The Location of Knowledge

By Simon Ryan.

Published by The Technology Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Traditional literary scholars positioned knowledge as something discovered within literary texts. The role of the critic was to find and describe this knowledge. But technological changes in the way texts are produced and consumed threaten the traditional concept of the literary object, and what constitutes literary knowledge. Recently, Franco Moretti has proposed a scheme of ‘distant reading’ which uses empirical methods to quantify the rise and fall of genres. These sorts of empirical schemes take advantage of data mining and digitised texts. However, this paper suggests that both traditional and empirical approaches to the construction of literary knowledge elide the role of the reader and interpretation.

Keywords: Literary Studies, Knowledge, Information Technology

International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 8, Issue 6, pp.73-81. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 411.689KB).

Dr. Simon Ryan

Associate Professor, Arts and Sciences, Australian Catholic University, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Associate professor Simon Ryan lectures in literature at the Australian Catholic University. He is the author of The Cartographic Eye: How Explorers Saw Australia. His interests include the literature of British exploration and colonialism. More recently, he has become interested in teaching and learning issues in the humanities. He is currently completed a Masters degree in higher education, in which he examines how students judge the relevance of background or contextual information when interpreting a literary work.


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