Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Future of the Humanities Will Be Demand-Led

The following is an unpolished contribution to some recent debates about the wisdom of defending, or ceasing to defend, the humanities. In what follows, I do not discuss what is deep, rich, and wonderful about the humanities. People who already care already know. I believe the public discussion ought to start somewhere else. When I […]

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Fuzzy Structuralism

Several years ago I did some experiments with Franco Moretti, Matt Jockers, Sarah Allison and Ryan Heuser on a set of Victorian novels, experiments that developed into the first pamphlet issued by the Stanford Literary Lab. Having never tried Docuscope on anything but Shakespeare, I was curious to see how the program would perform on […]

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The very strange language of A Midsummer Night’s Dream

I just got back from a fun and very educative trip to Shakespeare’s Globe in London, hosted by Dr Farah Karim-Cooper, who is director of research there. The Globe stages an annual production aimed at schools (45,000 free tickets have been distributed over the past five years), and this year’s play is A Midsummer Night’s […]

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Visualizing Linguistic Variation with LATtice

The transformation of literary texts into “data” – frequency counts, probability distributions, vectors – can often seem reductive to scholars trained to read closely, with an eye on the subtleties and slipperiness of language. But digital analysis, in its massive scale and its sheer inhuman capacity of repetitive computation, can register complex patterns and nuances […]

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Why the Difference? Accounting for Variation between the Folio and Globe Editions of Shakespeare’s Plays

To what extent is modern text analysis software capable of dealing with historical data? This is a perennial question asked by those working with digitized historical texts who wish to see how an analysis of such texts can be facilitated by cutting-edge technologies. No doubt the best way to answer the question is to test […]

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