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Elizabeth Shayne

Page history last edited by eshayne 8 years, 5 months ago

”The best way to understand how a text works, I argue, is to change it; to play around with it, to intervene with it in some way, large or small, and then to try to account for the exact effect of what you have just done...In [doing  so], you will automatically need to decide how far you are willing to write with, against or across the grain of what seems to be that text’s dominant preoccupations and major strategies, thereby producing, respectively, parallel, opposed and alternate texts...Consequently and only apparently paradoxically, you will not be led away from your original text.  Rather, you will constantly and with every tool at your disposal – critical, theoretical, analytical and historical – be forced back into it.”

- Rob Pope

Elizabeth Shayne is a first year PhD student in the English department at UCSB who is interested in the fertile meeting ground between the digital humanities and the psychology of reading. Her research focuses on using digital methodology, computational text analysis in particular, to examine literature in a way that explores features of the text that traditional reading practice overlooks. When studying novel-length texts or corpora, computational analysis provides an alternative window into those works that allows us to see the text’s features differently. Elizabeth used this technique in her Master’s thesis, entitled “Reading Criticism as Literature: The Results of Textual Analysis on the Work We as Critics Produce,” where she explored how textual analysis might explain elements of critical reading practice and how both the style and content of a given article might influence reception. She hopes to extend her research into looking more broadly at the 19th Century novel and use these digital techniques to think about issues of reception and response to the novel.


Elizabeth recently moved to Santa Barbara from New York City, where she received her M.A. from New York University. Prior to that, she lived in Philadelphia and attended the University of Pennsylvania, where she graduated with a B.A. in both English and Psychology. In her free time, she enjoys experimenting with different forms of crafts, playing video games and figuring out how to live car-free in California. 

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