Ewan Jones: "A Computational Approach to Conceptual History"

  • Date: –15:00
  • Location: Engelska parken – Eng6-0031
  • Organiser: Department of Literature
  • Contact person: Paula Henrikson
  • Seminarium

The Higher Seminar in Literature

Ewan Jones, Lecturer in Nineteenth Century Literature, University of Cambridge, and Fellow at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study: "A Computational Approach to Conceptual History"

Chair: Henrikson

This talk will present work developed by the Cambridge Concept Lab, a collaboration between literary historians and computer scientists, which seeks to develop bespoke computational tools so as to account for the emergence, mutation and decay of concepts over time. Using a number of examples from the Eighteenth Century Collections Online corpus, I will show how we can move from a concentration upon individual words, so as to gain sight of the broader semantic and topical networks in which they are embedded. In so doing I hope to suggest ways of moving beyond the small number of canonical texts and figures who continue to dominate intellectual history. This talk aims to be of interest to literary historians, digital humanists and corpus linguists in equal measure; no specialist knowledge of computational techniques is required.