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  • IJHAC_REVISEDTaylorGregoryDonaldson_Sound

    Rights statement: This article has been accepted for publication by Edinburgh University Press in International Journal of Humanities and Arts Computing, [URL link]

    Accepted author manuscript, 403 KB, PDF document

    Available under license: CC BY-NC: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License


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Combining Close and Distant Reading: A Multiscalar Analysis of the English Lake District's Historical Soundscape

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>24/10/2018
<mark>Journal</mark>International Journal of Humanities and Arts Computing
Issue number2
Number of pages20
Pages (from-to)163-182
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This article joins calls for literary scholarship to move beyond the limitations of binary oppositions between ‘close’ and ‘distant’ reading and towards the development of approaches that exploit the macroanalytic potential of digital methods alongside the nuanced analysis that characterises literary scholarship. Drawing on a customised corpus of writing about the English Lake District, we model the application of a multiscalar approach known as geographical text analysis (GTA), which combines aspects of close reading and distant reading, and, in doing so, introduces a new method for literary research. Here, we focus on historical descriptions of the Lake District's soundscape to demonstrate both how perceptions of sound changed over the course of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and how multi-scalar methods can uniquely uncover such historical-literary shifts. Sound, we argue, offers a particularly useful focus since it allows us to draw fruitful parallels between our methods and those applied by the writers we study. In this way, this article advocates for digital humanities scholarship that advances our disciplines in conversation with appropriate historical modes.

Bibliographic note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Edinburgh University Press in International Journal of Humanities and Arts Computing. The Version of Record is available online at: https://www.euppublishing.com/doi/abs/10.3366/ijhac.2018.0220