Weekly team meeting: session with Neil Kenny

Neil Kenny is Professor of French at the University of Oxford. His research mostly focuses on early modern French literature and thought, especially from about 1530 to 1650.

Of particular interest for the project is his well-known book on the history of curiosity:

Curiosity in Early Modern Europe: Word Histories (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, Wolfenbütteler Forschungen, 1998).

We are specially interested in the methodological approach used in this book: how should one write the “word history” of a certain early modern concept – in our case, “ingenuity”?

More information about Neil Kenny’s work here.


Workshop with Jonathan Hope

Organised by our colleagues at the Crossroads Project (Crossroads of Knowledge in Early Modern England: the Place of Literature), this workshop – lead by Jonathan Hope- has offered us an insight into current Digital Humanities projects that focus on words and languages, e.g. the Visualising English Print project.

Jonathan Hope is Professor of Literary Linguistics and member of Digital Humanities Research Group at the University of Strathclyde. You can read more about his work here.

Visiting Fellow – Richard Scholar

This morning we had the pleasure to meet Richard Scholar, our first Visiting Fellow of 2014-2015.

Richard Scholar is University Lecturer in French at the University of Oxford. He is the author of Montaigne and the Art of Free-Thinking (2010) and The Je-Ne-Sais-Quoi in Early Modern Europe: Encounters with a Certain Something (2005).

More recently, he has co-organised the Early Modern Keywords. A European Vocabulary of Culture and Society, 1450-1700 Workshop (17-18 September, 2014, Oriel College, University of Oxford).

Among other issues, we discussed his introduction (“The New Philologists”) to Ita Mac Carthy’s edited volume Renaissance Keywords (London: Legenda, 2013) – a book that resonates with our current work on the language of ingenuity.

The Concept Lab

This morning, thanks to the generous collaboration of the Concept Lab team, we learned about new techniques of textual-data mining – for example: Google’s Ngram Viewer for text search, word collocation and word-usage patterns.

It’ll be very interesting to test the potential application of these Big Data / Digital Humanities tools to the first strand of our project – The language of ingenuity.

Date: 25 November 2014

More information about the CRASSH-based Concept Lab Project here.