Spring 2015

Thursday Lecture Series are open to Columbia faculty, students, and guests. Special Events are open to the public, unless otherwise noted.

Workshops: On Method

On Method: On Philology

  • Nadia Altschul, Senior Lecturer, University of Glasgow

Philology and the reconstruction of texts has been a main humanistic method since the purported end of the middle ages. Today’s exchange will delve into the history of philology and its basic methodological assumptions, bringing to the fore some of its colonial underpinnings, and asking digital humanists, as part of the conversation, about connections between DH and this core method in humanities research. >>

Workshops: On Method

On Method: The Longue Durée of Empiricism in the Humanities: Patterns versus Interpretations

  • Rens Bod, Professor of Digital Humanities, University of Amsterdam

How empirical are the humanities? For over a century, empiricism has almost exclusively been attributed to the sciences. The sciences search for patterns and laws, while the humanities aim at understanding unique events. The sciences try to explain the world, while the humanities aim at interpreting it. >>

Workshops: On Method

On Method: What Was “Close Reading”?

  • Barbara Herrnstein Smith, Braxton Craven Professor of Comparative Literature and English Emerita, Duke University

Since the 1940s, invocations of "close reading" (however understood) have figured centrally in controversies over new methodological developments in literary studies: e.g., the New Criticism, structuralism, New Historicism, deconstruction, ideology critique, and, notably now, the Digital Humanities. The talk recalls some of those controversies and considers how the idea or ideal of "close reading" operates in current debates about-- and within-- the Digital Humanities. >>