Assistant Professor of English, UCLA
“You Didn’t Build That” considers the Digital Humanities as an inevitable and also an already essential part of literary criticism and research as it is conducted today. Offering at once an historical and a methodological introduction to certain trends in DH scholarship, this talk will look at a number of text-analysis and text-editing projects from the 1980s and ’90s to the present. It will also expose some assumptions made by the designers of these tools, and discuss the implications of the limits of the tools for the work humanities scholars do. Looking at texts ranging from Hamlet to Jane Eyre, from a medieval Middle English chronicle to the Autobiography of Mark Twain through the lens of projects such as TAPoR, Google ngrams, Juxta, and T-Pen, “You Didn’t Build That” argues for new priorities in the use and misuse of Digital Humanities in our research. About the speaker: Matthew Fisher is Assistant Professor of English at UCLA. His research focuses on the material and ideological processes of textual composition, transmission, and circulation in medieval England. He is the author of Scribal Authorship and the Writing of History in Medieval England (The Ohio State University Press, 2012).