Recent Posts

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 […]

Topic Stability, Part 2

Topic Stability, Part 2

In my previous post I tried to illustrate how different runs of the same topic modelling process can produce topics that appear to be slightly semantically different from one another. If you keep k and all other parameters constant, but change your initial seed, you’ll […]

Topic Modelling Literary Studies: Topic Stability, Part 1

Topic Modelling Literary Studies: Topic Stability, Part 1

I’ve started working with a new data set of ca. 60,000 articles from the field of literary studies published between 1950 and 2010 courtesy of JSTOR. I’ll have more to say about the data set in the coming weeks, but for now I want to […]


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