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Research Projects

Published, under-review, and in-preparation manuscripts.

Technologies of Discovery in World Literature


My dissertation examines the technologies that "discovers" some authors and literatures from the Global South and not others. My chapters index postcolonial texts as case studies and utilizes computational methods like network models to trace publishing routes, prize clusters, and policy effects such as import tariffs. It seeks solutions to diversify the pipeline of authors and to redistribute resources to literary and cultural industries in postcolonial countries.

Example of a network overlaying a world map

The Economy of Critical Attention: A Computational Analysis of Roland Barthes’ S/Z

Forthcoming in Modern Language Quarterly (MLQ)

In this article, I use Roland Barthes’ S/Z as a proof of concept to argue that studying the distribution of critical attention quantitatively provides valuable new insights into the filtering models that operate within our literary critical tools and practices. With NLP and statistics, I address the logics and stakes of our literary-critical attention, whether as individuals or as a discipline.

Table taken from my article

A Conceptual Anatomy of the Female Genitalia using Text Mining and Implications for Patient Care (with Alexis Doyle)

Published (2023) with Medical Humanities

This article analyzes the conceptual histories of words associated with female genital parts (like ‘vulva’ and ‘vagina’) through literature review and presentation of new text mining results drawn from literary and women’s magazine corpora. These findings explain negative patient outcomes such as stigma attached to seeking out timely gynecologic care and lack of informed medical consent.

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V.S.Naipaul's Booker Prize for In A Free State

I use archival and paratextual materials such as book covers to analyze the many institutional contingencies of literary categories such as the novel, as well as the writer's negotiation between institutional forces and their own creative agency. I reveal the process of adaptation the judges and coordinators of the Booker Prize had to undergo in order to capitalize on Naipaul's unconventional "novel". 

Book cover of World Literature in Motion

Imagined Solidarity in Girl, Woman, Other

Revise & resubmit with Journal of Postcolonial Writing

This article argues for a feminist imagined solidarity across vast differences, even national borders. Through Bernardine Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other and with reference to Benedict Anderson, bell hooks, Maria Lugones, and Chandra Mohanty, it builds a theory of imagined solidarity in contrast to Anderson's imagined community. Imagined solidarity is defined as a capacious and transnational imagination that joins across differences through a shared purpose. 

girl woman other.jpg

The World (Literature) is Flat: A Problem for World Literature and Digital Humanities

Under review

I argue that the problems of scale and incommensurability that so beriddle World Literature and DH in fact constitute them because they are studies of the commensurate and of commensuration. My theorization of commensuration allows for the work of "scaling to"—recovering scale as a verb. Using a proposed study of Malaysian novels using DH methods, I illustrate the necessity of these two fields and why they work together.

Cover slide for my presentation at ACH

Slow, Painful, and Expensive: Current Challenges in Text-Mining Corpus Construction for the Digital Humanities

Under review

Authors: Matt Warner, [Nichole Nomura, Carmen Thong], Alix Keener, [Alex Sherman, Gabi Keane, Maciej Kurzynski], Mark Algee-Hewitt

Our goal in this paper is to document our attempt to take advantage of the TDM exemption legal framework to build a bespoke corpus of largely in-copyright, born-digital texts for the purpose of text mining. In the end, we have found the acquisition of texts under these constraints to be slow, painful, and expensive.

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Encoding the Postcolonial  into Place

Conference Paper, MLA 2024

Based on Stuart Hall’s idea of encoding and decoding, I suggest that places, especially in postcolonial countries, can be encoded with discourses that are legacies of colonialism. Using a corpora of Caribbean literature, I show that computational methods can be especially effective at detecting the place encodings that are enacted by cultural practices such as literature. I reverse engineer the encoding process so that these colonial encodings can be overwritten with local narratives with the support of new cultural and tourism policies.

Collocate results taken from slides

“Literary Cartography: Dark Tourism in Post-Troubles Belfast” 

This article proposes that an understanding of post-Troubles Belfast could be achieved through the method of literary cartography, which is here defined as the juxtaposed reading of a city's spatial narratives and its literary narratives on the city's spaces. Through the inclusion of the literary in social analysis, this article traces the ruptures in the predominant touristic narratives of Belfast, producing alternative cartographies. 

Poster used to present the project
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