Hoyt Long, Ph.D.
My research and teaching center on modern Japan, with particular interests in media and communication history, computational humanities, regional literature, publishing history, sociology of literature, and environmental history.
My work in media history is currently centered on a project titled Socializing Media: Japanese Letters and the Modeling of an Information Society, 1880-1930. It considers how developments in communications technology at the turn of the last century impacted practices of writing, patterns of social association, and ideas of communication. Utilizing a variety of archival materials (epistolary fiction, letter-writing manuals, correspondence magazines), I uncover emerging fantasies and beliefs about the meaning of connection in a postal age, particularly as they relate to changing attitudes toward handwriting, voice, memory, and brevity.
In the field of computational (or digital) humanities, I have written several collaborative essays on literary modernism across the Pacific and co-direct the Chicago Text Lab with Richard Jean So. These essays explore the potential of quantitative and computational methods for conducting macro-scale comparative inquiries into the social dynamics of literary and artistic production. I am also working towards a book project that will apply these methods to the study of modern Japanese literature within the context of global and regional cultural production. As a contributing member to UChicago’s Knowledge Lab and the NovelTM project at McGill University, I also actively collaborate with faculty in a variety of fields and disciplines in order to explore more general problems related to the computational study of language and knowledge systems.
This interest in the sociology of language and literary forms was developed in my first book, On Uneven Ground. It examines the relation of cultural production and spatial imagination in Japan’s interwar period, giving specific attention to the life and writings of Miyazawa Kenji (1896-1933). It makes several theoretical claims about the interaction of discourse with geographical location and physical environment, while also advancing a methodology for tracing genealogies of local imagining in space and across time.
- “Patterns Taken for Wonders: The Digital and World Literature,” with Richard So, Modern Language Quarterly (forthcoming).
- “Literary Pattern Recognition: Modernism between Close Reading and Machine Learning,” with Richard So, Critical Inquiry (forthcoming).
- “Fog and Steel: Mapping Communities of Translation in an Information Age,” Journal of Japanese Studies (Summer, 2015).
- “(Il)legibility and Handwriting in Meiji Letters: A Media History,” positions: asia critique (forthcoming).
- “Network Analysis and the Sociology of Modernism,” with Richard So, boundary 2 (Summer, 2013).
- On Uneven Ground: Miyazawa Kenji and the Making of Place in Modern Japan (Stanford University Press, 2012).
- “Performing the Village Square in Interwar Japan: Toward a Hidden History of Public Space,” Journal of Asian Studies 70.3 (August, 2011).
- Introduction to Digital Humanities (Grad)
- Network Analysis, Literary Criticism, and the Digital Humanities (Grad)
- Japanese Modernisms (Grad)
- Media, History, East Asia (Grad)
- The Question of Minor Literature in Modern Japan (Grad)
- The Modern Japanese Novel (Undergrad)
- Imagining Environment in East Asia (Undergrad)