Tag Archives: Stanford Lit Lab

Blog Post #2: The Stanford Literary Lab

  • What is the primary purpose of this project?

The Stanford Literary Lab aspires to research and perform quantitative, rather than qualitative, analysis of literature. The Lab performs “experiments,” some of which analyze linguistic style, others literary history, among many other comparative studies. They essentially strive to transfer qualitative literary data into quantitative, numerical data that can provide insight into literary history.

  • What does this project hope to do that a print resource (a book/books, a journal article, a reference work, etc.) couldn’t?

This project compiles all of the Lab’s research into one place and provides most, if not all, of their published articles in PDF format, making them more easily accessible to everyone. It also provides a way to contact them directly, providing links to their e-mails. This project also hopes to encourage participation by providing information on their upcoming and current experiments and events. The website is able to expand the audience by consolidating the Lab’s work and making it more widely available.

  • What is distinctive/notable about this project’s approach to its subject matter?

First of all, the subject matter is very diverse. I find it notable that this project gives comprehensive summaries to inform readers of the intent of each experiment.

  • How would this site/project be useful to scholars doing research?

It provides easy access to scholarly literary research, which scholars could reference to support their own academic arguments. They also provide a schedule of presentations that a scholar could attend to learn more about the Lab’s research.

  • Is this project designed such that it might reach a broader audience/readership than scholars doing research?

This project is easy to navigate, limiting the links to a simple navigation bar, and the PDFs are available to everyone; however, it is a project designed by researchers for others interested in literary research. I do not believe that it would appeal to broader audience.

  • Are there any aspects of this project’s approach that might be useful to the project groups in our class as they conceive of, design, and implement a significantly smaller-scale digital project?

I think a simple, professional design is something that we should emulate in our projects. However, because I doubt any of our groups would be performing experiments, I’m not sure if this particular project’s approach would be helpful to us. Nevertheless, I think it would be interesting to do different things with a page like an “events” or “people” page, using the characters and major events of our novel to somehow provide an informative resource. I’m not exactly sure how we might do this, but it’s something to think about.