Richard Jean So: Rise of the Asian-American Novel, A Computational History
The University of Virginia English Department presents:
Richard Jean So
Associate Professor, McGill University
author of Transpacific Community: America, China, and the Rise and Fall of a Cultural Network (2016) and Redlining Culture: A Data History of Racial Inequality and Postwar Fiction (2020)
"Rise of the Asian American Novel: A Computational History"
Meeting ID: 999 0516 0516
Leveraging the affordances of digital corpora and computational methods, this talk presents a new history of the Asian American novel, focusing on the 1950-2000 period. It examines in particular its emergence as a literary category in relation to Black fiction, as well as the wider US literary field along vectors of prestige (prizewinners) and the popular (bestsellers). It also makes several novel claims regarding what, at the level of content and form, was required to participate in this "rise of the Asian American novel," and what specific individual works of fiction resisted this rise. Last, the talk includes some methodological reflections on the relationship between machine learning, literary history, and critical race theory, especially the analysis of comparative racialization.