I started by selecting the transcripts from the Kavanaugh-Ford Senate Hearing. I focused on the opening statements of Brett Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford since it was an uninterrupted summary of what each had to say. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this assignment, given this was my first time using Voyant and having chosen a highly charged subject matter, but I was not disappointed.

Fig. 1 Kavanaugh    

Fig. 2 Ford

Figure one shows links between Brett Kavanaugh’s five most frequently used words (blue), and those associated with it (orange). I highlighted Kavanaugh’s second most frequently used word, “school”, to demonstrate the interactive aspect of Voyant. highlighting “school”, also narrowed down other charts to show detail for the selected term (fig. 3). 

Fig. 3 Kavanaugh

Fig. 4 Ford

Additionally, I was struck by Kavanaugh’s frequent use of the word, “women”, and was quickly able to explore why with Voyant.

Fig. 5

In figure five, I was able to select “women” from the terms tab and view the context in several different ways.

I’ve avoided adding my interpretation to this blog post because I think Voyant is a powerful enough tool to speak for itself. I strongly suggest everyone interested in this topic take some time to compare themselves and share interesting finds that I may have missed. you can find the opening transcripts for Kavanaugh here and Ford here.