Richard So & Hoyt Long: "Literary Pattern Recognition"

Richard So, Assistant Professor of English, and Hoyt Long, Associate Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, co-direct the Chicago Text Lab at the University of Chicago. They are currently engaged in several digital humanities projects, including "Global Literary Networks," which brings together computational techniques like network analysis and text mining with traditional historicist approaches to rethink the history of global literary modernism.

This talk is part of this larger project, and considers how machine-based modes of reading can augment the study of poetic style. What does the poetic text look like when read by a computer, as opposed to when read closely or within its historical context? Using the English language haiku as a case study, we demonstrate how machine learning algorithms can help identify specific stylistic patterns within large body of texts. Specifically, we track the diffusion of the haiku as it spread through US poetic modernism, circulating as a kind of Orientalist meme. The talk will show how computational techniques can produce such new forms of literary knowledge, while also putting these techniques into conversation with other forms of literary pattern recognition, such as close reading and cultural historicism.
Forum bulson 2015 page 1

  • Eric Bulson

Board of Trustees Room, Harper Hall Claremont