Working with Data: Excel, XML, and Poetry

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The TORCH Romanticism and Eighteenth-Century Studies Oxford (RECSO) network are hosting a series of seminars on Researching the Eighteenth Century. Building on the successful “Teaching the Eighteenth Century” in Michaelmas 2014, this seminar series focuses on various aspects of researching the period. Convened by Dr. Fiona Gatty, these sessions will provide graduate students with some insights into the challenges faced by researchers today. In each session the speaker will talk about their research for 40 minutes, followed by questions and a general discussion for 40-45 minutes.

This seminar 'Working with Data: Excel, XML, and Poetry' is with Dr. Carly Watson (English Faculty, University of Oxford).

Carly works as the Postdoctoral Research Assistant for a project led by Abigail Williams which is continuing the development of the Digital Miscellanies Index and pursuing research into eighteenth-century cultures of reading and writing. She received her PhD from the University of Birmingham in 2014 for a thesis on the books and book-collecting habits of an eighteenth-century gentleman. She has recently published an article on verse miscellanies in the eighteenth century, and she is currently writing a book on the tradition of poetic miscellanies in this period.

This talk will consider how far it is possible, or desirable, to pursue a data-driven approach to literary history. Drawing on her experience with the Digital Miscellanies Index, she will discuss the potential of current digital resources and the challenges of working with data.

For more information please contact Anna Senkiw (

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Romanticism and Eighteenth-Century Studies Oxford

Contact name: Anna Senkiw

Contact email:

Audience: Open to all