Reading (as) Data: Literary History with Mass-Digitized Collections

All are welcome to attend this talk

12:00 to 1:30pm, Friday, January 31, 2020. NYU Department of English, Event Space
244 Greene St, Room 106

In Australia in the 19th and early 20th centuries, newspapers were the main source of fiction, local and imported. Fast forward to the 21st century, and the National Library of Australia’s Trove database hosts the largest open-access, mass-digitized collection of historical newspapers internationally. This fortunate confluence of technological systems (newspapers and mass-digitization) made possible the discovery of a transnational collection of over 21,000 publications of novels, novellas and short stories in early Australian newspapers. With reference to this massively expanded record of fiction in Australia and Australian fiction, this paper poses some key questions for literary and reading history in the mass-digitised age. Is bigger always better in computational literary studies? What new data-rich methods are useful for literary and reading history? And what happens to all this data when our projects finish?

The speaker is Katherine Bode, Professor of literary and textual studies at the Australian National University and an Australian Research Council Future Fellow (2018-2022). She is the author of books including A World of Fiction: Digital Collections and the Future of Literary History (2018) and Reading by Numbers: Recalibrating the Literary Field (2012).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *