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Grant number: FEL-257408-18

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Eric Jon Bulson
Claremont Graduate University (Claremont, CA 91711-5909)

James Joyce's "Ulysses" by the Numbers: Counting Literature in a Digital World

A quantitative analysis of narrative structure, characters, and readership of James Joyce's Ulysses.

The words in James Joyce’s Ulysses have occasioned countless interpretations over the past century, so many, in fact, that one may wonder if there’s really anything left to say. “Ulysses by Numbers” is one attempt to prove that there is, but instead of only reading the words on the page, it also counts them, along with the paragraphs/sentences, characters, first subscribers, and years of composition. My book intervenes forcefully in debates about the value of quantitative methods in the humanities and argues that they should not be restricted only to big-data sets and distant reading practices promising to reveal hidden patterns across massive corpora. To the contrary: these same quantitative methods and tools, which include Geographic Information Systems, social network analysis, text-mining, timelines, and topic modeling, are an incredible opportunity to answer some of the most basic qualitative questions that literary critics have been asking on a smaller scale for centuries.

Project fields:
British Literature; Literary Criticism


Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2019 – 12/31/2019