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English and Empire
Literary History, Dialect, and the Digital Archive

$96.00 ( ) USD

Part of Studies in English Language

  • Date Published: October 2018
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9781108697323

$ 96.00 USD ( )
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About the Authors
  • Combining statistical modelling and archival study, English and Empire investigates how African diasporic, Chinese, and Indian characters have been voiced in British fiction and drama produced between 1768 and 1929. The analysis connects patterns of linguistic representation to changes in the imperial political economy, to evolving language ideologies that circulate in the Anglophone world, and to shifts in sociocultural anxieties that crosscut race and empire. In carrying out his investigation, David West Brown makes the case for a methodological approach that links the distant (quantitative) and close (qualitative) reading of diverse digital artefacts. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, the book will appeal to a variety of scholars and students including sociolinguists interested in historical language variation, as well as literary scholars interested in postcolonial studies and the digital humanities.

    • Presents a large-scale, diachronic analysis of the literary dialect used to represent colonial subjects in British fiction
    • Links together diverse types of digital evidence that invites new ways of thinking about the relationship between machine and human reading
    • Provides clear and adaptable approaches to using computational methods and tools for textual analysis
    • Features a detailed annotated glossary that explains its statistical methods, ideal for novice researchers and students
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    Reviews & endorsements

    ‘English and Empire is innovative in both methodology and scope. With its interdisciplinary examination of racialized literary dialect in imperial contexts, Brown's study makes crucial and needed contributions to both linguistic and literary studies.' Taryn Hakala, University of California, Merced

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2018
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9781108697323
    • contains: 89 b/w illus.
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Literary dialect, race, and empire
    3. Corpus design
    4. An overview of data and the digital toolkit
    5. Case 1: African diasporic dialogue
    6. Case 2: Indian dialogue
    7. Case 3: Chinese dialogue
    8. The enduring power of mimicry and the politics of measurement.

  • Author

    David West Brown, Marymount University, Virginia
    David West Brown is Assistant Professor of Linguistics at Marymount University, Virginia. His research examines writing as a social practice, its structures, and its history, covering topics ranging from Singaporean identity performance in online discussion boards, to representations of gender in sports reportage, to the stylistic differences between higher and lower scoring essays on educational assessments. He is author of In Other Words: Lessons on Grammar, Code-Switching, and Academic Writing (2009).

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