Method as Tautology

Although it has been available for a while in the advanced access section of Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, and before that Literary and Linguistic Computing, my article on digital methods in literary research has recently been published in its final version. The full bibliographic details are:

Williams, David-Antoine. “Method as Tautology in the Digital Humanities” in Digital Scholarship in the Humanities (formerly Literary and Linguistic Computing) 30.2 (2015): 280-293.

dsh-coverUnfortunately I can’t make the article available here (see this link to the journal’s retrograde self-archiving policy) and can only point you to the abstract, which is here. Please contact me directly through this site or by email if you would like to read it.

I can quote myself, however. The last sentences is read:

The grammar of the critic, developed over the history of the discipline, recognizes and accommodates the tense and productive simultaneity of multiple meaning and implicature. The digital method, as yet, does not. Rich ambiguity—simultaneous, undecideable multiple meaning—is the literary feature that stands as the challenge par excellence to computer modelling in literary criticism.


  • The link as given routes people through the UWaterloo proxy. You should remove everything up to and including “url=” from it.

    I note that you can make your pre-peer-review version publicly available, though I understand that you might not want to.

  • Woops – thanks for the head’s up. Should be all fixed now.

    And no – while it would have been helpful to have the pre-review version available for comment before I did the revisions, I don’t see the point of sharing it now.

    In another six months I can put up the text of the final version, only not as formatted by the journal.

    It all seems a little pointless. In fact I probably could not have submitted to this journal if SSHRC’s new rules on open access had been in place then. (

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