An exploration of the critical potential of digital humanities and quantitative methods to produce new knowledge about literary and cultural history.
‘Reading by Numbers: Recalibrating the Literary Field’ proposes and demonstrates a new digital approach to literary history, and is the first book to use data mining, visualisation and modelling to integrate the scope and methods of book and publishing history with issues and debates in literary studies. By extracting and analysing information from the most comprehensive online bibliography of a national literature – ‘AustLit: The Australian Literature Resource’ – this study reveals hitherto unrecognised trends that refigure conceptions of Australian literary and cultural history in its transnational context.
The range of issues examined is broad, and includes trends and cycles in the gender of novelists, the formation of fictional genres and literary canons, the publishing of Australian literature, the relationships between different fictional forms, the formation and transformation of the literary canon, and the relationship of Australian literature to other-national literatures. The work’s data-rich approach revises earlier arguments in literary studies – based on anecdote and theory – and generates new ways of writing about literature and publishing. More broadly, in demonstrating the innovative ways in which the growing number of humanities digital archives can be mined to generate new and different types of knowledge, this book presents a new direction and scope for digital humanities research.
Now available from Anthem Press