[Humanist] 22.457 London Seminar this Thursday

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Mon Jan 19 16:21:50 CET 2009

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 22, No. 457.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2009 15:17:24 +0000
        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
        Subject: London Seminar in Digital Text and Scholarship for January

All are cordially invited to the following seminar this Thursday:

Anouk Lang (University of Birmingham),
"Mediated reading across the nation"

London Seminar in Digital Text and Scholarship
Thursday, 22 January
Room 275
Stewart House (ies.sas.ac.uk/about/stewarthouse.htm)
Russell Square

This paper explores ways in which analytical techniques from corpus 
linguistics can be used in conjunction with other methods to gain 
insight into the social significance of nationwide community-reading 
projects that have arisen over the past decade. Using three corpora of 
news texts which address Canada Reads, Richard and Judy?s Book Club in 
the UK and The Big Read programme sponsored by the National Endowment 
for the Arts in the US, the analysis focusses on two features: 1) the 
kinds of topics that media commentators discuss alongside reading, and 
2) the use of evaluative language to frame reading in overwhelmingly 
positive terms. These findings are then set against participants? 
textual responses to an online survey and verbal responses in the 
context of a focus group. This multi-disciplinary approach helps to 
identify the social ?work? such reading programmes are seen to be 
performing, and to give a sense of the discourses circulating around 
these events which may have less to do with reading and more to do with 
the construction of national imaginaries, the replication of discourses 
of community-building issuing from elsewhere, and the covert 
articulation of taste-hierarchies.

Anouk Lang is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of 
American and Canadian Studies at the University of Birmingham, where she 
works on the AHRC project "Beyond the Book: Contemporary Cultures of 
Reading in the UK, the US and Canada". She is currently editing a volume 
on reading practices in the 21st century and the impact of technology on 
individuals' relationships with books, and is also preparing a 
manuscript on Canadian and Australian literary modernism.

Refreshments are provided.

Willard McCarty, Professor of Humanities Computing,
King's College London, staff.cch.kcl.ac.uk/~wmccarty/;
Editor, Humanist, www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist;
Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, www.isr-journal.org.

More information about the Humanist mailing list