News

UCHI Stands in Solidarity with the UConn Association for Asian American Faculty and Staff

The UConn Humanities Institute stands in solidarity with the UConn Association for Asian American Faculty and Staff in their commitment to combatting anti-Asian racism and in condemning the recent rise in anti-Asian violence across the United States, in Connecticut, and at UConn. Please read their full statement below.

Download the statement as a PDF

UCONN ASSOCIATION FOR ASIAN AMERICAN FACULTY AND STAFF (AAAFS) STATEMENT ON ANTI-ASIAN VIOLENCE

The first cases of Covid-19 in the United States were reported in January 2020, and since that time there has been a massive increase in anti-Asian violence across the United States. STOP AAPI HATE notes that hundreds and sometimes thousands of reported incidents occur every month. They report that incidents of verbal attacks, avoidance, physical assault, online harassment, and being spit upon are the most common forms. A recent New York Times article also details many of the abhorrent and deplorable crimes and actions that have targeted Asians over the last year. It is a sad compendium of history and facts that delves into the nuances and complications related to anti-Asian racism. Nationally, attacks are most common in businesses, public streets and sidewalks, parks, online and in public transit, but they also happen here at UConn.

UConn’s commitment to combatting anti-Asian racism began in 1987 with an episode of students’ verbal attacks and spitting on other Asian American peers. What can we say has changed in 33 years? Certainly, our resolve and commitment to the community has only strengthened in these decades, while the number of Asians and Asian Americans at the University has grown significantly. At UConn, there are thousands who identify as Asian and Asian American: 12.7% of the University’s workforce (faculty, staff, administrators, and graduate assistants; Fall 2019), and 10.5% of our students (Fall 2020). In addition, a significant percentage of our international students come from Asian countries.

Mike Keo, Activist-in-Residence of UConn’s Asian and Asian American Studies Institute, started the social media campaign #IAMNOTAVIRUS to humanize Asians and Asian Americans targeted by hateful rhetoric, and to counter this virulent and unwarranted malice. We release this statement in the same spirit, to:

    • draw appropriate attention to the intensifying violence against Asians in America;
    • formally state our position in this ongoing conflict of systems, cultures, histories, and sensibilities;
    • and call upon faculty, staff, administrators, and all UConn students and stakeholders to rise to the challenge of actively opposing racism and hate against Asians, all marginalized groups, and all peoples of color.

We state as clearly and as boldly as we can: all of this has impacted us, the Asians and Asian Americans at UConn. What is happening is wrong and we must stand together to not only identify and call-out this kind of behavior and its bad actors; but we must work systemically and synergistically to change culpable aspects of our university and society, to ultimately eradicate this malignancy.

Though today’s political climate often attempts to polarize such issues and concerns, we hope that you will see that this is not a political comment. Rather, it is a call for solidarity and commitment, awareness and understanding, attention and action. We stand with our fellow peer groups and associations, institutes and centers, and student organizations at UConn that are committed to combating the prejudiced, racist, harmful, and violent actions and words that attempt to marginalize and divide us even further. We hope that all of UConn will not only stand behind us, your Asian and Asian American colleagues, but stand with us, as we form even greater bonds and grow in numbers and strength across the university.

For we refuse to wear the moniker of the ‘model minority.’ Because of this racial stereotype, Asian Americans are too often left out of discussions of racial justice, thus ignoring our pain, minimizing our feelings, and assuming a passive response. We call on the University’s Administration to formally recognize that anti-racist work must account for the historical legacy and impact of racism on all peoples of color, including Asians. Further, we call on the University’s Administration to not only condemn recent acts of violence against Asians, but also consciously recognize the impact that these acts have on our UConn family. Even during the unprecedented times we are living through now—battling the Covid-19 pandemic; addressing the scourge of systemic racism; and navigating economic insecurity and inequity for millions of people—we ask the UConn Administration to see that this is exactly the right time to ensure, specifically and concretely, that the lens of justice sees all shades of Yellow, Black, and Brown.

As part of our work as a cultural organization at the University, we will host a virtual panel on March 18, from 5-6:30pm. “Asians in America: Anti-Asian Violence and the Fight Against Invisibility” will feature UConn students, faculty, and staff; provide perspectives on today’s climate and its impact on UConn’s Asian and Asian American community; shed light on our experience; and galvanize anti-racist efforts that will benefit us all. To register for the event, please click here.

We also encourage you to access resources and organizations such as STOP AAPI HATE, HateIsAVirus.org, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, and Chinese for Affirmative Action, to name a few. At UConn, please communicate with your peers and colleagues, with your supervisors, and with the administration, to let them know where you stand, and your need for allyship and support.

The Association for Asian American Faculty and Staff hopes that we can work more closely with you and yours each and every day to combat racism, stifle prejudice, and ultimately deconstruct the systems and structures at our university and within society that uphold the American caste system where all shades darker than white are consciously and subconsciously considered less-than.

This struggle began centuries ago; it takes on new forms today; and will continue tomorrow, and the next. If our work helps us to achieve greater unity, then we will have found success.

Yours in solidarity,

The Executive Board of the Association for Asian American Faculty and Staff
The Asian American Cultural Center
The Asian and Asian American Studies Institute

CONTACT: asacc@uconn.edu

Fellow’s Talk: Helen Rozwadowski on Science as Frontier

Fellow's talk 2020–21. New Horizons: How Science Became a Frontier in the First Half of the 20th Century. Professor of History, UConn Helen Rozwadowski, with a response by Elizabeth Athens. Live. Online. Registration required. March 10, 2021, 4:00pm. UConn Humanities Institute.

New Horizons: How Science Became a Frontier in the First Half of the 20th Century

Helen M. Rozwadowski (Professor of History, UConn)

with a response by Elizabeth Athens

Wednesday, March 10, 2021, 4:00pm (Online—Register here)

Most people, certainly most Americans, have a ready set of associations for the word “frontier,” including Disney’s Frontierland, 1950s western films, the borderlands of Mexico and the United States, or outer space. Over the first half of the twentieth century, science and technology also became frontiers. Scientists, boosters, popular writers, and public intellectuals seized upon the US historian Frederick Jackson Turner’s formulation of the frontier of the American West (The Frontier in American History, 1920) and transformed a term of geography into one that stood for progress. They integrated Turner’s frontier with a thread of European internationalist thinking about frontiers and applied this novel concept to the natural sciences. Science would fuel economic growth, provide an outlet for the restlessness of American individualism, and ensure democracy and national progress. The ideological flexibility of frontier proved valuable for commentators who rendered science into a frontier that appeared to promise endless progress purportedly without the violence and exploitation of its namesake US western frontier.

Founder of the University of Connecticut’s Maritime Studies program, Helen M. Rozwadowski teaches history of science and environmental history as well as interdisciplinary and experiential maritime-related courses. She has spent her career encouraging scholars and students to join in writing the history of interconnections between oceans and people. Her book on the 19th-century scientific and cultural discovery of the depths, Fathoming the Ocean: The Discovery and Exploration of the Deep Sea, won the History of Science Society’s Davis Prize for best book directed to a wide public audience. In The Sea Knows No Boundaries she explores the history of 20th-century marine sciences that support international fisheries and marine environmental management. Recently she has co-edited Soundings and Crossings: Doing Science at Sea 1800-1970, one of several volumes that have established the field of history of oceanography. Her recent book, Vast Expanses: A History of the Oceans (Reaktion Books, 2018), which won the Sharon Harris Book Award from UCHI in 2019, has come out in a Korean edition in 2019 and a Chinese edition in 2020.

Elizabeth Athens is Assistant Professor of Art History at the University of Connecticut, where she teaches courses on museum studies, histories of collecting, and material culture. She previously served as part of the research team for the History of Early American Landscape Design database at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts in Washington, D.C., and as the American art curator of the Worcester Art Museum. Her current research centers on the work of the American artist-naturalist William Bartram (1739–1823), whose efforts helped redirect the taxonomic focus of eighteenth-century natural history to the study of lived relationships. This project examines Bartram’s unusual graphic practice and how his natural history drawings helped articulate such a shift.

Registration is required for the event.

If you require accommodation to attend this event, please contact us at uchi@uconn.edu or by phone (860) 486-9057.

Congrats, Britney Murphy

Congrats to UConn History Ph.D. Candidate Britney Murphy, who has been named a 2021 Humanities Without Walls (HWW) pre-doctoral workshop fellow. Murphy will join a cohort of other graduate students for a national, virtual summer workshop for doctoral students interested in learning about careers outside of the academy and/or the tenure track system. Through a series of workshops, talks, and virtual field trips, Murphy and the other participants will learn how to leverage their skills and training towards careers in the private sector, the non-profit world, arts administration, public media and many other fields.

HWW is a consortium of humanities centers and institutes at 16 major research universities throughout the Midwest and beyond.

The Political Theory Workshop Presents: Richard Dagger

THE POLITICAL THEORY WORKSHOP PRESENTS

Republicanism and the Rule of Law

Richard Dagger, University of Richmond
with Dabney Waring, Ph.D. Student, Political Science, UConn, as discussant
March 5th, 2021, 12:15–1:30pm on Zoom

Richard Dagger is the E. Claiborne Robins Distinguished Chair in the Liberal Arts at the University of Richmond, where he holds a joint appointment in Political Science and in the Philosophy, Politics, Economics, and Law Program. Professor Dagger’s publications include numerous essays in political and legal philosophy, with special attention to political obligation, the justification of punishment, and republicanism. The first two interests are reflected in his Playing Fair: Political Obligation and the Problems of Punishment (Oxford University Press, 2018). The interest in republicanism is central to his Civic Virtues: Rights, Citizenship, and Republican Liberalism (Oxford University Press, 1997), which won the Elaine and David Spitz Prize of the Conference for the Study of Political Thought in 1999. He is also co-author of a textbook, Political Ideologies and the Democratic Ideal (Routledge, 11th edition), and co-editor of a companion book of readings, Ideals and Ideologies: A Reader (Routledge, 11th edition).

With generous support from the UConn Humanities Institute.

Questions? Email jane.gordon@uconn.edu

Download the Poster.

Fellow’s Talk: Melanie Newport on Prisoner Lives

2020–21 UCHI Fellow's Talk. Forgotten Men: Media and Prisoner Lives in Cook County Jails, 1954–1958. Assistant Professor of History Melanie Newport, with a response by Nicole Breault. Live. Online. Registration required. March 3, 2021, 4:00pm.

Forgotten Men: Media and Prisoner Lives in Cook County Jail, 1954–1958

Melanie Newport (Assistant Professor of History, UConn)

with a response by Nicole Breault

Wednesday, March 3, 2021, 4:00pm (Online—Register here)

Early in the COVID crisis, Cook County Jail in Chicago gained renown as one of the nation’s top sites of infection. Amid protests over the jail’s failure to protect the health and safety of prisoners, an incarcerated person put a note in the jail window: HELP. WE MATTER 2. A picture of the note became a symbol of prisoner humanity that was shared around the world.

This presentation places this act of resistance within a deeper history of prisoner life and struggle in one of the nation’s largest jails. Looking to a unique moment in the 1950s, this paper considers how prisoners—self-identified as “forgotten men”— used media, including a jail newspaper and a tv show, to assert their humanity and their visions for jail reform. As part of a larger study that considers how jail reform shaped the rise of mass incarceration, these sources show that incarcerated people participated in lively debates over the meanings and outcomes of jailing. Jailed people used media to assert their worthiness of participation in the postwar liberal project as they struggled to mitigate the harms of the nascent carceral state.

Melanie D. Newport is an assistant professor of history at UConn’s Hartford campus and affiliated faculty in American Studies and Urban and Community Studies. She holds a BA from Pacific Lutheran University, an MA from the University of Utah, and PhD from Temple University. Her current book project, under contract with University of Pennsylvania Press’ Politics and Culture in Modern America series, explores the political history of jail reform in Chicago from the 1830s to the present. Prior to joining the UConn Faculty in 2016, she taught at Temple University, Community College of Philadelphia, and Garden State Youth Correctional Facility. Newport’s work has been supported by the Center for the Humanities at Temple, the Black Metropolis Research Consortium, and the University of Illinois at Chicago and University of Chicago libraries.

Nicole Breault is a fifth-year doctoral candidate in the Department of History. Her research interests are in early American legal and social history with an emphasis on urban governance, institutions, gender, and space. She earned a B.A. from the University of Vermont and an M.A. from the University of Massachusetts Boston. Her research has been awarded fellowships at the Massachusetts Historical Society, New England Regional Fellowship Consortium, the Boston Athenæum, and the Huntington Library, as well as a Littleton-Griswold Grant by the American Historical Association. Currently, Nicole is the Draper Dissertation Fellow at the UConn Humanities Institute working on her dissertation “The Night Watch of Boston: Law and Governance in Eighteenth-Century British America.”

Registration is required for the event.

If you require accommodation to attend this event, please contact us at uchi@uconn.edu or by phone (860) 486-9057.

Fellow’s Talk: Amy Meyers on William Bartram

2020-2021 Fellow's Talk. Of "Men and Manners" in the Work of William Bartram. UCHI Visiting Fellow Amy Meyers, with a response by Sean Frederick Forbes. Live. Online. Registration required. February 24, 2021, 4:00pm.

Of “Men and Manners” in the Work of William Bartram

Amy Meyers (Visiting Fellow, UCHI)

with a response by Sean Frederick Forbes

Wednesday, February 24, 2021, 4:00pm (Online—Register here)

The verbal and visual portrayals of the flora and fauna of the North American continent by William Bartram (1739-1823) have long been interpreted as some of the first studies of environmental interchange executed by a naturalist of European descent. Yet Bartram’s writings on the Indigenous Americans of the Southeast, with whom he spent extended periods of time on two expeditions in the 1760s and 1770s, and the few drawings that he produced relating to American Indian life, have not been analyzed in the same terms. Excellent studies of Bartram’s unusual empathy for—and admiration of—the peoples he was encountering, (particularly the Creek, Seminole, and Cherokee) have been written in recent years, but little attention has been paid to the ways in which he utilized the models of environmental interplay that he established in his analysis of animals and plants to comprehend the complex and rapidly shifting relationships among the human societies that became the object of his examination. In this talk, Amy Meyers will discuss Bartram’s understanding of the long history of human migration, competition, and alliance that he observed as defining human interaction, and which he understood as applicable to all peoples, including those of European origin. Meyers also will examine Bartram’s deep concern for the preservation of American Indian cultures, and his anxiety over a national policy of assimilation which he felt compelled to support in the face of impending genocide. In the course of her discussion, Meyers will contrast Bartram’s attitudes toward Indigenous Americans with his views of, and behavior towards, enslaved peoples of African descent, whom he regarded with far less sympathy and understanding.

Amy Meyers (Yale PhD, American Studies, 1985) retired from the directorship of the Yale Center for British Art in June of 2019. Prior to her appointment in July of 2002, she spent much of her career at research institutes, including Dumbarton Oaks; the Center for Advanced Study in Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; and The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens, where she served as Curator of American Art from 1988 through June of 2002. Meyers has written extensively on the visual and material culture of natural history in the transatlantic world, serving as editor of Knowing Nature: Art and Science in Philadelphia, 1740 to 1840 (Yale University Press, 2011, with the assistance of Lisa Ford). She also has edited, with Harold Cook and Pamela Smith, Ways of Making and Knowing: The Material Culture of Empirical Knowledge (University of Michigan Press, 2011); with Therese O’Malley, The Art of Natural History: Illustrated Treatises and Botanical Paintings, 1400-1850 (National Gallery of Art, Studies in The History of Art Series, 2008); Art and Science in America: Issues of Representation (The Huntington, 1998); and, with Margaret Pritchard, Empire’s Nature: Mark Catesby’s New World Vision (University of North Carolina Press, 1998). With Therese O’Malley, Meyers currently is organizing an exhibition with the working title of William Bartram and the Origins of American Environmental Thought. The project will bring together for the first time a wide selection of Bartram’s extraordinary drawings to examine his integrated view of nature and the emergence of environmental thought in North America, from the colonial period through the first decades of the republic.

Sean Frederick Forbes is an Assistant Professor-in-Residence of English and the Director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Connecticut. His poems have appeared in Chagrin River Review, Sargasso, A Journal of Caribbean Literature, Language, and Culture, Crab Orchard Review, Long River Review, and Midwest Quarterly. In 2009, he received a Woodrow Wilson Mellon Mays University Fellows Travel and Research Grant for travel to Providencia, Colombia. Providencia, his first book of poetry, was published in 2013. He has co-edited two collections of personal narratives titled What Does It Mean to be White in America? Breaking the White Code of Silence: Personal Narratives by White Americans (2016) and The Beiging of America: Being Mixed Race in the 21st Century (2017). He serves as the poetry editor for New Square, the official publication of The Sancho Panza Literary Society for which he is a founding member. In 2017, he received first place in the Nutmeg Poetry Contest from the Connecticut Poetry Society.

Registration is required for the event.

If you require accommodation to attend this event, please contact us at uchi@uconn.edu or by phone (860) 486-9057.

The Humanities and Science Working Group Presents Gitanjali Shahani

The Humanities and Science Working Group would like to invite you to Science Race, and Early Modern Food Studies. A conversation with Gitanjali G. Shahani. Author of Tasting Difference: Food, Race, and Cultural Encounters in Early Modern Literature. Registration is required. February 23, 2021, 12:00pm.

THE HUMANITIES AND SCIENCE WORKING GROUP PRESENTS

Science, Race, and Early Modern Food Studies

Gitanjali Shahani, English, San Francisco State University
February 23, 2021, 12:00p.m.

Live. Online. Registration required.

The Humanities and Science Working Group will be reading the Introduction and Chapter One (“Spices: ‘The Spicèd Indian Air’ in Shakespeare’s England”) from Dr. Shahani’s book. The e-book is available through UConn Library. If anyone needs copies directly, they can email Debapriya Sarkar (debapriya.sarkar@uconn.edu).

Gitanjali Shahani is Professor of English at San Francisco State University, where she teaches courses on Shakespeare studies, postcolonial studies, and food studies. She is the author of Tasting Difference: Food, Race, and Cultural Encounters in Early Modern Literature (Cornell University Press, 2020). She has edited two collections, Food and Literature (Cambridge University Press, 2019) and Emissaries in Early Modern Literature & Culture (Routledge 2016, Ashgate 2009, with Brinda Charry). Her articles on race and colonialism in early modern literature have been published in numerous collections and journals, including Shakespeare, Shakespeare Studies, and The Journal of Early Modern Cultural Studies.

With generous support from the UConn Humanities Institute.

DHMS Presents Shaoling Ma

The Digital Humanities and Media Studies Initiative Presents: What Do Media Do?: The Case of Late Qing China. Assistant Professor of LIterature, Yale-NUS, Shaoling Ma. Live. Online. Registration required. February 22, 2021, 6:00pm. Co-sponsored by the Asian and Asian American Studies Institute.

If you require accommodation to attend this event, please contact us at uchi@uconn.edu or by phone (860) 486-9057.

The Digital Humanities and Media Studies Initiative presents:

What Do Media Do? The ‘Case’ of Late Qing China, 1861–1906

Shaoling Ma (Assistant Professor of Humanities, Literature, Yale-NUS College)

February 22, 2021, 6:00–7:15pm

An online webinar. Registration is required for attendance.

During the last few decades of the Manchu Qing dynasty (1644–1912), writers, intellectuals, reformers, and revolutionaries grasped what it is that media do even as they did not yet employ a distinct term for communicative media (meiti) as such. My talk, largely based on my forthcoming book, The Stone and the Wireless, Mediating China 1861-1906, asserts that media do not mediate between this and that entity before first mediating between some version of its already mediated form as discursive representations in texts and images, and the apparently unmediated technical device or process. If mediation names not just an object of inquiry but also a comparative method, then “late Qing China” refers to more than a case study. The road to an immanently media inquiry does not have to lead to China, but it might be worthwhile to begin there. My first book starts with the deceptively simple question of what it is that media do: there, the political economy or actual work of mediation only surfaces intermittently. It feels appropriate for a second project to ask why it is that digital media have particular trouble representing their modes of production. I will end my talk by briefly sketching this question in the People’s Republic of China’s hyped, digital ascent, in its cultures of platform extractivism foregrounding the low-brow, the crude, and the rural poor.

Shaoling Ma is an Assistant Professor of Humanities (Literature) at Yale-NUS College. She was born in Taiwan, grew up in Singapore, and spent ten years in the United States where she obtained her PhD (University of Southern California, Comparative Literature), and subsequently taught at Pennsylvania State University. Her research interests include literary and critical theory, media studies, and global Chinese literature, film, and art. She has published in academic journals such as Configurations, Mediations, and positions. Her first book manuscript, The Stone and the Wireless: Mediating China, 1861-1906 is forthcoming in 2021 with Duke University Press as part of the ‘Sign, Storage, Transmission’ series.

Co-sponsored by the Asian and Asian American Studies Institute

Fellow’s Talk: Erica Holberg on the Pleasures of Group Anger

2020–21 UCHI Fellow’s Talk. How the Pleasures of Group Anger Help Explain the Assault on the U.S. Capitol. UCHI Visiting Fellow Erica Holberg, with a response by Scott Wallace. Live, Online, Registration Required. February 17, 2021, 4:00pm

How the Pleasures of Group Anger Help Explain the Assault on the U.S. Capitol

Erica Holberg (Visiting Fellow, UCHI)

with a response by Scott Wallace

Wednesday, February 17, 2021, 4:00pm (Online—Register here)

If one thing is clear about the January 6th assault on the U. S. Capitol, it is that no one description adequately captures who the participants were, the action they committed, and the motivation for their actions. This talk will focus on an incoherence that many of the participants evinced about what they were doing, how to accomplish their aims, and to what extent their actions were justified. I will argue that we can better understand the actions of some significant portion of the participants in seeing how the logic of anger, which is grounded in how anger functions for individual angry agents, collided with practices of group anger, which is structured differently, being more like pleasurable, leisurely, angry play. Individual anger, in its normal functioning and in order to be taken seriously as anger by others, exerts practical pressure: the point of individual anger as process is to secure redress for the wrong suffered, including revenge upon the wrongdoer. But group anger as activity is different: because we are all feeling angry as a group, I do not, on my own, need to act to resolve this anger. In the assault on the Capitol the rhetorical practices of group anger as an activity joined with the practical and temporal features of individual anger as a process, with horrific results.

Erica A. Holberg is a virtue ethicist who uses the historical, ethical theories of Aristotle and Kant to examine our own virtues, vices, conception of pleasure, and account of how pleasure matters for good living. Her research sets aside the question of what pleasure is to focus instead on how pleasure functions in our lives, for better or for worse. She is the 2016 recipient of the North American Kant Society’s Wilfrid Sellars Essay Prize for the best paper on Kant by an untenured scholar, and her work has appeared in The Southern Journal of Philosophy, Kantian Review, and Polis: The Journal for Ancient Greek and Roman Political Thought. Her UCHI Fellowship project is a book about the pleasures of anger, and how the phenomenology and practical considerations differ for anger done as an individual or anger done as a group.

Scott Wallace is an award-winning writer and photojournalist who covers the environment and endangered cultures. He is an Associate Professor of Journalism at the University of Connecticut since 2017 and an Affiliate Faculty member at El Instituto. Wallace is a frequent contributor to National Geographic. His work has also appeared in Harper’s, Grand Street, Smithsonian Journeys Quarterly and many others. Notable Publications: The Unconquered: In Search of the Amazon’s Last Uncontacted Tribes (Crown, 2011); “Threatened by the Outside World,” National Geographic, November 2018; “The last stand of the Amazon’s Arrow People,” New York Times, September 27, 2017.

Registration is required for the event.

If you require accommodation to attend this event, please contact us at uchi@uconn.edu or by phone (860) 486-9057.

DHMS Presents Allen Riddell

DHMS presents: Every Victorian Novel, Dispatches from Data-Intensive book history, Allen Riddell. Live online registration required. February 15, 2021, 4:00pm.

If you require accommodation to attend this event, please contact us at uchi@uconn.edu or by phone (860) 486-9057.

The Digital Humanities and Media Studies Initiative presents:

Every Victorian Novel: Dispatches from Data-Intensive Book History

Allen Riddell (Assistant Professor of Information Science, Indiana University)

February 15, 2021, 4:00–5:15pm

An online webinar. Registration is required for attendance.

This talk reviews three recent contributions to the history of fiction publishing in the British Isles and Ireland during the 19th century. The three papers share an investment in an inclusive history of the novel and of novel-writing as a profession. They depend on, to varying degrees, the availability of machine-readable bibliographies and of digital surrogates of volumes held by legal deposit libraries (e.g., Oxford’s Bodleian, British Library).

The first article, “Reassembling the English Novel, 1789—1919,” forthcoming in Cultural Analytics, estimates annual rates of novel publication for each year between 1789 and 1919. This period—which witnessed the publication of between 40,000 and 63,000 previously-unpublished novels—merits attention because it was during this period that institutions, organizational practices, and technologies associated with the contemporary text industry emerged.

The second article, “The Class of 1838: A Social History of the First Victorian Novelists,” revisits a research question introduced by Raymond Williams in The Long Revolution (1961) (Chapter 5, “The Social History of English Writers”). This article, published last year, examines the social origins of the 81 novelists who published a novel in 1838. Replicating Williams’s research is essential because Williams’s original study was, by his own admission, preliminary and depended on a small, non-probability sample of writers.

The talk concludes with an assessment of four major digital libraries’ coverage of published Victorian novels. (The digital libraries studied are the Internet Archive, HathiTrust, Google Books, and the British Library.) While evidence suggests that a majority of Victorian novels have been digitized, multivolume novels and novels by male authors are overrepresented relative to their share of the population of published novels. This third paper also provides an occasion to reflect on the past decade of data-intensive literary history, a research field whose prospects have been linked to mass digitization of research and national libraries.

Allen Riddell is Assistant Professor of Information Science in the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering at Indiana University Bloomington. His research explores applications of modern statistical methods in literary history and text-based media studies. He is the co-author with Folgert Karsdorp and Mike Kestemont of Humanities Data Analysis (Princeton University Press, 2021) (open-access edition in 2022). Prior to coming to Indiana, Riddell was a Neukom Fellow at the Neukom Institute for Computational Sciences and the Leslie Center for the Humanities at Dartmouth College.