Scholar’s Lab Presentation: Using Juxta Commons in the Classroom

Scholars’ Lab Speaker Series: Andrew Stauffer & Dana Wheeles
Using Juxta Commons in the Classroom

In February, Andrew Stauffer, Professor of English and Director of NINES, and Juxta Project Administrator Dana Wheeles spoke about using the newly released Juxta Commons in the classroom. Because the presentation was a show-and-tell, Dana has been kind enough to create this blog post as a companion to the podcast of their talk.

As always, you can listen to (or subscribe to) our podcasts on the Scholars’ Lab blog, or on iTunesU.

 

 

 

Juxta Commons work space

The Juxta Commons Work Space

During our recent presentation of Juxta Commons in the Scholar’s Lab, NINES Director Andrew Stauffer and I showed a number of visualizations of texts collated within the interface of our newly-released application. Because this aspect of the presentation does not translate for an audience listening to the podcast audio, this blog post is meant as a visual companion to our talk.

We began the presentation with a tour of the Juxta Commons workspace, from the library section at the top of the page (for managing your source files, witnesses and comparison sets) to the visualization pane that dominates the lower portion of the window. Using a set comparing Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures Underground with the more well-know Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Dr. Stauffer showed how the heat map overlays color over variants – the deeper the color, the more different the passage. He also showed how the histogram offers a more global view of the collation, and allows the user to target the regions with the most difference quickly, even for long documents.

Alice Underground vs Alice in Wonderland: heat map and histogram

Alice Underground vs Alice in Wonderland: heat map and histogram

Dr. Stauffer also showed a comparison of two versions of D.G. Rossetti’s review, “The Stealthy School of Criticism,” illustrating how the author toned down his rhetoric in the version published in the Athenaeum.

Highlight of variant in Rossetti's text

Highlight of variant in Rossetti’s text

When I took the podium, I chose to focus on other ways of utilizing Juxta Commons, from authenticating texts found on the web, to exploring the history of news items and Wikipedia articles. For example, a look at two versions of an article posted on the New York Times website in November shows that the same article might be drastically different 30 minutes after posting.

New York Times article

A full compendium of the sets we shared can be found at the main Juxta blog at juxtasoftware.org.

If you have any questions about Juxta or Juxta Commons, please visit us at our development list, or write us directly at technologies at nines dot org.

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