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Presentation by Matt Warner on “Comparing Canons”

On May 26th, 2021, Matt Warner presented on "Comparing Canons".

Much work in the digital humanities is concerned—often antagonistically—with the canon, whether because it’s not the archive, or because it’s a loose index to cultural capital, or even simply because it forms the core of the small subset of a much larger corpora that interlocutors outside the field (and in it, often) are most likely to be interested in it. Currently, however, no large or carefully defined corpus of the canon is available for digital humanists to use, either for comparative work or for addressing how this or that new idea applies to the subset of literature that bygone cultural authorities considered most worthy. For the limited case of novels in English, this project aims to amend this lack by combining together publishing data, prize lists, MLA citations and other cultural authorities to create a corpus and associated data set made up of what have been treated as the most canonical novels written in English.