Mark Algee-Hewett: Distributed Character: Quantitative Models of the English Stage, 1500-1920

Tue November 1st 2016, 12:00 - 1:15pm
Event Sponsor
Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA)
Wallenberg Hall, Room 433A
Free and open to the public. 
Mark Algee-Hewett: Distributed Character: Quantitative Models of the English Stage, 1500-1920

If creating a network out of the social relationships within a play can tell us something new about the structure of the social world it represents, what can the networks of 3900 plays tell us? How does the morphology of the social networks represented on stage represent (or resist) both the politics and aesthetics of a period and, more importantly, how do these social network evolve over time? In this project, I move beyond the network analysis of a single play by examining the network structure of a large corpus of 3900 English dramas written and performed between 1500 and 1920. By applying a series of summary statistics to the individual plays, which allow me to compare them across author, genre and time, I am able to trace the history of dramatic representations of the social sphere and shed new light on the evolution of both the protagonist and the periphery in modern drama.

Mark Algee-Hewitt’s research focuses on the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries in England and Germany and seeks to combine literary criticism with digital and quantitative analyses of literary texts. In particular he is interested in the history of aesthetic theory and the development and transmission of aesthetic and philosophic concepts during the Enlightenment and Romantic periods. He is also interested in the relationship between aesthetic theory and the poetry of the long eighteenth century.  Although his primary background is in English literature, he also has a degree in computer science. As the co-associate research director of the Stanford Literary Lab, he is working to bring his interests in quantitative analysis, digital humanities and eighteenth-century literature to bear on a number of new collaborative projects.

This event is hosted by the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA) as a part of its biweekly seminar series focusing on using the latest technological innovations to pursue humanistic inquiry. 

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