"Early Information Theory & the Cultural Studies of Sound: Introducing HiPSTAS"

Tanya Clement (School of Information, University of Texas at Austin)
Clement is an Assistant Professor in the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin. She has a PhD in English Literature and Language and an MFA in fiction. Her primary area of research centers on scholarly information infrastructure as it impacts academic research, research libraries, and the creation of research tools and resources in the digital humanities. She has published in American Literary History, Digital Humanities Quarterly, Digital Studies / Le champ numérique, Jacket2, the Journal of the Text Encoding Initiative, Library Quarterly, Literary and Linguistic Computing, and Texas Studies in Literature and Language. Some of her digital projects include High Performance Sound Technologies for Access and Scholarship (HiPSTAS) and ProseVis, which was awarded “Best Infovis” in the 2012 Digital Humanities Awards as part of the NEH-funded “A Thousand Words: Advanced Visualization for the Humanities” project at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC).

"Early Information Theory and the Cultural Studies of Sound: Introducing High Performance Sound Technologies for Access and Scholarship (HiPSTAS)"

There are hundreds of thousands of hours of important spoken text audio files, which comprise poetry readings, speeches, oral histories, and other spoken word performances that contain the only recordings of significant literary figures and bygone oral traditions. Even digitized, these artifacts are only marginally accessible for listening and almost completely inaccessible for new forms of analysis and instruction in the digital age. At this time, even though we have digitized hundreds of thousands of hours of culturally significant audio artifacts and have developed increasingly sophisticated systems for computational analysis of sound, there is no provision for humanities scholars interested in spoken texts such as speeches, stories, and poetry to use or to understand how to use high performance technologies for analyzing sound.

To this end, the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin and the Illinois Informatics Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have received NEH funding for HiPSTAS (High Performance Sound Technologies for Access and Scholarship at http://blogs.ischool.utexas.edu/hipstas/) to bring together humanists interested in sound scholarship, stewards of sound collections, and computer scientists and technologists versed in computational analytics and visualizations of sound to develop more productive tools for advancing scholarship in spoken text audio. This talk will discuss the ongoing outcomes generated by HiPSTAS including an assessment of humanities user requirements for large scale computational analysis of sound