• Why Distant Reading Works

    Author(s):
    Michael Gavin (see profile)
    Date:
    2023
    Subject(s):
    Digital humanities, Computational linguistics, Relevance, Criticism, Textual--Methodology
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    distant reading, cultural analytics, relevance theory, computation, realism, semantics, cultural history
    Permanent URL:
    https://doi.org/10.17613/wb78-yg05
    Abstract:
    To consider why distant reading works is already to invite a certain kind of misunderstanding. Readers of this essay are likely to infer from its title that I mean to discuss the theories of Franco Moretti or to defend research in cultural analytics against criticism from skeptics. Neither of those is my focus. The argument of this essay is in some ways narrower, in that I largely set aside polemical debates over "digital humanities" or the role of computation in criticism, but it is also broader, in that I hope to draw readers' attention to a set of issues and concerns with a very wide application. My goal is to articulate a guiding theory that explains why and under what conditions distant reading works as a viable method for making true statements about the cultural past.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    6 months ago
    License:
    Attribution

    Downloads

    Item Name: pdf gavin_2023_why_distant_reading_works.pdf
      Download View in browser
    Activity: Downloads: 196