2010—2011 Forum on Virtuality
SAS Postdoctoral Fellow
The Age of Analogy; Scientific and Social History in the Nineteenth Century Novel
While participating in the Penn Humanities Forum, I'll be working on a book project titled “The Age of Analogy; Scientific and Social History in the Nineteenth Century Novel,” examining the nineteenth-century novel from two seemingly disparate angles: scientific analogy and historicism. From the appearance of Waverley, the nineteenth-century novel is dedicated to making analogies between the individual life and the past, in a history writ both large and small. Scott’s historicism coordinated the antiquarian project of ballad collection and the analogical understanding of natural patterns furnished by contemporary science. This comparative science stimulated surprising discoveries in the interlinked fields of anatomy and geology, and offered a method of historical understanding continuous with the novel’s investigation of social connections through relation to the past. In addition, I’ve been exploring the use of digital textual analysis to analyze the disposition of analogies within specific novels, and within nineteenth-century writing more generally.