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Experimental Humanities Program, Dean of the College, and Bard Reading Initiative Present

Thursday, February 7, 2019
Experimental Thinking: Data, Reading, and Literature
RKC 103
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
A Talk by Andrew Piper
As computational methods become more widespread in the arts and humanities today, thinking experimentally has an increasingly important role to play. In the social and natural sciences, to experiment means to control, isolate, and distance oneself from an observation. To experiment in this sense means putting our believes to the test. But there is an equally vibrant tradition in the arts where experimentation is seen as a form of play, creativity, and transformation. To experiment in this sense means distancing ourselves from the norms and status quo of the present, to break open the possible.

In my talk, I will explore these two traditions of experimental thinking and how they might be more productively brought together. How can computational methods allow us to think more experimentally about the literature of the past and present in the broadest possible sense? How can the testing, challenging, and rethinking of experimentation give us new views of literature’s future?

Andrew Piper is Professor and William Dawson Scholar in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at McGill University. His work explores computational approaches to the study of literature and culture. He is the director of .txtLAB, a laboratory for cultural analytics at McGill, as well as author of Enumerations: Data and Literature Study (University of Chicago Press, 2018).

Download: piper.pdf

For more information, call 845-758-6822, or e-mail

Time: 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Location: RKC 103