TXTDS Minors’ Winter Capstone Projects

Congratulations to TXTDS minors Lauren Zarlingo and Ray Molinar for completing their capstone projects for the minor in winter 2024!

Lauren Zarlingo’s (Foster’24) capstone project, completed under the direction of Prof. Anna Preus (English), investigated the history of the New York Times’ coverage of New York City Ballet’s The Nutcracker.  The Nutcracker is the most widely known and performed ballet in the United States, and discussions of its portrayal of race and nationality have been growing in recent years.  She used the New York Times’ Article Search API to create a dataset of metadata about articles the Times has published about the ballet from 1954 to the present day. 

She examined the level of coverage of the ballet over time and performed sentiment analysis on the headlines.  The project particularly focused on the Chinese Tea section of the ballet and its reception in the Times; she also created a small hand-curated corpus including the full text of Times articles that discuss Chinese Tea.  In the future, she hopes to extend the project by expanding the corpus of full-text articles and exploring other ballets.

Spiegelman, A. (2011). The Complete Maus. Pantheon Books., 75; Scanned by Ray Molinar as a part of their work for The Medium is the Message exhibit at UW Special Collections.

Ray Molinar (History ’24) decided to investigate digitization and how exactly it was done. Ray worked in UW Libraries’ Special Collections with Special Projects Curator Kat Lewis. Digitization is the process and policies involved in making a digital copy of a physical object for easy access at a later date.Ray digitized various pages from graphic novels, wrote metadata for the objects following DublinCore Standards, and then made mounted physical copies of those digital objects for UW Special Collections’ exhibit: The Medium is The Message: Lived Experience is the Story. In reflection, Ray said the project was both surprisingly simple and time-consuming, but they look forward to exploring it more in the future.