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Welcome to .txtLAB, a laboratory for cultural analytics at McGill University directed by Andrew Piper. We explore the use of computational and quantitative approaches towards understanding literature and culture in both the past and present. Our aim is to engage in critical and creative uses of the tools of network science, machine learning, or image processing to think about language, literature, and culture at both large and small scale.
Posts tagged "Novel"
Upward Looking and Forward Thinking? The Stance of the Modern Novel

Upward Looking and Forward Thinking? The Stance of the Modern Novel

What would it mean for the novel to take a stance? To position itself relative to the world? How would it do so and how might we understand this positioning? At the individual level, we can imagine how certain novels are written from a particular orientation to the world,  from “below” as in the case of Notes from...
Prizewinners versus Bestsellers. Timeless Reads or the Spotlight of Fame

Prizewinners versus Bestsellers. Timeless Reads or the Spotlight of Fame

This post is the first in a series by this year’s .txtLAB interns. It is authored by Eva Portelance. Building Corpuses The first step in our search for answers required that we build solid corpuses for comparison. The PW corpus was selected from five main literary awards given in the United-States, Canada and Britain. These...
The New Young Adult Fiction. More Human, More Me.

The New Young Adult Fiction. More Human, More Me.

What difference does an editor make? This was the question posed by a recent profile of the highly successful editor of young adult fiction, Julie Strauss-Gabel, who manages the imprint Dutton Children’s Books. Her titles have consistently performed well over recent years and it was a timely reminder of the impact that a good editor can...
Validation and Subjective Computing

Validation and Subjective Computing

Like many others I have been following the debate between Matthew Jockers and Annie Swafford regarding the new syuzhet R package created by Jockers, which has been given a very nice storified version by Eileen Clancy. As others have pointed out, the best part of the exchange has been the civility and depth of replies,...
The Eighteenth-Century Family

The Eighteenth-Century Family

    This animation represents the emotional network of the family in the eighteenth-century novel. It measures the co-occurrence of emotions and family members within sentences in a sample of eighty novels in English published between 1750-1800. It begins with the most strongly weighted connection (“man”-“good”) and then gradually grows to include the entire network....
Emotion Networks in the Novel

Emotion Networks in the Novel

For my ongoing project on the history of emotions in the novel, I thought I’d post a first pass of emotion networks that appear in the Romantic Novel versus the Postwar Novel. The networks are based on emotion words that occur in the same sentence. The more often emotions appear in the same sentence the stronger their...
NovelTM

NovelTM

This partnership brings together 21 researchers and partners from academic and non-academic institutions in order to produce the first large-scale, cross-cultural study of the novel according to quantitative methods. Ever since its putative rise in the eighteenth century, the novel has emerged as a central means of expressing what it means to be modern. And yet...
Text Mining the Novel

Text Mining the Novel

We have been awarded a major Partnership Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for $1.8 million towards the quantitative study of the novel. “Text Mining the Novel: Establishing the Foundations of a New Discipline” involves researchers and partners from 21 different academic and non-academic institutions. Our aim is to bring new computational approaches...
Where did all the love go? Feelings in the novel.

Where did all the love go? Feelings in the novel.

I have been increasingly focusing on the history of feeling in the novel, especially as a way of differentiating feeling from sentiment analysis. Emotions aren’t the same as sentiments, as they are commonly defined today (and usually only in binary fashion — happy/unhappy or positive/negative). Instead, I was interested in the ways different kinds of emotions change...
Conversional Reading

Conversional Reading

This project is about studying the legacy of Augustinian conversion in the age of modern autobiography. What happens to a notion of the conversional life in a secular world? Building a model of conversional plot detection, I  found that the poetics of conversion lives on most strongly in the genre of the modern novel and not autobiography....
The Werther Effect

The Werther Effect

In what ways does Goethe’s Werther live on in eighteenth-century writing? This project seeks to develop new ways of understanding textual circulation across national boundaries. How can we develop maps of affective communities of reading? For an overview of the project, go here. For the project summary, here.