“Geographies of Empathy” at SLSA 2022 Conference

There’s been a lot of fascinating scholarship on affective reading and, more recently, on the outsized role of empathic reading and “bibliotherapy” in social media. Inspired by Sarah Brouillette’s recent essay in Post45 and e.g. Joseph Worthen’s on “Empathy Aptitude Reading”, last month John Shanahan presented work-in-progress about “One Book One Chicago” geography data (and subject of a forthcoming paper by John and Mihaela Stoica). The presentation at SLSA 2022 (Society for Literature Science and the Arts) at Purdue explores… Read more

‘One Book’ turns 20! What have we learned?

This fall is the 20th anniversary of “One Book One Chicago.” CPL hosted a panel about its impact, and featuring Reading Chicago Reading project work. John Shanahan of the RCR team moderated a discussion of OBOC as data and as city-scale cultural infrastructure.

Panelists: Creators of OBOC Mary Dempsey (former Commissioner of CPL) and Amy Eshleman (Chicago’s First Lady and former CPL librarian); Kathleen Rooney (Dept. of English, DePaul University) novelist and author of Reading With Oprah: The Book Club That Changed America; and Jennifer Lizak (Coordinator of Special… Read more

Some Initial Findings from the Predictive Model

Among conclusions presented in our research article [DHQ 14.2 2020], we noted:

Our project has identified several challenges that will be of interest to scholars in the digital humanities, particularly those working at the intersection of text analysis, geography, and public data sets. Our original goal to capture and predict mass literary events has largely been met. As “capture,” we have created an archive of nearly a decade of multiple media forms (and metrics for them) associated with a cultural program that has engaged many thousands of people across a major American city for years. … Read more

The First Season, Part 1

A post by Emma: In late summer 2001, the Chicago Public Library and the Mayor’s office announced that Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird would be the inaugural choice of a new program called “One Book, One Chicago.”

We returned to the cultural and political climate when OBOC launched by diving into the archive of newspapers between August and October of 2001. There might have been many possible reactions to the choice of Harper Lee’s famous but controversial novel, but it was all together well-received. On August 9, 2001, Patrick Reardon and Marja Mills wrote an article for the Pittsburgh… Read more