Poking around on the Voyant page for the Crisis was kind of fun! I initially was having some bug trouble with the drill-down feature—I was trying to see the distribution of terms within a document but I don’t think the website would let me. Regardless, I found that “school” and “high” were both markedly popular words in volume 22, no. 3, which was published in 1917, although I don’t know the significance of that. It was also interesting to make connections that I could have already put together but for my lack of historical knowledge. For example, “women” was used most in volume 10, no. 4, which I see was published in 1915, the year of a notable women’s suffrage march.
I was also interested in and amused by Veliza. I don’t know if I gained anything about the actual text of the Crisis from this tool, but it was certainly entertaining, and at the least I gained some decontextualized familiarity with the various issues from the fragments spit out when I selected the “from text” response option. Thinking of temporary structures within a historical flow, from Moretti: I remember being in New York and being surprised to see ads on the subway about an app that would connect you with a therapist to text back and forth with. This format of a text conversation between therapist and “patient” feels like an example of Voyant’s playing around with a temporary structure (texting with a therapist, a structure of the current moment) within the historical flow of data visualization. (This is not even to get into the way that psychotherapy has evolved over the years into a dynamic that works through texting.)