“Novel Analytics from James Joyce to the Bestseller Code”

Professor Matthew L. Jockers, University of Nebraska

Thursday, March 2 4:30 PM

Russell House

Refreshments provided


In a New Yorker article in 2014, Joshua Rothman asks, provocatively and rhetorically: “If you’re an English professor, how should you spend your time: producing [close] ‘readings’ of the literary works that you care about (art), or looking for the [distant] patterns that shape whole literary forms or periods (science)?” Rothman’s parentheticals, “art” and “science,” make for a good editorial hook, but they frame a misleading and false dichotomy.  The emerging debate in literary studies pitting traditional scholarly practices of close reading against digitally oriented methods of “distant” reading is a nonstarter. What gets disguised as an argument over method (close vs. distant) and discipline (art vs. science) is, in fact, an argument about interpretation and the ways that literary scholars collect and prioritize evidence. In this talk Jockers proposes a methodological reconciliation that understands large scale computational approaches to literature as entirely consistent with traditional practices of close reading.

Data, Computing and Journalism

Andrew B. Tran

Monday 2/13, 4:30 PM, Allbritton  103
Snacks and refreshments will be available

Increasingly, journalists are turning to tools that were once solely the domain of data analysts and computer scientists to create compelling visualizations and enhance their storytelling. Newsrooms are using accessible technology to process big and open data to assist in investigations, keep citizens informed, and help make institutions accountable— and they’re often following the tenets of data science, like making their work transparent and reproducible. It’s important, now more than ever, that data not be hidden by government agencies from the public so that it instead might be used to illuminate the truth. Andrew B. Tran

Andrew,  currently a Koeppel Journalism Fellow at the Center for the Study of Public Life is the senior data editor of Trend ct (http://trendct.org/about/ a CT Mirror affiliate).  He was a founding producer of The Boston Globe’s Data Desk where he used a variety of methods to visualize or tell stories with data. He also was an online producer at The Virginian-Pilot and a staff writer at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. He’s a Metpro Fellow, a Chips Quinn Scholar, and a graduate of the University of Texas.