Digital Technologies Expo
Ninety percent of the long prose fiction from 16th to 19th century China remains almost unknown, due in part to the huge number of texts—nearly 900 works—and difficulties of access. My goal is to bring back that ninety percent. Fortunately, digital tools make that increasingly possible. In Chinese literature, new digital texts and tools enable us to pursue large-scale analysis of such corpora. By using the MARKUS tool to mark up large numbers of digitized novel texts with place data from the Chinese Historical GIS project, I am creating an overview of space in the traditional Chinese novel. I will also use information on editions to examine the traditional Chinese novel in space. Mapping will give us a “bird’s eye view” of the traditional Chinese novel, its use of space, and its transmission. By changing the scale of analysis, my project shows how digital scholarship can integrate the individual text and the big picture, uncover the relationship between traditional Chinese fiction and regional cultures, and give us a more global view of printing and the spread of culture.