"Reassembling the History of the Novel"
Attention conservation notice: Only of interest if you (1) care about the quantitative history of English novels, and (2) will be in Pittsburgh at the end of the month.
I had nothing to do with making this happen
Weingart did — but when the seminar gods offer me something
this relevant to my interests, it behooves me to promote
- Allen Riddell, "Reassembling the History of the Novel"
- Abstract: How might the 19th century novel be studied and taught
if all (surviving) novels were readily available to students and researchers?
While many have lamented the fact that literary historians tend to ignore works
outside the "canonical fraction" of the ~25,000 novels published in the British
Isles during the 19th century, there have been few concrete proposals
addressing the question of how surviving novels might productively enter
research and teaching and participate in our thinking about the nexus of
literature and society. This presentation describes the prospects for a
data-intensive and sociologically-inclined history of the novel focused on the
population of published novels, the novels' writers, and the writers'
penumbra. (A group's penumbra is the set of individuals acquainted with members
of the group.) Marshalling evidence from a range of sources and aided by
probabilistic models of text data, I will demonstrate how this approach yields
insights into two significant developments in the history of the English novel:
(1) the rapid influx of male writers after 1815, and (2) the dramatic increase
in the rate of publication of novels after 1830. The presentation also features
a discussion of Franco Moretti's call, echoing Karl Popper, that literary
historians should advance risky---and, in some cases, "testable"---hypotheses.
- Time and place: 4:30--5:30 pm on Wednesday, 30 March 2016 in Studio A, Hunt Library (first floor)
As always, the talk is free and open to the public.
Writing for Antiquity;
The Commonwealth of Letters;
Enigmas of Chance
Posted at March 19, 2016 20:24 | permanent link