Modeling Perspective and Parallax to Tell the Story of Genre Fiction with Ted Underwood

Seminar | November 8 | 5:30-7 p.m. | Stephens Hall, 220 Geballe Room

 Ted Underwood, Professor in the School of Information Sciences and the English Department, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

 Digital Humanities at Berkeley, D-Lab, Department of Comparative Literature, Information, School of, Library, Townsend Center for the Humanities

This talk will use science fiction, fantasy, mystery, and the Gothic to explore the advantages of an approach that asks data science to contribute to the humanities by adding perspectival flexibility, rather than sheer scale. Underwood trained predictive models of these genres using ground truth drawn from various sources and periods (19c reviewers, early 20c bibliographies, contemporary librarians), in order to explore how implicit assumptions about genre consolidate or change across time. Contrasting different models also allows us to take a parallax view of individual books, or even paragraphs in books: which passages in 1960s science fiction, for instance, would have been hardest for a pre-war reader to recognize as SF For more information, see: