Visualizations from a Digital Humanities Tinkerer

I presented a synopsis of the various types of text visualization efforts I have tinkered with over the last few years, including new discourse mapping software developed with Exaptive (an Oklahoma City software firm), at a University of Oklahoma Research Discussion Series panel hosted by Georgia Kosmopoulou and the College of Arts & Sciences:

“Mapping Global Intellectual Networks in Qur’anic Hermeneutics: Visualizations from a Digital Humanities Tinkerer.” College of Arts & Sciences Research Discussion Series panel on Network Structure, Visualization and Analysis across Scholarly Domains. University of Oklahoma, Norman, November 30, 2018.

My slides, including presenter notes, are available here as a PowerPoint file.

I used the same slides in a joint presentation with Josh Southerland, a data scientist and programmer at Exaptive, about the discourse mapping software:

David Vishanoff and Josh Southerland. “Termscapes Can Change the Landscape of Text Analysis.” Data+Creativity meetup. Exaptive, Oklahoma City, December 6, 2018.

I also presented the discourse mapping software at OU’s Academic Tech Expo:

“Distant Reading: A Program to Map out the Contents of All Those Texts You Don’t Have Time to Read.” Academic Tech Expo, University of Oklahoma, Norman, January 11, 2019.

An update will be posted here on when the discourse mapping software is ready to accept new users.

Between Qur’an and Psalmody: How Medieval Muslim Piety Integrated Two Notions of Scripture

Congratulations to IQSA on a very rich 2018 annual meeting, held in Denver in conjunction with the SBL and AAR. I offered a paper on the Islamic psalms and their relationship to the Bible on the one hand and the Qur’an on the other:

“Between Qur’an and Psalmody: How Medieval Muslim Piety Integrated Two Notions of Scripture.” International Qur’anic Studies Association, program unit 5, The Qur’an and the Biblical Tradition, November 18, 2018, Denver.

Here are the slides (as a pdf file) from the presentation.

This paper is being submitted for publication in a volume of essays in the Biblia Arabica series from Brill, to be edited by Camilla Adang, Meira Polliack, and Benjamin Hary.

So Many Books, So Little Time: Using Algorithms to Map the Landscape of a Discourse

At the invitation of Ismail Serageldin and Noha Adly, my collaborator Dave King and I presented our discourse mapping software at a big data conference in Cairo:

David Vishanoff and Dave King. “So Many Books, So Little Time: Using Algorithms to Map the Landscape of a Discourse.” Bibliotheca Alexandrina / SIMAR Conference “Big Data Analytics—Bridging the Gap between Theory and Practice,” Cairo, November 12, 2018.

Dave King is the founder and CEO of Exaptive. Together we have created software that allows scholars to map the landscape of an unfamiliar set of texts, interactively explore their key terms, figures, and relationships, and then redraw the map to zero in on areas of particular interest.

Here is a pdf of the slides we used in our presentation. An update will be posted here at once the software is made available for scholars to upload and map their own sets of texts.

A Relational, Recursive, Eschatological and Sacrificial Model for the Humanities

A gathering of fourteen Harvey Fellows, organized by Randy Heinig with help from Laura Yoder, Bryan McGraw, Amy Reynolds, and Mark Jonas, provided an encouraging forum and some invaluable feedback on a mini-paper in which I define more systematically than I have before my approach to religious studies as a practice of sacrificial listening:

“A Relational, Recursive, Eschatological and Sacrificial Model for the Humanities.” Harvey Fellows Symposium “Christ in the Culture 2017,” Wheaton, Illinois, September 16, 2017.

Here is a pdf of the two-page paper. It addresses an audience of fellow Christians; one of my long-term projects is to articulate it in terms that will resonate with a broader academic audience. During discussion Pat Kain made the important suggestion that I address not only the negative experiences of misunderstanding but also the positive experiences of (partial) understanding that point ahead to the eschatological consummation of that interpersonal understanding toward which my scholarship is directed. is now a complete archive of my scholarship

Today I finished posting on all my old conference papers and publications. This makes the site a complete archive of my scholarship, with pdf files of almost all the papers and slides to which I own the copyright, and links to all the rest.

I post new items every one to three months, and you can subscribe to receive notifications of new scholarship using the “subscribe by email” or “RSS” buttons on the left sidebar.

There are four main ways to find things:

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Thank you for your interest in my work!

David Vishanoff
University of Oklahoma