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A wild HASTAC scholar appeared!

Hello HASTAC scholars,

I'm Nigel Lepianka, a PhD student at Texas A&M University in English. I hope everyone else is excited as I am to contribute and discuss among the cohort some of the great ideas, projects, and questions we all have.

As it seems to be the way of introduction, I currently have two projects that I'm busily working on in addition to getting through coursework:

I am a research assistant for the NovelTM project, a large-scale initiative to develop new quantitative methods for large amounts of literary data, and bring it to bear on literary history and components (e.g. genre, narrative, plot, etc.). The project and my involvement with it have just begun this year and will likely be the primary source for most of my scholarly output for a good while, especially as I learn more and more about humanisitic big data. In that regard I have a compulsive need to accumulate as much information on big data, text analysis tools, similar projects and articles, and visualization as possible.

On the other hand, my second project might be the antithesis of big data. I am currently at work figuring out a way to represent game rules with a TEI XML schema that will hone in on the procedural nature of games; that is, the stream of "if x, then y"-style statements, probability , and the branching paths of games. My texts of choice for this are two little manuals by H. G. Wells, Floor Games and Little Wars, that are direct precursors to Gary Gygax's Dungeons & Dragons manuals. They are fascinating little books on their own in terms of aesthetics, quality of writing, humor, etc. but their value as a piece of gaming history is also undeniable and warrants some critical thought.

Again, I hope every else is excited to engage in this cohort, and I look forward to talking to all of you about your projects and research. 


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