Topic Modeling and the Sociology of Literature

October 16, 2014 (Thursday) / 12:00 pm1:30 pm

Seminar 627, Penn Library, 3420 Walnut Street

Topic Modeling and the Sociology of Literature

Andrew Goldstone

Assistant Professor of English
Rutgers University

This workshop introduces probabilistic topic modeling for humanists, focusing on applications in literary studies. Using my own work on the history of literary study as an example, I'll give an informal introduction to the algorithm, survey the nuts-and-bolts technical choices involved in modeling, and discuss the challenges of interpreting the algorithm's output. Strange and novel as this technique may seem, I'll argue that it may be surprisingly well-suited to investigating some of literary studies' central questions about the relation between literary history and social phenomena—and to rediscovering the methodological concerns the humanities share with the social sciences.

Lunch will be provided.

Pre-registration required. Please email us with your name and academic affiliation.