Abstract

This essay positions the use of machine learning within the digital humanities as part of a wider movement that nostalgically seeks to return literary criticism to the structuralist era, to a moment characterized by belief in systems, structure, and the transparency of language. It argues that the scientific criticism of the present attempts to separate methodology from interpretation and in the process it has deemphasized the degree to which methodology also participates in interpretation. This essay returns to the deconstructive critique of structuralism in order to highlight the ways in which numerous interpretive decisions are suppressed in the pre-processing of text and in the use of machine learning algorithms.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1542-4286
Print ISSN
0093-3139
Pages
pp. 543-564
Launched on MUSE
2015-10-06
Open Access
No
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