Abstract for Roundtable

In an essay titled “Why Study Humanities? What I Tell Engineering Freshmen”, Horgan (2013) makes the case for how essential humanities are for seemingly irrelevant, positive science fields, by arguing that “we need the humanities to foster a healthy anti-dogmatism”: humanities can bring in subversiveness, skepticism and critical thinking to those fields dominated by assurances of certainty, facts, and truth. He states that as these latter fields hugely are intertwined with and impact our society, humanities and social sciences are needed where human life is concerned.

In a similar vein, I would like to propose that a feminist analysis of text is not just possible but necessary, and critical to all fields that use text analysis as a method. While social science and humanities fields strive to address the complexity of issues related to gender, racism, sexism, colonialism, and corporate interests in text analysis and data analysis in general, even a quick look at studies in other fields such as engineering and information science show that they still fall behind in such critical issues and not without consequence. I would like to therefore look at a sample of studies in different disciplines, and identify the differences in their approach to formulating their research questions, data, conceptualization, operationalization, and analysis. I will then highlight what humanities and social sciences can offer to various disciplines based on literature and provide examples of application (code).


Horgan, J. (2013, June 20). Why Study Humanities? What I Tell Engineering Freshmen. Scientific American. https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/why-study-humanities-what-i-tell-engineering-freshmen/