Using the Digital to Read Literary Texts in Context
This project explores the ways in which digital tools open up new ways to understand the social, political, and literary contexts of American regional fiction. Traditional editions of literary texts have drawn on a broad range of materials, like primary source documents and excerpts from literary criticism, to situate literature culturally and intellectually. This project asks how we might leverage the digital to ask new questions about texts and their contexts. In order to answer this question, we’ll explore how digital tools, including digitized historicizing documents, mapping, and data visualization, allow us to create a “deep context” for regional literature. The digital lets us not only put these literary texts in their original publishing contexts, but also to layer additional data, such as literacy rates, circulation figures, census information, and maps.
Presented at the New York City College of Technology, City University of New York, 2016