Hoyt Long

Hoyt Long (Associate Professor of Japanese Literature in the East Asian Languages and Civilizations Department)

“A History of Distant Reading in Japan”

Friday, April 13th, 3:00pm-5:00pm in CEAS 319

Discussant: Alex Murphy (PhD Candidate in EALC)

Please join us Friday (4/13) from 3:00pm to 5:00pm as we host Professor Hoyt Long (Associate Professor of Japanese Literature). He will present a draft chapter from his book project, which he summarizes as follows:

In Japan, the impulse to reason about literature with numbers is at least as old as Natsume Sōseki’s Theory of Literature (1907). Most recently, computational methods and the availability of digital corpora have channeled this impulse toward new ways of engaging with Japanese literary history. In this essay I consider the relation of Japan’s quantitative pasts with its quantitative futures by tracing a genealogy of quantitative reasoning that begins with Sōseki’s attempts to read literature physiologically, moves through early stylistic and psycholinguistic analyses of the 1930s and 1950s, and ends with the linguistic turn of the 1980s. I use this genealogy to reflect on when it has seemed necessary to reason about literature with numbers; on the ways that the methodological infrastructure for this reasoning was built and borrowed; and on what this history can tell us at a time when numbers seem necessary and useful once again.

The paper is available directly below, or at this link. If you have not received the password, or have questions about accessibility, please feel free to contact Helina Mazza-Hilway (mazzah@uchicago.edu) or Susan Su (susansu@uchicago.edu).


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