It is not a coincidence that distant reading does not deal well with gender, sexuality, or race. But if we re-commit ourselves to the project of exposing and interrogating power, we arrive potentially at a form of distant reading that is much more inclusive.
In my time today, I would like to offer a set of provocations that, I hope, will allow us to expand our understanding of the nature of data, its uses, and its implications for literary study. These provocations number three, and they are each derived from that walking provocation, Thomas Jefferson.
"Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall-Street," composed in 1853, is perhaps Herman Melville's most famous short story. It's certainly his most inscrutable.