ATNU/IES Virtual Speaker Series 2020/2021 #3

If ‌you couldn't join us for the live event, you can watch the lecture here.

For our third event in the ATNU/IES Virtual Speaker Series, we very happy to welcome Professor Katherine Bode, from the Australian National University. Katherine will talk about the crucial and thorny concept of computer modelling print cultural objects: what happens to these objects when they are digitised, how do they relate to each other within and without the same collection, and what does this all mean for research. Join us on the 26th of November at 19h30 (GMT) from wherever you are in the world. For more information, see the abstract below and don't forget to register to receive the joining link!


Computational modeling: From data representation to performative materiality

Katherine Bode

Thursday, 26th of November 2020

19h30 (GMT)


Computational modelling has become the central paradigm for data-rich research in literary and print culture studies. Because models are arguments about, rather than descriptions of, literary phenomena, modelling offers a richer, more flexible framework for such research than earlier, positivist approaches. But what are the things-in-the-world that we model when we transition from print cultural objects, such books, to mass-digitised (and digitalised) collections? Or, to put the question another way, what connections and/or distinctions are we justified in drawing between an individual text in these collections; other texts, either referred to or on the same platform; the platform itself; the entity that created and/or owns the platform; and the wider digital and non-digital ecosystem? In asking where our new “texts” begin and/or end – and whether we should think of them as “texts” at all – I outline an alternative case for a performative materialist approach to data-rich research in literary and print cultural studies. Recognising that literary phenomena have always been performatively produced rather than self-evident enables a form of data-rich research that is adequate (but not exclusive) to the changing methods, forms, and materials of literary research.

Katherine Bode is Professor of literary and textual studies at the Australian National University. She is the author or co-editor of books including A World of Fiction: Digital Collections and the Future of Literary History (2018), Advancing Digital Humanities: Research, Methods, Theories (2014), Reading by Numbers: Recalibrating the Literary Field (2012) and Resourceful Reading: eResearch, the New Empiricism, and Australian Literary Culture (2009).

Last modified: Thu, 17 Dec 2020 09:52:42 GMT