CGHE Webinar 275

From newspaper supplement to data company: Tracking rhetorical change in the Times Higher Education’s rankings coverage

Date: Tuesday, 8 March 2022 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Location: Zoom webinar
Speaker(s):
  • Morten Hansen, Lancaster University & University of Cambridge
  • Astrid Van den Bossche, King's College London

Event Materials

This event is now archived and we are pleased to provide the following event media and assets, along with the original event overview.

This session will focus on the Times Higher Education (THE) magazine, publisher of the World University Rankings. It reports on the findings of a recent study that analyses a corpus of 3,296 rankings related articles printed in the magazine between 1994 and 2020. The analysis shows how coverage of the rankings is subject to shifts in rhetorical strategy as THE developed into a ranking powerhouse.

The analysis makes use of a computational hermeneutic application of Kenneth Burke’s dramatistic pentad. The findings are presented by mapping prevalent themes in the corpus by using LDA topic modelling, identifying scene-agent ratios by examining the cast of frequent agents by scene, and articulating subject-verb-object triplets as dendrograms in order to approximate scene-agent-act ratios. The study is forthcoming in the journal Poetics.

Further reading: From newspaper supplement to data company: Tracking rhetorical change in the Times Higher Education’s rankings coverage

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