How can computational techniques reveal literary influence? Once detected, what kinds of analysis are required to establish why an author was influenced by other writers? Focusing on existing corpora of Herman Melville’s reading and writing, editors at Melville’s Marginalia Online are using computational approaches to analyse literary influence from reading evidence with XML technologies and the R programming language. Enhanced analytical capability and visualisation tools reveal linguistic analyses of Melville’s reading. The approaches demonstrated in this seminar indicate that an author’s record of marginalia and lifetime of reading constitute a valuable data set in its own right, demonstrating new means for assessing his influences, source use, and conceptual development.

This seminar will be presented by Dr Christopher Ohge of the Institute for English Studies. His profile can be found here:

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