Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-5d59c44645-k78ct Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-02-25T09:57:47.276Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Recovery and Obsolescence: Feminist Scholarship, Computational Criticism, and the Canon

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 October 2020

Get access

Summary

BY CLAIMING TO move beyond the few to consider the many, including authors and works previously excluded from scholarly interest, Franco Moretti's call for “distant reading” and the rise of digital humanities have proffered possible remedies for what is perceived to be ailing traditional literary studies. This challenge to rethink scale and scope in literary studies has unleashed a host of scholarship that has sought to engage critically with Moretti's ideas but in tempered, moderated forms (such as Underwood, Piper, and Bode) as well as forcefully pushed back on claims that more is better (most recently Nan Z. Da). It cannot be denied that scholarship attending to the “many” or the “distant” has been productive in forcing us not only to reexamine the question of what we study but also how we study it. This selfreflection seems particularly relevant to a field such as eighteenth-century German studies, which sets as its monumental task the generation of new insights about texts that have been subjected to intense scholarly attention for more than two centuries. Indeed, Moretti's critique of the canon as only representing a small sample of what was actually written and what was actually read by contemporaries, aligns in many ways with the arguments mounted by early feminist scholars in their quest to decenter the literary canon and rethink the question of what should be read and who should be studied. This forum contribution explores the shared impulse between feminist scholarship and computational criticism to rethink the canon and reexamine what we read and study by focusing on the role of mass digitization and questions of scale for eighteenth- and nineteenth-century scholarship. It operates from a mediated position between the close-distant dichotomy that has come to inform much of the recent work by digital scholars. Lastly, such an intervention necessarily raises questions that may not be easily answered—except by further dialogue.

Some forty years ago, feminist scholars mobilized to “recover” women's writing that had been devalued, forgotten, and/or erased from literary history in an effort to expand the canon. The 1990s and early 2000s saw the efforts of earlier scholars pay off with an increase in print collections, anthologies, and databases dedicated to the works of women writers as well as an uptake in scholarly publications drawing attention to issues of gender and sexuality.

Type
Chapter
Information
Goethe Yearbook 27 , pp. 197 - 204
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2020

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×