Abendvortrag: “Beyond Micro and Macro: Reassembling the History of the Novel”02.12.2015
Wir möchten Sie und euch herzlich zu folgendem Abendvortrag am Mittwoch, 9. Dezember 2015, um 18 Uhr c.t. im Raum 2.013 im Zentralen Seminar- und Hörsaalgebäude (ZHSG) einladen.
Beyond Micro and Macro: Reassembling the History of the Novel
How might the 19th century novel be studied and taught if all published (surviving) novels were readily available to students and researchers? While many have lamented the fact that scholarship tends to ignore works outside the “canonical fraction” of literary history — e.g., the ca. 200 of the roughly 20,000 novels published in the British Isles during the 19th century — there have been few concrete proposals for how the mass of surviving novels might productively enter research and teaching and inform our thinking about the relationship between literature and society.
This presentation describes the prospects for a data-intensive and sociologically-inclined history of the novel focusing on the following domain: the population of published novels, the novels' writers, and the writers' penumbra. (A group's penumbra is the set of individuals acquainted with members of the group.) Marshalling evidence from a wide range of sources and aided by probabilistic models of textual data, I will demonstrate how this approach yields answers to two long-standing questions in the history of the British novel: (1) the rapid influx of male writers after 1815, (2) the sudden increase in the rate of publication of novels in the 1830s.