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Methods and Canons

An Interdisciplinary Excursion
  • Katherine Bode
  • Tara Murphy

Abstract

A growing number of data-rich analyses of literature and literary culture— variously described as ‘distant reading’ (Moretti 2005), ‘algorithmic criticism’ (Ramsay 2008), ‘macroanalysis’ (Jockers 2013), and ‘new empiricism’ (Bode and Dixon 2009) —have in the last decade significantly transformed literary studies. This international trend is strongly reflected in Australian literary studies, where there have been multiple quantitative analyses of borrowing records (Dolin 2004, 2006;Lamond 2012;Lamond and Reid 2009), book sales (Davis 2007; Zwar 2012a, 2012b), newspaper reviews (Thomson and Dale 2009), and bibliographic data (Bode 2010, 2012a, 2012b;Carter 2007;Ensor 2008, 2009;Nile and Ensor 2009). As important as this work has been for reconceptualizing the object and scope of literary studies, its credibility and progress as a whole is inhibited by the fact that many of these authors provide little detailed discussion of the processes involved in creating, curating, and analysing their data sources. Even less rarely do they publish these sources. While there are exceptions,1 such lack of access to data is true of the most high-profile work in this field—including Jockers’s and Moretti’s influential monographs—and prevents other scholars from investigating, extending, and potentially challenging these authors’ findings and arguments.

Keywords

Literary Study Academic Journal Literary Criticism Literary Scholar Critical Attention 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Katherine Bode and Tara Murphy 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katherine Bode
  • Tara Murphy

There are no affiliations available

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