Joanna Guldi, "The Dangerous Art of Text Mining: A Methodology for Digital History" (Cambridge UP, 2022)


The Dangerous Art of Text Mining: A Methodology for Digital History (Cambridge UP, 2022) celebrates the bold new research now possible because of text mining: the art of counting words over time. However, this book also presents a warning: without help from the humanities, data science can distort the past and lead to perilous errors. The book opens with a rogue's gallery of errors, then tours the ground-breaking analyses that have resulted from collaborations between humanists and data scientists. 

Jo Guldi explores how text mining can give a glimpse of the changing history of the past - for example, how quickly Americans forgot the history of slavery. Textual data can even prove who was responsible in Congress for silencing environmentalism over recent decades. The book ends with an impassioned vision of what text mining in defence of democracy would look like, and why humanists need to be involved.

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Shu Wan

Shu Wan is currently matriculated as a doctoral student in history at the University at Buffalo. As a digital and disability historian, he serves in the editorial team of Digital Humanities Quarterly and Nursing Clio. On Twitter: @slissw.

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