Recent Posts

Why? Capturing causal reasoning in narrative

Why? Capturing causal reasoning in narrative

One of the principal reasons we tell stories is to explain why something happened. A story consists of the recounting of a series of events. The causes of those events are often attached to different agents, either more or less explicitly. Narrative is a powerful 

Buying the news

Buying the news

We have a new piece out in the journal, New Media and Society, by lead author and lab student, Benjamin LeBrun, on the effects of hedge fund ownership on local news coverage. We were inspired to start this project by a piece that appeared back 

Hathi1M: Introducing a Million Page Historical Prose Dataset in English from the Hathi Trust

Hathi1M: Introducing a Million Page Historical Prose Dataset in English from the Hathi Trust

Really pleased to announce the release of a new data set that I’ve been working on with my collaborator Sunyam Bagga. In it we build on the prior work of Ted Underwood and his team to develop parallel corpora of fiction and non-fiction writing over 

Introducing the World Literature Data Collective

Introducing the World Literature Data Collective

Welcome to the next moonshot. Together with a growing and dynamic group of researchers I am extremely proud to announce a new initiative aimed at understanding human storytelling across numerous world cultures. The goal of globalizing our understanding of storytelling has long been a dream 

Gettin’ into GitHub

Gettin’ into GitHub

One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to get stuff off my computer and onto GitHub. I know I’m late to the party. But better late than never. GitHub is an amazing resource where researchers all over the world share code. When we talk about 

The difference Queer FanFic makes

The difference Queer FanFic makes

Fanfic isn’t all about sex. It’s about connection. Two students in our lab, Nikoo Sarraf and Jennifer Chen, have a new lab collaboration paper out that explores the way queer fanfiction differs from mainstream publishing. As they write in their introduction: Fanfiction is a powerful 

Detecting narrativity across long time scales

Detecting narrativity across long time scales

Our lab has a new article out that will be appearing in the Computational Humanities Research Conference Proceedings (CHR 2021). In this project, we develop computational methods for measuring the degree of narrativity in over 335,000 text passages distributed across two- to three-hundred years of 

Let the hypothesis testing begin

Let the hypothesis testing begin

We believe that a turn toward hypothesis testing will help us become more aware of exactly what we are doing and why we are doing it. I have a new piece out with Matt Erlin in Public Books. In it we describe why we think