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Fwd: [xpmethod] Fwd: [ENCLgrad] Brad Pasanek on “Poetic Diction: Tokens and Change” 3/7 at 6:10pm

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    ———- Forwarded message ———-
    From: Jonathan Reeve <>
    Date: Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 9:14 AM
    Subject: [xpmethod] Fwd: [ENCLgrad] Brad Pasanek on “Poetic Diction: Tokens
    and Change” 3/7 at 6:10pm

    Hi everyone,

    Monday’s talk in the Eighteenth Century Colloquium (English) might be of
    interest to some in the lab, especially those that are interested in
    computational literary analysis. See forwarded message below.


    ———- Forwarded message ———
    From: Candace Gail Cunard <>
    Date: Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 5:12 PM
    Subject: [ENCLgrad] Brad Pasanek on “Poetic Diction: Tokens and Change” 3/7
    at 6:10pm
    To: <>

    Hello all,

    I’m writing to announce a pair of events sponsored by the Eighteenth
    Century Colloquium and involving Professor Brad Pasanek (University of
    Virginia), whose first book, *Metaphors of Mind: An Eighteenth-Century
    Dictionary* was recently published by Johns Hopkins. The first of these
    events is a talk about his new project on the evening of Monday, March 7;
    the second is a seminar discussion of excerpts from his book on the morning
    of Tuesday, March 8. Both events will be of interests to students across
    fields who are interested in metaphor, poetry, and digital humanities
    methods. Full details for both are included below. Please feel free to
    circulate this announcement widely to any who may be interested!

    *Talk: “Poetic Diction: Tokens and Change”*
    *Monday, March 7 from 6:10-8pm in 402 Hamilton*

    “Poetic diction” is an early modern term of art, used to mark distinctions
    between prose and verse. It signals a belief that poets speak and write a
    special kind of language. But “poetic diction” is also the term selected by
    William Wordsworth in the preface to Lyrical Ballads to sum up and mark a
    break with eighteenth-century poetics. “Poetic diction,” complained
    Wordsworth, is “mechanical” and “artificial,” a “hubbub of words.” Poets
    should instead write poems, claims Wordsworth, famously, in the “real
    language of men.” By 1800, it would seem the seventeenth- and
    eighteenth-century stock of words and phrases was well worn if not worn

    Poetic diction, as a topic of scholarly interest, had itself become well
    worn by the 1960s; but then computational methods may offer new insights
    into moribund topics. In particular, when I see critics compile a large
    “set of phrases” that occur with “wearisome iteration” or provide a short
    list of stock phraseology (“blushing flowers,” “cool gales,” “ lab’ring
    oxen,” “curling smokes,” “fleet shades,” and “dusky green”), it is the
    mechanical, iterative nature of the verse that I would revisit, alongside
    the twentieth-century attempts of scholars like Josephine Miles to come to
    terms with it. Computational methods work by iteration; and from the
    perspective of a computational linguist, the stock of phrases complained of
    by some literary critics are so many types and tokens, waiting to counted
    and mapped. An opportunity to identify a representative stock of phrases
    and visualize their circulation presents itself in the current moment, but
    the uneven and unbalanced complexion of large-scale text collections
    challenges responsible search and analysis.

    Please note that an informal pizza dinner will be held at Jenny Davidson’s
    apartment following the talk; let me know if you are interested in

    *Seminar Discussion: Metaphors of Mind*
    *Tuesday, March 8 from 9-10:30am in 302 Philosophy*

    We will meet to discuss selections from Prof Pasanek’s recent first
    book, *Metaphors
    of Mind: An Eighteenth-Century Dictionary*. I have attached several
    selections below. To quote Prof Pasanek when I asked him which parts one
    should read, “It may be brain damaging to read the thing straight through!
    So, don’t worry about your own reading in it: it’s made to be pulled apart.
    When it bores you, put it down or ahead! Different parts were written for
    readers.” In the spirit of this desultory reading, please feel free to skip
    and skim through the various selections as you are moved – and I’ve
    included the table of contents in the first file, which will give you a
    sense of the scope of the book (and of how difficult it is to get that
    scope across in a few finite selections!).

    *RSVPs are encouraged for this event *so that I can acquire enough coffee
    and breakfast food for attendees! (Also let me know if you have any dietary
    restrictions.) Additionally, please note that 302 Philosophy is the seminar
    room adjacent to the graduate student lounge and requires Columbia ID card
    to access — if you’d like to attend but don’t have ID card access, let me
    know so I can make sure to let you in!

    And, as always, please contact met at with any


    Candace Cunard

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