At Temple This Week

events, DH

I’m giving a talk at the Center for the Humanities at Temple tomorrow, Wednesday, April 8, in their Digital Humanities in Practice Series.

Quiet Transformations of Literary Study, 1889–2013

The history of literary scholarship is usually presented as a succession of conflicting ideas. Yet gradual, distributed change is equally significant, and often less visible to practitioners, who remember recent dramas better than the unspoken norms of eighty years ago. Understanding such change requires new methodologies. I present an analysis using probabilistic topic modeling to reveal broad trends in more than 21,000 literary-studies journal articles. As literary and cultural studies confronts the interpretive challenges posed by topic modeling and other quantitative methods, we increasingly enter the methodological domain of the social sciences.

It’s at 4:00 p.m. in the CHAT Lounge (details on the CHAT website). I can promise at least 300 words on tokenization1 and the phrase “post-Marxist Mechanical Turk” used as sincere praise.


  1. Or 294, depending on how you count.