Stanford Literary Lab

For many years, I have been a member of the Stanford Literary Lab, a research center for computational methods and literary study directed by Mark Algee-Hewitt. I am involved with two collaborative Digital Humanities projects through the LitLab:

“Suspense: A Study in Digital Narratology”

This project uses digital methods on a corpus of British and American fiction from the 18th to 20th centuries to explore what textual features establish the conditions necessary for a reader to feel suspense.  My particular interest in the project is how suspense in novels might relate to suspense in writing from other disciplines. Through compared examples of nineteenth-century literary and scientific texts, for instance, we can explore the theoretical problem of what “suspense” in science could mean, as well as the methodological problem of how to use a digital tool across fictional and nonfictional genres. See more.

“Microgenres”

This project explores whether emerging academic categories at the turn of the twentieth century developed identifiably unique writing styles. Is Psychology writing recognizably different, for instance, from History or Natural Science? As a second step, we then explore when and how these disciplinary discourses enter the novel as “microgenres,” or moments of differently textured prose within the narrative. By doing so, we hope to reach a better understanding of the interrelated histories of academic disciplines and literary form. See more.