Digital Projects - Brandon Walsh

Digital Projects

While the blogroll has miscellaneous scribblings, these are the more complete/robust projects that I have worked on. In addition to my work on projects at DH at W&L, I also maintain a github repository where I regularly contribute code for a range of projects in a variety of stages of completeness.

Hearing Silent Woolf

woolf face

Python project that uses natural language processing and machine learning to perform distant readings of Virginia Woolf’s use of quotation marks. The study aims to chart Woolf’s use of moments that imply speech even when no punctuation is present. The project won first prize for the digital humanities panel I was on at the 2015 Huskey Research Exhibition at UVA, and it was the basis for a fellowship in digital humanities in UVA’s Scholars’ Lab. The project was carried out with significant contributions from Eric Rochester, Head of Research and Development in the Lab, and our code can be found on our GitHub repository.



prism visualize page Prism is a browser-based Ruby on Rails application that facilitates text analysis among large groups of people. Built by the Praxis Program at the Scholars’ Lab. I came on during the second year of development and have served lead developer since (though the tool is no longer in active development). The tool has gotten significant uptake by K-12 educators.


  • Crowdsourcing Individual Interpretations: Between Microtasking and Macrotasking,” Brandon Walsh; Claire Maiers; Gwen Nally; Jeremy Boggs; Literary and Linguistic Computing 2014; doi: 10.1093/llc/fqu030.
  • “Prism,” under the “Poetry” keyword in Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities: Concepts, Models, and Experiments (forthcoming).
  • “Prism and Reading’s Shape” solicited for edited collection Pataphysics Then & Now (under review).


Humanities Programming

Each summer I run a course on “Humanities Programming” at Humanities Intensive Learning and Training (HILT). Piloted by Wayne Graham and Jeremy Boggs, I took over and now lead the course with Ethan Reed. The course is meant to be an intensive introduction to programming for non-programmers that takes students through command line, git, HTML5/CSS, Ruby, and Rails. By the end, students will have tinkered on and deployed their own Ruby on Rails application. Materials can be found on our course site.


From 2013 to 2015 I acted as Project Manager of the Networked Infrastructure of Nineteenth-Century Electronic Scholarship (NINES). NINES peer reviews digital archives pertaining to the nineteenth-century and aggregated that content into a federated, searchable index. As Project Manager I facilitated this process by wrangling reviewers, cleaning metadata, and facilitating the indexing process.

Introduction to Text Analysis: A Coursebook

Introduction to Text Analysis: A Coursebook is an open, remixable set of course materials. Co-authored with Professor Sarah Horowitz of Washington and Lee University, the book is designed to be modularized so as to facilitate easy excerpting. The book was written with a student audience in mind, and it is as much a pedagogical experiment in collaborative writing as it is a teaching resource in its own right.