Laura Chapot, Neukom postdoctoral Fellow, teaches cross-listed QSS course on computational literature

The Program in Quantitative Social Science (QSS) welcomes Laura Chapot, a Neukom Institute Postdoctoral Fellow, resident in the Departments of German Studies and English.  Laura received her PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and specializes in applying computational text analysis methods to study German and Swedish literature and culture.  In Spring 2022, Laura will be teaching a course cross-listed between QSS and the Program in Comparative Literature.  Laura's course is QSS 30.22 / COLT 70.06 Computational Comparative Literature.

About her new course, Laura states that, "In the 'Computational Comparative Literature' course we will examine the role history, culture and language play in how computational practices are understood and deployed. Computational culture is often presented as radically new and universal. Comparative and cultural critical perspectives can help us understand the histories and cultural dynamics that shape computational practices. This is vital if we want to understand how these practices foreground certain ideas and identities over others. In particular, computational text analysis for modern languages is a dynamic and growing field. It is a field in-the-making with open questions as to how computational methods can be used for cross-cultural research and research across different languages. I look forward to exploring these challenges and possibilities with students in the Computational Comparative Literature course."

According to Dan Rockmore, Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science at Dartmouth and Director of the Neukom Institute, "We are so delighted to have Laura here to share her ideas with all of us as a member of the Neukom Institute and Dartmouth community. Computation has transformed the notion of translation and 'machine translation' and more generally, 'machine writing' are among the most widely used of AI technologies. In Laura's work we find an important and well-needed critique of the practice, especially the cross-cultural dimension. 'Computational Comparative Literature' is a timely addition to our course offerings and makes available an exciting and new learning opportunity for Dartmouth students."