Roundtable Abstract

Feminist text analysis is analogous to and a part of good text analysis. Just as “all models are wrong” with computational text analysis in general, we need to acknowledge that a feminist text analysis in particular will never be fully completed. In both cases, it is a matter of engaging in a process that operationalizes texts, critiques whatever shortcomings there might be, and adjusts accordingly. This requires a feminist ethos that is persistent in making a text analysis project a space that is open to the visibility of the female experience. This has to happen at every step in the research process. This means that the data collected needs to account for the most diverse spectrum of experiences possible and that the data ought not be approached in a traditionally masculine way by means of mastery and absolute truth. The concepts to be measured and quantified must be informed by disciplines concerned with social justice, not relying on the data to “speak for itself”, but employing critical theories that seek to upset stereotypical paradigms to use data to say something new. A feminist text analysis, like any good text analysis, needs to know the limits of the tools and methods being used, and what they can and cannot tell us about the world. And finally, a constant dedication to criticism and revision must always seek to question and expand the limitations of the research. This will not result in an absolute feminist text analysis to end all feminist text analysis, but is always a constant engagement in the process.