Digital Methods and Literary History
Author: Matthew L. Jockers
Exploring the potential of large-scale digital literary analysis
Cloth – $110
Paper – $32
eBook – $14.95
Publication Date
Paperback: 04/22/2013
Cloth: 04/22/2013
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About the Book

The creation of enormous and inclusive databases, the digitization of literary works, and the steady improvement in search engines enable scholars in the digital humanities to ask very big questions. Using computational analysis to retrieve key words, phrases, and linguistic patterns across thousands of texts in digital libraries, researchers can draw conclusions based on quantifiable evidence regarding how literary trends are employed over time, across periods, within regions, or within demographic groups, as well as how cultural, historical, and societal linkages may bind individual authors, texts, and genres into an aggregate literary culture.

In this volume, Matthew L. Jockers introduces readers to large-scale literary computing and the revolutionary potential of macroanalysis--a new approach to the study of the literary record designed for probing the digital-textual world as it exists today, in digital form and in large quantities. Moving beyond the limitations of literary interpretation based on the "close-reading" of individual works, Jockers describes how this new method of studying large collections of digital material can help us to better understand and contextualize the individual works within those collections.

About the Author

Matthew L. Jockers is an assistant professor of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


"A massively important book. . . . If you want to know what a major part of literary criticism will look like in 20 years, you need to read Macroanalysis.--Los Angeles Review of Books

"Jockers dares us to consider what the future can hold now that so much of the literary canon is accessible digitally."--Library Journal

"A showcase for the range and the potential of. . . . 'big data' literary study. A new, turbocharged sort of philology—one covering wider swaths of literature than even the most diligent and asocial researcher could ever read."--Chronicle of Higher Ed

"An instructive introduction to the history of computing in the humanities and its increasingly sophisticated methodology."--Library Journal

"Jockers puts data mining and word crunching to good use in analyzing textual components across large textual databases. . . . A fascinating blend of statistics and sociolinguistic analysis. Recommended."--Choice

"Jockers' study deserves our careful attention. . . . Macroanalysis is a well-written book--a quality that makes it stand out among many other publications on the topic of computational text analysis. . . . The book is likely to function as a valuable baseline for everyone venturing into digital literary history in the near future."--Literary and Linguistic Computing


"A truly significant exploration of the intersection of literary studies and computer-assisted text analysis. Through a series of perspectives and methodologies, Macroanalysis convincingly demonstrates the power and potential of literary text analysis."--Stéfan Sinclair, coauthor of Visual Interface Design for Digital Cultural Heritage