Stop Words

1. Abstract

STOP WORDS is a set of five short poems based on five sets of commonly used stop words gleaned from topic modeling and computational literary studies: articles, pronouns, prepositions, conjugations of to be, and negation. The reading of each poem is recorded and each audio file is transformed using a variety of sound wave visualization softwares, resulting in five visual poems or images. These images function as interpretative graphical material, visualizing literature as simultaneously scientifically accurate, quantitative, and highly affective, qualitative, diagrams. At its broadest, Stop Words is also an intervention in the Humanities / Digital Humanities schismatic debate, digitally supplementing the traditional verbal dimension of poetry while celebrating an interpretative, subjective digitally generated product. Stop Words engages closely with Johanna Drucker's research on qualitative statistical representation.

Drucker, Johanna. Graphesis: Visual Forms of Knowledge Production. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 2014.

Drucker, Johanna. “Humanities Approaches to Graphical Display.” Digital Humanities Quarterly 5:1 (2011)

“Natural Language Toolkit.” NLTK 3.4.5 Documentation. 2019.

Klara du Plessis (, Concordia University, Canada

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