Andrew Piper (McGill) on “Adventures in Topological Reading” at Western

Andrew Piper on "Adventures in Topological Reading”

We are delighted to announce an upcoming paper by Dr. Andrew Piper from McGill.

Andrew Piper
“Adventures in Topological Reading”
Friday, 8 February
Lawson Hall 2270C

In this talk I will present some of my current collaborative work to create topological models for visualizing literary history. While the term topology covers a variety of fields that extend from graph theory to the mathematics of continuous spaces to thinking about topoi or linguistic “commonplaces,” we are using it as a means of modeling linguistic patterns to understand the spatial connections of literary texts. In bringing to light the distributed recurrences of language that otherwise escape our critical readings, how can topology tell us new things about our literary past? Projects to be discussed include the impact of the eighteenth-century epistolary novel, the meaning of social networks in detective fiction, and the rhetoric of conversion in autobiography and the novel.

Andrew Piper is associate professor in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures and associate member in the Department of Art History and Communication Studies at McGill University. His new book, Book Was There: Reading in Electronic Times (Chicago, 2012), is an attempt to map out the possible futures of reading through an understanding of the historical entanglements of books, bodies, and screens. As part of his work on the lineaments between print and digital culture, he is co-founder of the FQRSC-funded research group, Interacting with Print: Cultural Practices of Intermediality, 1700-1900, as well as CiteLab, a new digital humanities initiative at McGill University. In addition to a number of articles that explore the intersections of literature and the book in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, he is the author of Dreaming in Books: The Making of the Bibliographic Imagination in the Romantic Age (Chicago, 2009), which was awarded the MLA Prize for a first book.

This presentation is co-hosted by the Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism, The IDI in Digital Humanities, and the Research Group for Electronic and Textuality and Theory.

Dr. Piper will also be another giving a talk at Western on this same Friday at 3:30pm, on the subject of “Reactive Life: The Instrumentality of Modern Autobiography,” Somerville House 2348.

 Many thanks to Tilottama Rajan and Juan Luis Suarez for co-sponsoring this event!

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