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

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