Stop List: ∞

Stop List

The text embroidered on the lace reads: it, removes, the, human, i, do, not, trust, a, computer, to, do, my, research, what, do, results, really, reveal, it, is, not, accurate, tells, us, what, we, already, know, this, changes, reading, practices, challenges, our, canons, and, the, status, quo, diminishes, us

Oxford English Dictionary: stop list n. (a) a list of persons, etc., deprived of particular rights, privileges, or services; spec. a list of persons with whom members of an association are forbidden to do business; (b) a list of prohibited books; (c) a list of words to be omitted from a concordance or index.

Art Piece (Carrie Roy): Sculpture, lace with embroidery, 8” x 24”

Literary Perspective (Catherine DeRose): There have been many reservations and critiques when it comes to computational analysis of literature. “Stop List ∞” acknowledges some of these concerns at the same time that it hopes to move past them. One of the aspects that I find most appealing and exciting about digital work is its ability to generate questions, highlight patterns, and point to texts that have been previously overlooked or that bear further investigation. For me, digital work offers new perspectives for seeing literature; it’s not a turn away from the texts. Victorian Eyes showcases some of the new perspectives computational analyses and visualizations can offer. The literary analyses that accompany each art piece are intended largely to spark questions rather than provide answers. For answers, I (and all of us) must return to the texts. 

Statistics Perspective (Fred Boehm): In text analysis, we remove words that are in our stop list in our pre-processing steps. Often, we include words such as articles and pronouns on a stop list, with the expectation that doing so will highlight the important features of texts. Yet, what exactly do we mean by "important features"? By removing words before conducting the bulk of our analysis, we limit the scope of the questions that we can address.