Saturday, December 4, 2010

Digital Age Literature Analysis

Dan Cohen and Fred Gibbs, the two historians of science at George Mason University who have created the project, have so far charted how frequently more than two dozen words — among them “God,” “love,” “work,” “science” and “industrial” — appear in British book titles from the French Revolution in 1789 to the beginning of World War I in 1914. To Mr. Cohen, the sharply jagged lines that dance across his graphs can be used to test some of the most deeply entrenched beliefs about the Victorians, like their faith in progress and science: “We can finally and truly test these and other fundamental claims that have been at the heart of Victorian studies for generations.”

Mr. Cohen said that he and Mr. Gibbs hoped that their work could serve as a model for how scholars might use the shopping cart of new digital tools to challenge longstanding assumptions and interpretations across the humanities.
-Analyzing Literature by Words and Numbers

Digital Humanities Award

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