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Suspense: Towards a Digital Narratology, a talk by Dr. Mark Algee-Hewitt

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SFU's Big Data Hub

Applied Science Bldg, Room 10900

8888 University Drive

Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6

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Suspense: Towards a Digital Narratology

What is the relationship between the feeling of anticipation we get from reading certain novels, and the words of the text itself? Is it the narrative of the story, the desire to know what happens next? Or is it something more subtle, a set of literary devices and effects, that makes us feel suspense? Combining cognitive psychology and deep learning models, this project explores the ways that fiction works to create the conditions of possibility for the experience of suspense. In addition to offering a new way to understand what suspense is and how it operates on readers, this project also offers a model of the new turn towards reading in the Digital Humanities. Far from the straightforward analysis of form, authorship, or topic, in this project, we explore what our new quantitative methods can tell us about the evolution of the reading experience and how we make sense out of what we read.

About the speaker:
Mark Algee-Hewitt is the Director of the Stanford Literary Lab and an Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities and English at Stanford University. Focused primarily on Eighteenth-century aesthetic philosophy, his work combines computational analysis with literary criticism on a wide variety of genres and periods. In the Lab, he leads projects on Suspense literature, the relationship between academic writing and literature in nineteenth century novels, and the language of Identity in American fiction. He is also interested in the application of literary models to other kinds of writing, directing projects on the discourse of Environmental Science, Anthropology and Political Science.

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SFU's Big Data Hub

Applied Science Bldg, Room 10900

8888 University Drive

Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6

Canada

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