Kenneth Sherwood

Associate Professor of English; Co-Director of Center for Digital Humanities and Culture, Indiana University of PA

My interest in the HIPSTAS/Arlo project grows out of prior practice in ethnopoetic transcription–a kind of “close listening” analysis that can have a number of aims: to represent word content and paralinguistic features, to create a performance script; to determine which features are significant in formal, aesthetic or even historical senses.

I’m interesting in exploring how ARLO can be utilized as an aid to creating transcriptions, and am thinking about how to move from an expressive, manual transcription process towards a standardized markup, possibly using T.E.I schema such as those developed for oral history and performance texts.

As we begin to understand what ARLO can be made to do, I’m thinking about Schreibman’s “Versioning Machine” for navigating textual variants and considering how to audit and represent the performance variations between multiple recordings of a given text by a single poet — drawing on the generous resources of PennSound.

At this distance, I am still getting a feel for the kinds of queries it will be possible to execute with ARLO. So I have s range of more general questions waiting off stage:

How can high performance sound technologies enhance the literary analysis of poetry audio by providing or enhancing the capacity for
1.) identifying, exploring, and categorizing performance variants of the same texts (an aural/visual equivalent to the “Versioning machine”)
2.) providing heuristic “ear training” for readers/listeners, where visualization tools would draw attention to aural patterns
2.b) enabling computer aided transcription, where corpus analysis and visualization can be then refined by human listeners (cf. “catchpa”)
3.) enable a kind of distant listening, flagging and visualizing generic features of poetry performance traditions ( Is there, for example, a New York School style of oral delivery? )
4.) batch analysis of an audio corpus to mark the aural/perceptual relationships of poetry performance and extra-poetic “asides” (which often provide signficant contextualization of the poems but which may be “invisible” in the Pennsound archive)

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