Buffalo Bill's Wild West and the Progressive Image of American Indians
Jason A. Heppler and Douglas Seefeldt
The basis of the project relies upon an archive of textual documents relating to William F. Cody and Show Indians in the Wild West. The majority of documents have come from the William F. Cody Digital ARchive and were analyzed with the MALLET software package.
Topic modeling uses statistical techniques to categorize individual texts and uncover categories, patterns, and topics that might not be immediately apparent. The topics here do not emerge from the editorial decisions of the researcher, but rather are uncovered by algorithmic computation. Topics here mean groups of words that are likely to appear together in the same document. The method here is similar to Franco Moretti's concept of "distant reading" from his chapter on graphs in Graphs, Maps, and Trees: Abstract Models for Literary History.