An abstract from “Digging into Human Rights Violations” on phrase mining and trigram visualization

Unidentified victims, perpetrators, and details of human rights violations are camouflaged by the scale of archival records of witness reports. This project responds to that problem by developing an approach for identifying the appearance of often unnamed individuals across a corpus by integrating semi-supervised machine-learning based phrase mining, network visualization, and an event model from human rights reporting known as “Who Did What to Whom.” This natural language processing method facilitates the retrieval of cross-document narratives of victims — and perpetrators — of population level events.DHRV.DH13.1.3

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ENGL4200: The Collective Witness

A new course I’ll be teaching fall 2011 at GSU on the collective imagination and mediated witnessing. The course will look broadly at how traumatic events are memorialized by populations, how those recorded memories move back and forth from the personal to the collective, from private to public, and how different mnemonic technologies emphasize different techniques and types of memory. The readings draw on different cultures, periods, and media to help foreground the how of literary, autobiographical, and automatic memory. This iteration examines our collective memories of environmental disaster in Tohoku and Haiti, genocide in Rwanda and Europe, and acts of war in Hiroshima, Troy, and New York. This work will touch on false memory, distributed memory, diasporic networks, rhetorical strategies across media, transmedia storytelling, oral history, broadcast memory, and poetic memory.

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125 Frames Per Second: Quake 3 and Synchronized Networks of Play

An abstract for a paper that will likely go unwritten…

Lag; no word engenders greater pathos in players of on-line first-person shooters. Hurled as excuse for failures personal, a single death in a game, and collective, the loss of a match by a team, it references the experience of temporal delay in the game circuit of event, representation, perception, reaction, and response. Hacking, a close rival, is an infrequent, intentional aberration of gameplay mechanics and politics. Lag is a constitutive, painful by-product of play in an on-line FPS. “125 Frames” explores the experience, code, and cultural Continue reading

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On Redaction // FBI 4543-4551

FBI file 4543-4551 is part of a FOIA obtained on-line collection “United States Military Medicine in War on Terror Prisons,” at the University of Minnesota’s Human Rights Library. That document, “Interviewee Interrogation Plan,” contained the history of one Guantanamo Bay (GTMO) inmate, the methodology by which (presumably) his interrogation will be conducted, and further recommendations. Given that in the first three years of operations roughly 24,000 interrogations were conducted at GTMO, Continue reading

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Iraq War Logs Support Pre-existing Narratives

Journalistic retellings of material from the Iraq War Logs focus not simply on “sensation,” as what immediately necessary story from an ongoing war wouldn’t be sensational?  Rather, the first wave of coverage following the Log’s release on Friday, October 21, has foregrounded reports of the routine catastrophe of collateral victims, of the scope of casualties revealed by the tabulated numeric data, of the low-tech arms race of IED and counter-measures, of contractor’s exacerbation of potentially violent situations.  Continue reading

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