And when Matt Jockers, in his 2013 monograph Macroanalysis, produces massive network graphs representing his quantitative studies of literary history (such as we see on his books stunning dust jacket his focus is precisely that of the russian Formalists: namely, form, system, and language. . When he presents textual work as a data visualization, as so many contemporary digital humanists do, he is defamiliarizing those texts, making them strange, precisely as Shklovsky advised. And when the productive and dedicated dh community of stylistics and authorship attribution scholars uses statistical packages to algorithmically cluster digital texts according to style and authorship, theyre just extending eikhenbaums skaz onto a more quantitative and computational footing. And when the Stanford Literary lab produced its first research pamphlet a few years ago, it was very clear to them what they were doing, and in whose footsteps they were following: their title was "Quantitative formalism." Im here to proclaim that the digital humanities. Just as Dostoevsky, tolstoy, and Turgenev all came out of Gogols overcoat, my claim is that we digital humanists including us digital humanities librarians in some sense have all come out of eikhenbaums great essay, and out of the foundational writings, approaches, and ideas. In approaching the literary text, we focus on how its made how literary history, genre systems, narrative lines, character networks, and even language itself are made. .
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But of course there were other well-known Formalists expositing other Formalist ideas. . There was also Osip Brik, a poet and critic who focused even more tightly than eikhenbaum on the stuff of literary language as he carried out quantitative studies of phonetics in great poetry. And there was viktor Shklovsky, founder of the most important of the formalist institutions, the society for the Study of poetic Language, who went further than eikhenbaum in declaring that art is really just device, artifice nothing more. . In this same 1919 essay, art as device, shklovsky proposed the idea of defamiliarization, or ostranenie making the common appear strange in order to enhance our perception. . In one particularly pithy 1923 monograph, Knights move, he took the extreme artificiality and non-linearity of the chess knights move as a symbol for the peripatetic and defamiliarizing ways devices are deployed as art. And there was Vladimir Propp, perhaps the best known of the russian Formalists (at least in the contemporary west) for his 1928 Morphology of the folktale, focusing on folk-literary systems and relations. Im especially fond of Propps style of network analysis and data visualization. And we have iurii tynianov, who wrote in his long 1927 essay on Literary evolution that that what passed for the study of literature before the formalists was actually only the study of the generals of literature, thus advocating for a much broader consideration. Now is the time to fasten your seatbelts as we zoom from 1920s Leningrad to our day. Tynianovs quip about the scholarly error of allowing only the generals to pass for all of literature is precisely the point of Franco moretti, made anew for our times in in his own foundational essay conjectures on World Literature ( New Left review, jan./Feb. 2000 which practically inaugurated the 21st-century dh practice of distant reading (Moretti coined that term patent here) of what he called the great unread in world literary history.
But most professional readers of the revelation later 19th and early 20th centuries focused on the story as a social critique of poverty and alienation, on the dehumanization of bureaucracy, and so forth focusing on the very few sentimental and pathos-filled lines bleated by akakii akakievich. Eikhenbaum utterly demolishes this reading in his 1919 essay, focusing instead on the highly stylized narrative voice in the story for which he invented the term skaz (still in current use, even in non-Russian discourse) with its orality, its grotesqueries, its parody, and embodied. In fact, eikhenbaum claims that this skaz, this narrative voice, is not even narrative so much as it is gestural and declamatory that in fact skaz is the primary structural element of the narrative: Without skaz, he says, there is no story. Eikhenbaum argues that Gogols overcoat is made not of events, or plot, or characters; it is not some mystical embodiment of the authors soul or psyche. . Rather, the overcoat is made of the personal tone of the author, of skaz, of wordplay, of phonetic gestures, of performative mimicry, of linguistic linkages in short, it is made of language, and nothing more. . As Derrida would proclaim 50 years later, There is nothing outside the text. Eikhenbaums great essay is one of the foundational texts of what became known as Russian Formalism. .
His angst reaches its apotheosis when he appeals to the authorities specifically to a general named only as The personage of Consequence and is spurned berated, even for having approached such an important person with such a trivial complaint. . Rejected, wracked with anxiety, naked (or at least overcoatless akakii takes ill and dies. For some time after, the ghost of akakii akakievich haunts the. Petersburg streets, stealing the overcoats of shivering pedestrians. . The ghost is pursued by the police, of course to no avail, but is finally put to rest when it manages to steal the overcoat of The personage of Consequence himself. It wouldnt be plan hard to do an on-the-spot undergraduate interpretation of Gogols ghost story. . A symbolic reading of akakii akakievichs expulsion from the furry, enveloping warmth of the overcoat into a cold, inhospitable world is one obvious tack. . Although it would of course be anachronistic to call this interpretation Freudian in the 19th century, dostoevskys famous aphorism, we all came out of Gogols overcoat, points in precisely this direction, as he assigns the very birth of 19th-century russian literature to the womb.
(All false modesty aside, it should go without saying that these two literary texts will surely give you more of lasting value than i ever could!). Gogols 1842 story is about a poor, socially inept bureaucrat a scrivener named akakii akakievich (and yes, his name sounds just as much like caca in Russian as it does in English). akakii is ridiculed at the office because of his threadbare overcoat. . When his tailor tells him that the coat is finally beyond repair, akakii becomes obsessed with obtaining a new one. After working obsessively long hours, scrimping, and saving, his obsession finally pays off in the purchase of a newly tailored overcoat. . overjoyed with his new possession, finally secure in the warm, maternal embrace of his new overcoat, he returns to work, where both he and his overcoat are celebrated by his co-workers which of course only adds new levels of social anxiety. That angst is greatly intensified when two ruffians steal the new overcoat from akakii on his way home that very night. .
Ppt - writing Critical / Analytical Response
(Sarah Potvin and Roxanne Shirazi, introduction to make it New? A dhlib Mini-series you may already guess where my preferences fall in most of these binaries; if not, i hope those preferences will be clear by the end of my talk. . But Im not going to talk about these questions, at least not directly. . I dont plan to repeat what these many colleagues have written and written very thoughtfully and well, in a multitude of texts that you all can read failed yourselves. . Instead, ive decided to take full advantage of the literary text portion of our panels theme by talking about an aspect of the digital Humanities that you may not have heard elsewhere, that you may not have considered before in your thinking about library and.
How library dh is made, after these over-long preliminaries, heres the real title of my talk: How library dh is made. I intend it to be patently brash and purposefully provocative and if it sounds a little strange, thats because its meant to, for reasons that I hope will become clear in a few minutes. My title, and the real inspiration for my talk, both come from an essay thats nearly a hundred years old: How Gogols overcoat is made, by boris eikhenbaum, which itself was obviously inspired by a novella thats seventy-five years older than that. Like my title itself, this choice of inspiration a century-old Russian Formalist essay about an even older comic novella may appear to be far-fetched for a digital humanities paper at a library conference. In fact, i hope it also sounds a little strange to you. . (Believe me, its far from the oddest metaphor ive relied on in similar situations.) Ill of course try to convince you that its a good inspiration, a good metaphor for what we do in the digital humanities. . But even if I dont succeed, at the very least I will have reminded you of an outstanding short work of comic fiction, illuminated by an outstanding short piece of literary criticism, and I hope youll remember them next time youre looking for something.
(Some recent reading, which Ill mention in a bit, has made me wary of that traditional concept, though.). As ive thought about what I might present to an audience of librarians, i decided to go for something that had at least a chance of being new to you something you may not have thought about, or read from the dozens of truly outstanding. Im thinking especially of two very recent edited collections of articles that I recommend especially highly: the first is a special digital humanities-focused issue of the. Journal of Library Administration,. 1 (of January 2013 guest-edited by barbara rockenbach, and with contributions by many of my favorite practitioners and thinkers in the digital humanities and library fields: Bethany nowviskie, miriam Posner, jennifer Vinopal, monica McCormick, and many others. This special issue is available ( behind a paywall ) from its publisher; open access preprints of its individual articles were helpfully gathered by one of their authors, micah Vandegrift.
The other collection, make it New?, is a set of responses to that same journal issue, edited by sarah Potvin, roxanne Shirazi, and Zach Coble, in the outstanding new dhlib group blog, sponsored by Associaton of College researcy libraries. . This collection was originally published as a mini-series of blog posts, and was later compiled, together with the original. Jla articles that inspired it, into a very slick ebook. I cant recommend these readings, or the thoughtful group of library workers who contributed to both of them, highly enough: for me, the highlight of the dhlib collection is Trevor muñozs piece on, which he rightly calls a provocation. I dont want to name too many more names, lest I leave somebody out but the contributors to both of these collections, and to the dhlib blog in general, are people you should pay attention to if youre interested in the challenges and rewards. In the introduction to the dhlib mini-series, potvin and Shirazi put forward an interesting set of binaries, remarkably reminiscent of the description of todays panel: dh as entrepreneurial. Dh as institutional enterprise, dh as disruptive. Dh as contiguous, libraries and librarians as partners or supporters, collaborators or service-providers. What is new, what is traditional, what is novel, what is constant. .
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I suppose it's possible to imagine, based on this title, that the panel is not explicitly about the digital humanities; oddly enough, the widely accepted term of art digital humanities doesnt appear in the panel description at all, although ive assumed that youve come. Does this reticence actually to name the topic come from a sort of dh fatigue? Or a dh phobia? 1, i sincerely hope that its neither fatigue nor phobia. . I certainly see in our reviews panel description all the signs of contemporary digital humanities and digital library discourse: phrases like digital technologies and opening up new possibilities; loaded terms like changing, reconfiguring, emerging, and virtual speak to a current fascination with (or, some may say. But i also see other words in the panel description, and these in fact please me more: investigation, literary, historic texts, apple relationships between librarians and researchers, european and American Studies. These are good, old-fashioned words about humanities research and traditional library work. .
Yes, i say and not only that, but dh has some very serious theoretical and practical forebears from almost a hundred years ago: the russian Formalists, who even today have some important things to teach us not only about dh in advantages general, but also about. Oh, and (spoiler alert samuel. Jackson (as Jules Winnfield) puts in a brief appearance as well. The official description of todays panel, literary texts and the library in the digital age, reads as follows: Digital technologies are opening up new possibilities for the investigation of literary and historic texts. They are also changing library spaces and reconfiguring relationships between librarians and researchers. This program investigates new roles for European and American Studies librarians in this emerging physical and virtual environment. Im going to try a slow burn approach, and not reveal the actual title of my paper just yet. . Our panel today is called upon to discuss literary texts and the library in the digital age. .
discuss and evaluate contemporary debates. Course outline/ reading list is available, assessment method : a number of in-class presentations (optional an mla-styled research paper (optional and a comprehensive, essay-type exam at the end. Teaching, teaching hours: 3, credits:. Ects: 6, the course is not currently offerred). The following is a slightly edited version of an invited paper I gave at the 2013 Annual Conference of the American Library Association in Chicago. A few of the audience members asked whether I might share or post the presentation, which Im happy to do (as well as flattered and very tardy). Its obviously not meant as another response to the recent, oclc report on dh centers in libraries (since it came earlier but as I reread the talk, i see that, in some senses, it could serve as such. Its pretty long, so heres the nutshell version: the digital humanities can and should make a happy home in the library, and this has been true for decades. i hear some ask. you mean to say that dh has been around for decades?
These questions will be gender answered by using a hands-on approach, which aims to enhance the students understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of both the theoretical and the literary texts. Thus each week a particular interpretive approach will be explored by being applied to a literary text (films, music videos, popular songs, commercials and animations will also be employed) as a means not only of seeing theory in action, but also of discussing each theoretical. Some of the texts to be studied will. Levi-straus «The Structural Study of Myth. Freuds «The Unconscious. Derridas «Sign and Play in the discourse of the human Sciences» and. Baudrillards «Simulacra and Simulation while these texts will be applied to a wide range of literary texts like shakespeares King lear, keats Ode on a grecian Turn, and Shelleys Frankenstein, to name but a few. Students who successfully complete the course will be able to read literary texts with greater confidence. The course will also help them to arrive at the realization that the interpretation and analysis of literature from various perspectives ultimately deepens our understanding of ourselves.
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Course type, elective, description, this course explores theories of reading and ways of engaging with texts that have been developed during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Students will be familiarized with key terms, concepts and schools of literary and critical analysis and they will be introduced to contemporary critical debates and questions of interpretation. The central questions to be addressed are: how do texts work? What is their value? In what ways do they interact with society, ideology and history? What hidden meanings do they contain and how can we unlock them? Can we approach them objectively, and in what ways do these texts differ from other forms of writing?