In this exercise, we want you to read and compare two colonial North American te
In this exercise, we want you to read and compare two colonial North American texts. But we want you to read them in a particular manner. We want you to "pre-read" them first, using only their titles, publication information and your now developing general knowledge, and second using text-mining software (Voyant) as a way to examine the patterns of topics and ideas present in each text: can these "pre-reads" allow you to hypothesize about these texts? To develop questions by which you might approach reading them? Then, finally, read the texts with an eye to both reading it critically and intelligently (as you alway would) but also to testing your hypotheses. Your texts are about two New Englanders captured in late 17th-century wars in northeastern North America. Mary Rowlandson was captured in 1676 during King Philips War, while Gyles was captured in 1690 by Mailseet peoples on what is today the Saint John River in New Brunswick. Rowlandson’s account is far more famous (and why is a good question you might ask yourself!), but they are both very similar and very different. John Gyles, Memoirs of odd adventures, strange deliverances, &c. in the captivity of John Gyles, esq. commander of the garrison on St. George's river (Boston, Kneeland, 1736). [plain text file] Mary Rowlandson, The soveraignty & goodness of God: together, with the faithfulness of his promises displayed: being a narrative of the captivity and restauration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson (Cambridge, Green, 1682). [plain text file] Text-mining software like Voyant allow us to "read" text in new and interesting ways. These tools count, organise, and visually represent writing. It allows one to read enter works, even multiple works, that can help us identify patterns of word use, key terms, themes, and even the organisation of ideas and arguments. This video offers some basic tips on comparing two texts in Voyant. Hint: I've given you a video showing you the basics of comparing two texts in Voyant, but you can also use Voyant on each of these texts, one-by-one, to get a handle on each before you move on to the comparison. Pre-reading allows us to identify important features of these books. To be clear, we still need to read - the software only helps us spot patterns, not doing the actual reading - but it allows us to anticipate language, conceptual terms, associations of ideas, sections of the book where some ideas are present, or not. Due 15 June: Much the same as last time, but with two texts. Write 1200 words about how you used at least two tools from Voyant Tools to "pre-read" these texts, and then read and discuss the texts in light of your pre-reading. Make sure that you include URLs to the output pages of the data analyses and tools that you are describing.

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