Humanities accolade

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Professor Hugh Craig from the University of Newcastle's Centre for Linguistic and Literary Computing has been elected as a Fellow to the Australian Academy of the Humanities.

Professor Hugh Craig

The appointment is one of the highest honours in humanities available in Australia. The academy elected 19 new Fellows at its annual general meeting on November 22.

Professor Craig is a world leader in the development and application of quantitative, statistical and linguistic computing to early modern English literary studies.

"It is a great honour to have been elected and especially pleasing to have the work of our centre recognised," Professor Craig said.

"The centre has quite a long history. It was created in 1989 by the then Vice-Chancellor to keep the association going between the University and the work of Professor John Burrows in computational stylistics.

"Using computers with the language of literary works has been controversial at times, since it seems hard to believe you could learn anything about literature by counting things.

"But we've been able to show that there are questions the methods can answer that couldn't be answered any other way … in authorship and dating problems, and in analysing style across very large sweeps of text.

"I think there's lots more to learn in the future as well from this combination of literature and statistics."

Incoming Academy of Humanities president Professor John Fitzgerald congratulated the newly elected Fellows.

"Collectively their impressive scholarship and achievement demonstrate the continuing health and excellence of the humanities in Australia, and their influence in the international sphere."

More about the Centre for Linguistic and Literary Computing.

  • Media and Public Relations.
  • Phone: 02 4921 5577.

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