Conceptualizing Modernity – a lecture by Alexander Conroy

The Department of Scandinavian presents a talk by

Alexander Conroy

Conceptualizing Modernity

Thursday, November 17, 2022 at 4:00pm

In-person. All are welcome to attend.

Alexander Conroy is a PhD fellow in the Department of Nordic Studies and Linguistics at the University of Copenhagen.

This talk is on the so-called “Modern Breakthrough” in Scandinavian literature, more specifically on an on-going investigation of a digitized corpus of novels (within the framework of the research project MeMo – Measuring Modernity: Literary and Social Change in Scandinavia 1870-1900).

Drawing on theoretical insights from Conceptual History, he will discuss how digital and quantitative approaches change the way we perceive literary periods, and, relevant to the Modern Breakthrough, how a concept can be operationalized as a measure of modernity. During this talk, the concept in question is skæbne (destiny/fate), which, despite its historically embedded connotations of mythological, religious and/or idealistic character, conveys the ideas of modernity frequently associated with the literary period. To operationalize an abstract concept with multiple meanings computationally is not an easy task, however, and he will also touch upon the challenges of such an endeavor.

With questions, contact