Like others itching to peer into Google’s unfinished telescope, Mr. Moretti and his colleagues here are honing their methods with home-grown prototypes. One lesson they’ve learned is you can’t do this humanities research the old way: like a monk, alone.
You need a team. To sort, interrogate, and interpret roughly 1,000 digital texts, scholars have brought together a data-mining gang drawn from the departments of English, history, and computer science. They’re the rare clique of humanities graduate students who work across disciplines and discuss programming languages over beer, an unlikely mix of “techies” and “fuzzies” with enough characters for a reality-TV show.
I am not sure what it means to the world of literary criticism.