Every scholar and student of modern Japanese literature is familiar with the Aozora Bunko Digital Library. It is an open source collection of over 12,000 texts that includes fiction, poetry, essays, and dramatic scripts, with the bulk of the material dating to the first half of the 20th century. Until now, however, it has not been easy to search this collection in an efficient and comprehensive way. Working with the ARTFL group at the University of Chicago, Hoyt Long has helped to develop an enhanced search interface for this collection that is now available online. Using this new interface, users will be able to do a series of complex keyword searches across the entire library, filtering by categories such as author and date. A link to the interface and instructions for use can be found below. In the months ahead, additional tutorials and information about the history and make-up of this unique collection will be posted to this site.
Aozora Search Interface
How to use Aozora Search
Our latest in a series of articles on global literary modernism was recently published in a special issue of Modern Language Quarterly on “Scale and Value: New and Digital Approaches to Literary History” (September, 2016). The essay, titled “Turbulent Flow: A Computational Approach to World Literature,” uses computational modeling and large-scale pattern detection to develop a theory of global textual transmission as a process of turbulent flow. We are thrilled to be a part of this fantastic special issue with Jim English, Sharon Marcus, Mark McGurl, Ted Underwood, and many others.
The University of Chicago will be hosting a public workshop on “The Impact of the Digital on Japanese Studies” on November 11-12, 2016. The goal of the workshop is to bring together a variety of Japan scholars to consider how digital data and computational methods are changing the ways we organize and analyze cultural and historical information. It is also meant to catalyze new initiatives and projects by bringing together experienced and newer voices to brainstorm, discuss, and offer critical feedback on digitally inflected work and how it might support humanistic scholarship.
As part of the workshop, we wish to invite two graduate students who are currently working on, or who have an interest in creating, digital projects. These projects can pertain to any subject that fits within the broad frame of Japanese studies. Selected students will be provided full funding to participate in the event and will be expected to present their own projects according to the format described below.
The workshop will be organized around projects at various stages of completion, ranging from projects at a conceptual stage to those more fully realized. Presenters will share the results of any data-driven work they have done while addressing the technical or methodological processes involved in this work and possible future directions. Subject matter will range widely across multiple time periods and disciplines and will interrogate some of the most popular computational methods: text analysis, network analysis, and spatial analysis. Confirmed participants include: Jonathan Abel, Raja Adal, Susan Burns, Amy Catalinac, Molly Des Jardin, Mark Ravina, Catherine Ryu, and Jonathan Zwicker.
To apply for this opportunity, please submit a one-page statement that outlines your current research and areas of interest. Please also describe a digital project or dataset that you would like to discuss at the workshop. Graduate students at all stages are welcome to apply. Please submit your statement to the following website by May 15. Any inquiries can be directed to hoytlong_at_uchicago.edu.
We look forward to receiving your applications!
We’re extremely excited to announce that our new essay, “Literary Pattern Recognition: Modernism Between Close Reading and Machine Learning,” (also downloadable here: LONG_SO_CI) is now out at Critical Inquiry! The essay seeks to model a new form of interpretation that merges critical and computational forms of reading. We use this method to write a new history of Orientalism and Modernism, while remaining reflexive about the limits of the quantitative methods we deploy. We welcome any thoughts or comments!
Hoyt Long and Richard Jean So did a video interview with Critical Inquiry regarding our forthcoming article: “Literary Pattern Recognition: Modernism Between Close Reading and Machine Learning” (Winter 2016). We had a chance to talk about our work in the digital humanities, as well as offer some general thoughts on the uses of computation to study culture and literature, while remaining reflexive and critical about the technology we use. LINK
The website for our upcoming “Cultural Analytics: Computational Approaches to the Study of Literature” conference is now live! It includes speaker information, schedule, and paper abstracts. May 23-24, University of Chicago.
Conference website: https://culturalanalyticscollective.wordpress.com/
Hoyt Long and Richard Jean So of the Chicago Text Lab will be presenting new work at the conference, “Scale and Value: New and Digital Approaches to Literary History,” on May 15-16. The conference is organized by Marshall Brown, Jim English, and Ted Underwood, and hosted at the University of Washington. Papers will be published in a special issue of Modern Language Quarterly of the same title. We’re very excited to join Mark McGurl, Heather Love, Sharon Marcus, and other speakers.
Conference website: scaleandvalue.tumblr.com
Graduate Student Caucus: Call for Applicants
The University of Chicago will be hosting a major conference on the digital humanities on May 22-23, 2015. The purpose of the conference is to bring together leading scholars in computational literary and cultural studies for two days of discussion and work sharing. This group of scholars is joined by a common interest in bringing new methods in computer science and data analysis to bear on the study of literature and history. Participants include: Franco Moretti, Ted Underwood, Meredith Martin, Andrew Piper, Natalie Houston, Matthew Wilkens, Matthew Jockers, Marissa Gemma, Ryan Cordell, Elizabeth Maddock Dillon, David Smith, Tanya Clement, Mark Algee-Hewitt, and Ryan Heuser.
As part of this conference, we will have a graduate student caucus composed of advanced PhD students from both the University of Chicago and other institutions. The task of this caucus will be to engage with each day’s discussion and provide a report or series of comments at the conference’s conclusion. We have received funding to invite 4 outside graduate students to join the caucus. Up to $1000 of funding is budgeted for each student.
Interested students should submit a 1-page application by February 15th, 2015. You can find the application form at the link below. Results will be announced by March 1st. Proposals should briefly describe the applicant’s interest in the digital humanities and any previous work in this area. Expertise in computation and experience with DH projects is welcome but not required.
Submission Form for Graduate Student Caucus
Hoyt Long and Richard Jean So of the Chicago Text Lab, along with Ted Underwood (English, University of Illinois), published a popular DH piece in Slate. We used computational methods to study the evolution of representations of money in British and American novels across the 19th and 20th centuries. The piece is also a response to and critique of Thomas Piketty’s important study of income inequality, Capital in the 21st Century.
On May 22-23, 2015, the Global Literary Networks group will host a major conference at the University of Chicago called “Cultural Analytics: Computational Approaches to the Study of Culture.” The event will bring together faculty and graduate students working at the intersection of literary history and applied computational analysis. This field has been growing for some time, but there have been few opportunities for a sustained discussion of the methodological challenges and opportunities afforded by new digital tools and techniques. Bringing together scholars who specialize in a diverse range of literatures and time periods, this conference aspires to galvanize the formation of “cultural analytics” as a distinct and coherent sub-field in literary studies.
- Global Literary Networks Group (Hoyt Long, Tom McEnaney, Richard So)
- Stanford Literary Lab (Franco Moretti, Mark Algee-Hewitt, Ryan Heuser)
- Northeastern University Viral Texts Lab (Ryan Cordell, Elizabeth Maddock Dillon, David Smith)
- Tanya Clement (University of Texas)
- Marissa Gemma (Max-Planck Institute)
- Natalie Houston (University of Houston)
- Matthew Jockers (University of Nebraska)
- Meredith Martin (Princeton)
- Andrew Piper (McGill)
- Matthew Wilkins (Notre Dame)
- Ted Underwood (University of Illinois)
- Amy Hungerford (Yale)
Participants will present work in progress, addressing both the concrete technical challenges of computational methods and the theoretical implications of merging them with more traditional approaches. To further enhance the collaborative ethos of the event, we will also host a Graduate Student Caucus so that younger scholars will have an opportunity to contribute to these conversations and share their own ideas about the impact of this emerging new sub-field. More details will be available in the coming months at the conference’s official website.
“Cultural Analytics” is generously supported by the University of Chicago’s Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society.