Daniel Shore: Milton, Search, and the History of Style

Daniel Shore, Georgetown University
Daniel Shore, Georgetown University
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
Milton Seminar
Saturday, November 15, 2014

12 noon

Registration is now closed.

Towner Fellows Lounge

Daniel Shore, Georgetown University

Though scholarship on style has been quick to take advantage of the increased sophistication, power, and scope of current quantitative methods, it has neglected the potential of another seemingly more rudimentary digital tool. Search, Professor Shore argues, can transform the way we investigate and understand the history of style. The search engines already under development by corpus linguists, and those we take a hand building in ourselves, make it possible to unearth the rich and diverse histories of stylistic markers. In contrast to twentieth-century scholarship that that understood the history of style as the succession or synthesis of Cicero’s genera dicendi—the levels, registers, or types of style—Professor Shore proposes a materialist history of style that takes Seneca as its early progenitor. As an example of such inquiry, this paper will recount the history of one prominent marker of John Milton’s style—his use of delayed adjectives—and describe the search engine Professor Shore is developing, in collaboration with a computational linguist, to investigate it further.

Coffee and refreshments will be served before the seminar.

Download a printable PDF flyer to post and distribute.

Daniel Shore is Assistant Professor of English at Georgetown University. His first book is Milton and the Art of Rhetoric (Cambridge, 2012), and he has published articles on early modern literature and the digital humanities in PMLA, Critical Inquiry, Milton Studies, Milton Quarterly, and Early Modern Literary Studies. With the support of an ACLS Fellowship and an Andrew W. Mellon/Folger Shakespeare Library Fellowship, he is spending the year finishing his second book, Cyberformalism, which is under contract with Johns Hopkins University Press.

The Milton Seminar is organized by Christopher Kendrick, Loyola University Chicago; David A. Loewenstein, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Paula McQuade, DePaul University; and Regina Schwartz, Northwestern University.

Faculty and graduate students of Center for Renaissance Studies consortium institutions may be eligible to apply for travel funds to attend CRS programs or to do research at the Newberry. Each member university sets its own policies and deadlines; contact your Representative Council member in advance for details.

Cost and registration information: 

This program is free and open to the public, but space is limited and registration in advance is required. The paper will be precirculated electronically to registrants.

Registration is now closed.