Draper Talk this Friday, 11/7: Argument, Evidence, and the Limits of Digital Literary Studies

Draper’s Interdisciplinary Talk Series continues this Friday!

Argument, Evidence, and the Limits of Digital Literary Studies

David Hoover
Friday, November 7
14 University Place
In this talk, Professor Hoover will take up three related issues in the recent history of the Digital Humanities. The first is the often-repeated lament that Digital Humanities has had little influence on traditional humanities disciplines. The second is the argument of Jerome McGann’s Radiant Textuality, and more recently, Stephen Ramsay’s Reading Machines, that Digital Humanities is too scientific and too empirical, and that it needs to be transformed into a set of tools that will help literary critics do what they already like to do. The third is a recent attack on Digital Humanities by Stanley Fish, who argues that Digital Humanities (and more specifically, distant reading) is a whimsical and insufficiently serious method that is “dictated by the capacity of the tool.”
Prof. Hoover will argue that the recent avalanche of interest in Digital Humanities in literary studies and elsewhere is making the lament less valid. He will also argue, by doing some analysis of his own, that some of McGann’s approaches are insufficiently “radiant,” that Ramsay’s provocative intervention into Woolf’s The Waves is deeply flawed (partly because it mistakes computationally tractable problems for intractable ones), and that Fish’s criticism badly misses the point by failing to see that the kind of criticism he wants to do is not only compatible with Digital Humanities but more easily and more effectively done using Digital Humanities methods.
Refreshments will be served

David L. Hoover is Professor of English at New York University, where he has taught since 1981. He received his B.A. in English and Philosophy from Manchester College, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in English Language from Indiana University.

And Next Friday, November 14
David Forgacs: What are Disciplines and Do We Still Need Them?
David Forgacs holds the endowed Guido and Mariuccia Zerilli-Marimò Chair in Contemporary Italian Studies. He earned both his M.A. in English and his M.Phil. in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory at the University of Oxford (1975, 1977) and his Ph.D. in Philosophy at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa (1979). Previously, he taught at University College London, where he held the Panizzi Chair of Italian, established in 1828, at Royal Holloway University of London, University of Cambridge and University of Sussex.

See attached flyer for more info!
Fall 2014 Draper Talk Series poster 9-17-14

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