Lecture: Andrew Kopec, Data Trouble: Toward a General Theory

Friday, March 17, 2017
3:30 PM
Grucci Room, 102 Burrowes Building

On March 17, 2017, Andrew Kopec (Indiana University – Purdue University, Fort Wayne) joined us to deliver a lecture titled “Data Trouble: Toward a General Theory.”

Event flyer

Description of presentation

This talk places the digital humanities’ polemic against what Andrew Piper terms the “evidence gap” in cultural studies within a larger institutional context, exploring the ways in which anxiety over the scale of data required to make generalizations has long haunted the critical enterprise. In doing so, this talk adds a historicist edge to the digital humanities’ urgent, reflexive construction of itself as a disciplinary formation. Forging connections among sources ranging from historical scholarship from the 1920s, late twentieth-century historicism, post-critical movements of the present, and digital literary scholarship, this talk thus examines (and challenges) DH’s claims to novelty, rigor, and transparency.

Speaker bio

Andrew Kopec is assistant professor of English at Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW), where he specializes in American literature to 1900. His work on the relation between literature and economics in early America appears (or is forthcoming) in journals like ELH: English Literary History, Early American Literature, and ESQ. His essay “The Digital Humanities, Inc.,” published in the journal PMLA, provides a historical perspective on new formalisms and digital humanities as intensified objects of professional desires. His book in progress, Pacing Panic: American Romanticism and the Business Cycle, identifes romantic literature in the United States from 1819 to 1867 as an art of high finance.

Other resources

The Digital Humanities, Inc.: Literary Criticism and the Fate of a Profession.”
PMLA: Publications of the Modern Language Association of America 131.2 (2016): 324-339.

Emerson, Labor, and Ages of Turbulence.”
ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance 60.2 (2014): 251–284.

Collective Commerce and the Problem of Autobiography in Olaudah Equiano’s Narrative.”
Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation 54.4 (2013): 461–478.

Irving, Ruin, and Risk.” Early American Literature 48.3 (2013): 709–735.