Selling the South in Delta’s Sky Magazine

Bubblielines visualization of the South corpus.
Bubblelines visualization of the South corpus.

Working with Cayton Moore, a MA student the University of Oklahoma, we have a new article out in the fall 2019 issue of Southeastern Geographer. Using Voyant Tools to examine a corpus of twenty city profiles from Sky (totaling nearly 140,000 words), our focus was on how the South was leveraged to sell the places highlighted. Additionally, we looked at traditional themes identified in the place promotion literature since the 1980s.

We found variation in how closely embraced the South was. The Louisville profile was clear about distancing itself, with one quote suggesting Louisville was not the “deep south.” We did see the clustering of certain terms as seen below, but as made clear by many critiques of digital humanities tools, context and meaning are rarely derived from the visualization alone.

Cluster analysis of the corpus.

The remainder of the paper highlights the fact that terms such as accessibility, centrality, and the concept of proximity still matter in the place promotion process.

Bubblielines visualization of the South corpus.
Bubblelines visualization of the South corpus.

A link the to the data, held on a University of Oklahoma Voyant Tools server can be found here. Additionally, if you wan to explore what Voyant tools visualizations can do for your text, click here.

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