Introducing Theresa Kenney

[With this, the Zeugmatic welcomes our new research assistant Theresa Kenney, who has guest-blogged for us before. Theresa and Rachel Shabalin will work on different facets of the project, and will blog their discoveries periodically.]

Upon entering university, I pictured what I could learn from my degrees (English and Political Science): grammar, international relations, early 19th century literature, and world domination. They seemed to have matched my interests and were seemingly feasible to learn at the University of Calgary.

Almost four years later, I’ve come to realise that these topics are great – just not for me. Instead, I find interest in the complexities of analysis – the creation, deconstruction, and interpretation – of most literature and political dialogue.

With this growing interest in analysis, I began blogging. It has become my main form of writing thanks to courses like English 340 and English 410. Courses like these have expanded my interest in digital capabilities and platforms by allowing for creative gif-filled content. From these experiences and academic examples, I now have a sparked interest in digital humanities.

So, with that in mind, the Zeugmatic seems to be my stepping-stone into digital humanities. The Zeugmatic has many appealing opportunities. Primarily, it provides an opportunity for me to express my interests: in digital humanities, the evolution of rhetorical figures, and the intersecting of patterns.

Also, the Zeugmatic algorithm’s potential ability to produce more (accessible) content for analysis is intriguing, especially for a student interested in the creation, deconstruction, and interpretation of texts. The work required to locate and identify various rhetorical figures decreases, allowing for more time to be spent on new unanswered questions sparked from the (visual) findings. Imagine what we could ask, discover, and answer about literature, rhetorical figures, and their users (authors)!

Moreover, the Zeugmatic brings on the possibility for new visualisations of text – much greater than my green, orange, and blue highlighter marks and colourful annotation on a page. Sarah Hertz wrote of this previously. The Zeugmatic’s goal is to have the ability to visually Screen Shot 2014-05-23 at 9.02.44 PMproduce “a multi-sided, multi-coloured Renaissance Rubik’s Cube”, which can be found in various texts1. The application of colour and dimension to rhetorical figures changes the perception of text. This interesting potential of labelled rhetorical figures in a colourful, (possibly) spatial, algorithmic way makes the project unique to the DH family.

The Zeugmatic is a moving part in an exciting developing field, although it is its possibilities that make it wonderfully intriguing. So, stay connected as we journey through a colourful algorithmic analysis of Shakespeare and much more via @TheZeugmatic and here.


1. Hertz, Sarah. “From Decimals to Decahedrons: Renaissance Rubik’s Cubes.” Web blog post. The Zeugmatic.