DARIAH is pleased to announce the winner of its annual book bursary for the Open Access publication of early career researchers’ first monographs in Digital Humanities. The recipient of the second, 2022 round is:
Dr. Erik Ketzan, Postdoctoral Fellow at Trinity College Dublin, Centre for Digital Humanities, author of the monograph Thomas Pynchon and the Digital Humanities: Computational Approaches to Style (Bloomsbury, 2021).
In compliance with our eligibility criteria, this year’s award winning book will be made available Open Access retrospectively at the New Horizons in Contemporary Writing series of Bloomsbury Publishing.
“It’s a great honour to receive the DARIAH Open Access Book Bursary”, said Erik Ketzan. “This will help my book, Thomas Pynchon and the Digital Humanities: Computational Approaches to Style, reach an even wider audience of Pynchon scholars, curious Pynchon readers, and anyone in the digital humanities who wants to see how corpus query can be applied to confirm, contest, and build upon decades of analog scholarship in the study of a single author.”
The book will be introduced in detail at the DARIAH Annual Event 2023 where Erik will be participating as an invited speaker.
Key values of the awarded manuscript
The awarded monograph investigates a key aspect of reading both in generic and in critical terms, namely the mystery of style. What makes an author’s style unique, in formally observable and describable ways? What data driven approaches tell us about one’s stylistic trends? The book delivers answers to these questions from Computational Stylistics in the context of Thomas Pynchon’s oeuvre.
Part of the uniqueness and innovative potential of this stylistic groundwork comes from its essentially interdisciplinary nature, as it puts Corpus Linguistics methodology apparatus in service of Literary Studies. The vast majority of the corpus queries and analyses have been carried out with the help of TXM, a free, open-source text/corpus analysis environment, developed at the ENS Lyon, designed for linguistic or literary text analysis. As such, they are easily reusable and adaptable to the study of other literary or linguistic phenomena.
On the other hand, the book has been written in an engaging style (even with humor) and presents its results in a manner that is easy to follow for both technical and non-technical audiences.
“Erik’s book represents a significant contribution to work on Thomas Pynchon, employing innovative computational methodologies to reveal previously unknown stylistic trends over the course of Pynchon’s career, as well as challenging critical assumptions around supposedly ‘Pynchonesque’ stylistic features”, says Ben Doyle, Bloomsbury’s Publisher for Literature, Digital Cultures and Medical/Health Humanities
The co-editor of the New Horizons in Contemporary Writing series, Prof. Martin Paul Eve, added: “Thomas Pynchon and the Digital Humanities is a remarkable book, both for what it does and undoes. Deploying a series of innovative digital methods to present fresh empirical evidence, Ketzan challenges and rewrites the basic critical consensus about Pynchon’s style that has solidified over many years. The award of the DARIAH Open Access Book Bursary will mean that everyone will now have easy, open, free access to this important scholarship.”
Next funding call
The 2023 edition of the DARIAH Open Access Book Bursary in Digital Humanities will be launched soon. The bursary aims to serve as a modest but immediate contribution to ease the current anomalies in Open Access publication funds that are usually not inclusive of first monographs and support those who are less privileged in this respect but could possibly achieve the biggest change in academic culture and beyond. If you are an early career researcher on the lookout of such an opportunity, stay tuned!