Blog Post

A brief introduction to me

old man and the sea sentiment visualization

Hi again everyone!

In case you've forgotten, I'm Rob Jagiela, and am currently in the second year of the MA in English program here at Temple.  I'm in a bit of a unique situation, as I am part of the second class of students admitted to the 4+1 program in English, meaning that I completed my Bachelor's degree at Temple and began taking graduate courses during the senior year of my undergrad here, so I am technically now in my "+1" year.

Since begining my graduate work my focus has been primarily on the digital humanities as they relate to the study of various types of literature, particularly 20th century American literature.  My proposal for this program actually spawned out of a project I completed in a course taught by Peter, in which I performed sentiment analysis on 10 canonical works by quintessentially American mid-century authors, with the purpose of finding a plot shape that might embody the mid-century American novel.  However, in this research I found that some of the core components used in sentiment analysis are rather ill-suited to literary applications.  As a result, my main purpose can be stated simply as creating a lexicon for sentiment analysis that is able to handle literary texts more appropriately and accurately than those that currently exist.

Of course, that is much easier said than done, and I expect that such a project will be one that may follow me for some time.  So, my main goal in this program is to dig into the tools and coding languages used to construct lexicons, as well as TEI in general.  More broadly, I really just want to immerse myself in the myriad aspects of the digital humanities, as I'd really love to make a career for myself in the field.

Lofty goals aside, I spend my free time between my apartment here in the city, where I live with three good pals, and my parent's home in Glenside, PA, where I enjoy working our vegetable and flower gardens, eating a hot meal, and taking advantage of the free laundry.  Aside from that, I often find myself helping out my roomates with film projects (two of them are recent grads from Temple's film program), debating them over the merits of this movie or that novel, and/or collaborating with them on a (hardly ever) very serious multimedia project.

I'm looking forward to learning from and alongside all of you over the course of these coming months!


1 comment

I like the idea of thinking through lexicons for running sentiment analysis on novels, as opposed to the other forms of writing most of the existing ones were created for. Coming up with a logical approach to the problem is an exciting challenge!