Distant Reading the End of the World: Big Data and The Hunger Games–2/23

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Distant Reading the End of the World: Big Data and The Hunger Games–2/23

February 23, 2018 @ 9:30 pm - 11:00 pm

Please join us Feb. 23 at the University of Iowa Main Library Gallery for a public lecture by Dr. Michael Gavin (University of South Carolina). Alternating between large-scale data analysis drawn from geographical writing and small-scale data culled from novels, Gavin tells the long history of how English has been used to organize knowledge about the planet, from the earliest printed atlases, through the meticulously detailed documents of Industrial Revolution, to Wikipedia, where millions of locales are described in more than 200 languages. The language of place is rich,  varied, and tangled in a complex network of historical meaning. Against this background, Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games (2008-2010) narrates a spatially and lexically impoverished world where peoples are divided by stark boundaries and trapped in zones of terrifying experience. Using geographical information systems and natural language processing, Gavin explores the history of spatial description in novels, from Robinson Crusoe to The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, finding, in The Hunger Games, a powerful reflection of nationalism’s twenty-first century contradictions.


February 23, 2018
9:30 pm - 11:00 pm
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UI Main Library Gallery
125 W. Washington St.
Iowa City,
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