteenth-century histories, novels, and philosophy in three languages, the construction of an iPython notebook for reliably extracting social networks from novels, and finally a study of citation networks between supervisors and their students.

Our questions this semester focused primarily around the genre of the novel, what makes it unique and what ways  it differentiates itself to serve different social purposes. When we look at history and the novel, what are the differences between true and imagined narratives? When we think about philosophy and the novel, what are the ways novels represent judgment or consciousness? And when we think about different cultural categories like “bestsellers” and “prizewinners,” do these groups represent different ways of telling stories that appeal to different kinds of readerships or make different claims about imagined narratives?

The social network project is part of on-going efforts by the lab to find ways of reliably modelling social patterns within novels and to understand how imaginary social worlds mirror or differ from our real-world counterparts. The project on citation networks represents a new focus of the lab on questions of disciplinarity and knowledge-production. In this project, we’re interested in asking to what extent students’ referential framework (citations) are intertwined with their supervisors’ — and then what this interconnection means. What kind of intellectual environments do we see when students’ and supervisors’ are more entangled versus less?

During the semester-long internship, students were responsible for the entire research process of data collection, preparation, analysis, and presentation. They will be writing guest blog posts here to share their findings. More to come later.

.txtLAB Intern Fedor Karmanov speaks at ARIA Event

Form .txtLAB intern and current undergraduate RA, Fedor Karmanov, presented his experience as an Arts Research Intern last summer to an audience of over 200 students and faculty last night at a packed event showcasing undergraduate research. As Fedor described his experience, he spent the summer learning about data collection and analysis and taught himself in the process two programming languages (R and Python). His final project was a study of novelty in English poetry in the 20C. Pulling together a corpus of 60,000 poems, Fedor explored how we might understand literary innovation and whether it exhibits a recognizable time-frame that matches received critical wisdom about British modernism. Fedor is now a senior RA with the lab, working on new projects and helping to supervise incoming interns.

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.txtLAB Internship Winter 2015

.txtLAB is offering 3 internships for the Winter Semester available to undergraduate and graduate students. The internships will involve participation in lab research and the creation and completion of individual projects in cultural data mining. The internships will run from Feb. 1 through April 30. Application deadline is January 15, 2015. For more information, please go here.

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