About

Andrew Piper is Professor in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at McGill University. He directs .txtLAB, a laboratory for cultural analytics at McGill, and is editor of the 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 equality. He has on-going projects that address questions of cultural capital, academic publishing and power, and the the visibility of knowledge.

He is the author most recently of Enumerations: Data and Literary Study (Chicago 2018), an exploration of the application of new techniques of data science to the study of literature. Enumerations focuses on the building blocks of literature, from the role of punctuation in poetry, the matter of plot in novels, the study of topoi, and the behavior of characters, to the nature of fictional language and the shape of a poet's career. Throughout it asks, What is the meaning of literary quantity?

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. He is also the author of Book Was There (Chicago 2012), which explores the embodied dimensions of reading. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, The New Republic, The Guardian, Slate, Le Devoir, and he has appeared in interviews on the CBC.

He is also 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.