I am delighted to announce the launch of my CHI project, God-Honoring Snark!
This interactive narrative blends storytelling with the results of computational text analysis to engage visitors with the ethical questions driving contemporary snark communities. For the text analysis, I first collected comments and text posts from r/FundieSnarkUncensored’s first year using PushShift web scraping, then processed the resulting corpus using Latent Dirichlet Allocation to identify topics of discussion in each month from August 2020 to August 2021. These were then inductively coded into categories in order to recognize persistent themes, five of which form the basis for this project’s narrative: community boundaries; sexual and reproductive autonomy; intersections of power, gender, and relationships; storytelling; and responses to abuse and trauma. By contextualizing these findings within a Twine-based narrative experience, my hope is that this project enacts the kind of reflexive storytelling that has shaped r/FundieSnarkUncensored and that might guide a new wave of snark.
The learning curve to create this project was steep, and I’m immensely grateful to my cohort of fellows and the faculty mentors who have helped along the way. As a humanist coming into this fellowship with a limited technical background, I knew that I wanted to explore computational text analysis, in some form, and that I wanted to ground my results in feminist rhetorical practices. I found that the process of creating an interactive story in Twine while simultaneously conducting the much more meticulous analytical work in R created a fruitful balance. Both technical aspects pushed me to think creatively about structure, to expand my problem-solving strategies, and to form new professional connections. Moving forward, I plan to continue expanding this narrative by adding additional interactive layers and creating a companion webpage where I can host more longform content for both scholarly and popular audiences.
Until then, I hope you enjoy the project!