Research Projects

Current projects

My current research agenda is primarily located at the intersection of new computational approaches with traditional literary and historical research questions. Drawing from diverse domains such as intellectual history, the history of ideas, literary theory, book history, and digital humanities, I am chiefly interested in the idea of ‘intertextuality’ as it pertains to various editorial, authorial, and critical practices over the longue durée. In particular, I aim to complete a book-length study on the evolution of the concept of ‘authorship’ in Enlightenment France, and its often-times contentious relationship with ‘authority’ – be it of the State, the Church, the Ancients, the Moderns, or any other sort – over the long 18th century.

Leveraging the content of various large-scale digital collections – including literary and historical databases, correspondence collections, and a host of reference works – my goal is to trace the exchange and dissemination of ideas and texts through the intercultural 18th-century ‘Republic of Letters’; a network of authors/authorities aimed at moving the narrative of Enlightenment forward. By examining the interrelated notions of anonymity and pseudonymity, citation and self-citation, compilation, criticism, and censorship, we can begin to uncover the diverse narrative and textual strategies employed by Enlightenment figures such as Bayle, Voltaire, Diderot, Rousseau, Raynal, and others, as they each grappled with the spectre of authority and the affirmation of authorship in their writings.

Research funding

  • ARC Discovery Project: “Performing Transdisciplinarity: Music, Image, and Text in 18th-Century Print Culture”, Australian Research Council, 2017-2020 (current, chief investigator).
  • ARC Discovery Early Career Research Fellowship: “The Anxiety of Authority: Authorship Practices in the Age of Enlightenment”, Australian Research Council, 2016-2019 (current, chief investigator).
  • Commonplace Cultures: Mining Shared Passages in the 18th Century using Sequence Alignment and Visual Analytics. JISC-NEH Digging into Data Challenge 2014-15 (held, co-investigator).
  • Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in Digital Humanities, University of Oxford (2011-2013). 2-year postdoctoral fellowship funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (held, principal investigator).
  • Voltaire: Historian of the Modern World. Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Grant 2012-2015. Voltaire Foundation, University of Oxford (requested, co-researcher).
  • Dictionnaire Vivant de la Langue Francaise (DVLF): Expanding the French Dictionary. National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Digital Humanities Start‐up Grant 2010. The ARTFL Project, University of Chicago (held, co-researcher).
  • National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Fellowship at a Digital Humanities Center 2009‐10. The ARTFL Project, University of Chicago (held, co-researcher).
  • Provost’s Program for Academic Technology Innovation (ATI) grant to support PhiloMine machine learning framework 2008-9. The ARTFL Project, University of Chicago (held, co‐researcher).

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