• Kat Gupta’s research blog

    caution: may contain corpus linguistics, feminism, activism, LGB, queer and trans stuff, parrots, London

Arson and unresolutions

Happy New Year! I’ve started the new year with a bit of arson. Not mine, I hasten to add. I’ve been kind of struggling to find a good record of suffrage actions; part of the problem of interdisciplinary research is that if you’re basically teaching yourself a subject, there are almost certainly going to be resources well-known to ‘natives’ (for want of a better term) of the field but which you’re blissfully unaware of. It feels a bit rude to keep bothering historians with what must be rather inane questions, but happily I’ve found Andrew Rosen’s Rise Up, Women! The Militant Campaign of the Women’s Social and Political Union 1903-1914 and that’s doing rather nicely to flesh out the spring and early summer for me. He calculates that the WSPU caused an estimated £145,025 of damage between March and August; out of curiosity I looked for a way of converting this into current values and to my joy, found not only a huge list of resources but an online converter. It gives two figures depending on which dates you plug in: In 1910, £145,025 0s 0d would have the same spending worth of today’s £8,275,126.50 In 1915, £145,025 0s 0d… Continue reading

it lives! it liiiiiives!

I’m currently working on something that seem to have mutated out of a chapter. No, wait, that’s a rubbish description. In Chapter 4 I examined words derived from Mutual Information for the words suffragette, suffragettes, suffragist and suffragists. Between the historical research and my data-driven categories, I identified the following categories: constitutionalist vs militant, class, geography, gender/gender roles, origins, direct action, legal and prison, proper names, organisational, politics and opposition. I then investigated the direct action category in more detail. The terms I looked at (disturbance*, outrage*, violence, crime*, disorder and incident?) were evaluative on a lexico-grammatical level. However, upon reading the texts, I realised that there were other types of evaluation at work in the texts. These were longer and more analytical, operating at the discourse level and could only be discovered by reading the texts. So I read texts. One of the themes that emerged was the tension between organised actions and individual actions. I started planning out Chapter 5, worked out which period to focus on, worked out which articles in that period I was going to analyse, and read a lot of discourse analysis. I then started to analyse the articles, only to discover something a… Continue reading

Thoughts on direct action

In my research, it’s impossible not to come across issues of direct action. Earlier this year I was looking at words derived from Mutual Information for suffragist, suffragists, suffragette and suffragettes. A category for direct action terms emerged from this data, and I started to look at disturbance*, outrage*, violence, crime*, disorder and incident? in more detail. To quote from a draft of this chapter: The terms examined in this chapter can be paired – two relatively high frequency, non-specific terms disturbance* and outrage*, two low frequency, specific terms violence and crime* and two terms, disorder and incident?, which are both used to describe suffrage campaigners’ interactions with non-suffrage supporters, but differ in which groups they are used in conjunction with. Reports shy away from using violence and crime* to describe suffrage campaigning and instead use more ambiguous terms such as disturbance and outrage; the actions encompassed by disturbance and outrage include the disruption of meetings and heckling as well as more destructive acts such as ‘fire outrages’ and bombs. The damage and destruction was largely confined to property. If there was physical aggression, it was nearly always faced by the suffrage campaigners than posed by them. The Times describes… Continue reading

oh no, not another research blog

Apparently this is how the cool kids are disseminating their research.  I’m Kat and I’m an apprentice academic (of sorts).  My background is in corpus linguistics but my thesis also involves discourse analysis, history and politics.  My thesis focuses on how the British women’s suffrage movement was represented in The Times newspaper between 1908 and 1914.  More broadly, my research interests include language and gender, language and power, sociolinguistics, discourse analysis and corpus linguistics. I also like tea, feminism, activism, books, webcomics, music, LGBT and queer issues, rats, and procrastination. Continue reading