Digital Interactions for the Modern Scholar A Case Study on the Field of Prosody

Yee, Capella [Browse]
Senior thesis
82 pages


Kernighan, Brian [Browse]
Princeton University. Department of Computer Science [Browse]
Class year
Summary note
This thesis explores how modern day scholars can benefit from digital, online systems for the purposes of documenting and generating ideas, engaging in discussion with peers, and tracing the history of knowledge in their field. The field of prosody, the study of the meter, rhythm, and phonetic structures of a poem, is used as a case study. Specifically, this thesis builds a system for use by prosodic scholars. Taking cues from pre-­existing online communication and social media platforms, the field of digital humanities, and knowledge of the prosody community, I develop a website that not only chronicles works of prosody but also builds infrastructure to enable and preserve the discourse that leads to those works. This platform allows for open, back-and‐forth dialogue among all prosodic scholars; archiving and creation of works; intuitive annotating and commenting capabilities; full-­text search; a system to trace the lineage of ideas developed by scholars past, present, and future, and a social media-­‐like ability to “follow” any written record or any other scholar on the site. In analyzing how the nature of interaction changes when works of prosody become digitized and communication moves online, this thesis ultimately introduces new practices that assist scholars in engaging with each other and with the literature of their field.

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