Anatoly Detwyler “Distant Readings: Numeric Literary Analysis and the Aesthetics of Information Visualization in 1920s China”
This talk explores the convergence of statistical science and textual analysis that occurred alongside the birth of modern Chinese literature in the 1920s. I describes how intellectuals of this period experimented with counting and calculating formal elements in poetry and Chinese classics, and in turn how they displayed their results using new forms of information visualization such as the diagram and the table. These critical experiments help us understand the increasing importance of "information" in the knowledge production and everyday culture of modern China, while also revealing an early pre-history of the "distant reading" orientation of digital humanities today.
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