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Humanities

The Language of Quantity

I have been writing a new piece about using computational modeling to study the legacy of Augustinian conversion in the modern novel. The project began when I tried to devise ways of detecting greater or lesser degrees of narrative binaryness across a broad range of texts, including novels and autobiographies. …

Reading’s Black Boxes

One of the bigger challenges facing the humanities today with the changing nature of our reading interfaces is the problem of technical opacity, what goes by the colloquial name of the black box. Do we need to know how computers or computation work to understand an electronic text? Or can …

Back to School: What do you do when you come back and your department is gone? Go to computer class of course.

When I returned to school last month, two things had changed noticeably on my campus. First, my department was gone. The department of German literature and culture, in which I had been a professor, was the latest victim in the so-called decline of the humanities. (To be fair, we weren’t …