Recent Posts

Did we already know that?

Did we already know that?

For anyone who has ever given a talk using computational methods the response, “But didn’t we already know that?”, looms large in your consciousness. Nothing feels more deflating…and frustrating. I always want to respond, well, we believed we knew it and now we have more […]

How do we model stereotypes without stereotyping?

How do we model stereotypes without stereotyping?

We recently put out a paper on how racial bias functions in Hollywood films. This work was based on a few studies that came before it, namely this one, from USC Annenberg. We presented numerical analyses like the number of characters in different racial and […]

The Coding Turn in the Humanities

The Coding Turn in the Humanities

As part of my new book, I have made the code and all derived text data freely available online. The underlying text data has been shared as far as copyright restrictions would allow. As I mentioned in my initial post, this entailed a massive amount […]

Enumerations is out!

Enumerations is out!

My new book, Enumerations: Data and Literary Study, is now out with the University of Chicago Press. It’s a long-form exploration of the meaning of quantity in literature, from a study of punctuation in poetry, to plot structure in novels, to the semantics of character […]

The great ________ novel: How scholars classify the novel

The great ________ novel: How scholars classify the novel

Ever since Fotis Jannidis posted a graph on novel classification a few years ago I have been inspired to do something similar in English. What are the ways in which scholars over the past half-century have classified “the novel”? Using a collection of over 60,000 […]

.txtLAB’s Racial Lines featured by the CBC

.txtLAB’s Racial Lines featured by the CBC

Very pleased that new research on racial bias in Hollywood cinema by lab members Vicky Svaikovsky, Anne Meisner and Eve Kraicer has been featured on the CBC today. A really moving set of interviews with Canadian actors to discuss impressions of the lack of diversity in […]

Our first “collaboration”: Racial Lines

Our first “collaboration”: Racial Lines

I am very pleased to announce the launch of a new series of papers that will be coming out of .txtLAB in the months (and hopefully years) to come. We are calling them “collaborations,” and not just because it’s a pun on the word “lab.” […]

Gender Trouble: Literary Studies’ He/She Problem

Gender Trouble: Literary Studies’ He/She Problem

Pronouns have become a hot topic of late and I thought it would be interesting to explore their use in the new JSTOR data set that I have been working on that represents 60 years of literary studies articles. Previous work has shown how men […]


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