About

Andrew Piper is Professor and William Dawson Scholar in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at McGill University. He directs .txtLAB, a digital humanities laboratory at McGill, and is editor of the new web-based, open-access journal, CA: Journal of Cultural Analytics.

His work focuses on applying the tools and techniques of data science to the study of literature and culture, with a particular emphasis on questions of cultural capital, institutional prestige, and intellectual diversity. He has on-going projects that address the inequalities of culture, academic publishing and power, and the history of the visual page. His research is grounded in an understanding of the long history of reading technologies and how they have shaped human cultures.

He is the director of the SSHRC-funded partnership grant, "NovelTM: Text Mining the Novel," which brings together over 20 academic and non-academic partners across North America in the humanities, computer science, and industry to facilitate the first large-scale quantitative and cross-cultural study of the novel. The project's aim is to bring new computational approaches in the field of text mining to the study of literature as well as bring the unique knowledge of literary studies to bear on larger debates about data mining and the place of information technology within society.

He is the author most recently of Book Was There: Reading in Electronic Times (Chicago 2012), which addresses current debates about the future of reading through a study of the history of our embodied interactions with books -- from how we hold books, look at books, share books, take notes with books to where we read them. His new book, Enumerations: The Quantities of Literature, explores the elements of literature seen from the perspective of computation, including punctuation, plot, character, and the arc of a writer's career.

His work has appeared in The Atlantic, The New Republic, The Guardian, Slate, Le Devoir, and he has appeared in interviews on the CBC. His first book, Dreaming in Books: The Making of the Bibliographic Imagination in the Romantic Age (Chicago 2009), was awarded the Modern Language Association Prize for a First Book and honorable mention for the Harry Levin Prize from the American Comparative Literature Association.