The final version of my Clio Wired Project, «Shifts in Physical Culture,» is online now. It has been quite the process getting everything formatted correctly–I realized after I presented that I had made a mistake and did not included all of the articles when I ran the topic modeling software so I had to adjust that. Overall the results are the same–there is a definite change in the discussion of physical culture between 1932 and 1937.
I added one other element to my project to help support my argument. I used the Google N-Gram viewer to show how the term «physical culture» has occurred in books from 1800 to 2000. The result confirms what I suspected–there is a large drop in the term beginning in 1935. The graph doesn’t help me answer why, although I have my suspicions, but it does give me a starting point for further research.
Although, I think what I learned from this project is, first, that topic modeling is incredibly useful and a really neat tool for analyzing text. Secondly, I need to experiment with looking at physical culture on a much larger scale using topic modeling. (although thats a whole other–big–project.) Adding some of the digitized books from online archives such as google books and HathiTrust would allow me to look more closely at physical culture as a trend. I think incorporating some text from health and diet gurus such as Bernarr Macfadden would make for a really interesting analysis.
Its been a great semester–see you all in the Spring for Round 2!