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­sing Data to Explore Poetic Sound

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Sean Pue, Michigan State University director of digital humanities and associate professor of South Asian literature and culture.

Hoping to bridge data science and the humanities, Michigan State University researcher Sean Pue will use a fellowship from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to study the role of sound in modern South Asian poetry.

Credit: MSUToday

Michigan State University (MSU) researcher Sean Pue is studying the role of sound in modern South Asian poetry.

He is conducting the research with the help of an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation New Directions Fellowship, which promotes cross-disciplinary research by assisting humanities faculty with training outside their discipline. Pue will use the $213,000 award to pursue training in computational mathematics, computer science, and natural language processing.

"My project will address an understudied aspect of one of the most enduring questions in South Asian literary studies--namely the relationship between language and community--through a completely new method," Pue says.

He will use computational tools to study rhyme, stress, and patterns of repetition and compare written text and performance. Pue also will develop best encoding practices for linguists and scholarship librarians by creating digital texts and performances for Hindi and Urdu. "This project is part of an emerging strength in culturally engaged digital humanities at MSU and Mellon's support for Sean's work is a telling sign of the quality of the scholarship our faculty is producing," says Christopher Long, dean of the MSU College of Arts and Letters.

From MSUToday
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