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DHAsia Presents | Digital Research into the Authorship of the Jin Ping Mei, by Paul Vierthaler

Paul Vierthaler shares his research into using computer-aided authorship detection methodologies to offer insight into the authorship of the late Ming novel the Jin Ping Mei 金瓶梅 (Plum in the Golden Vase).
Pseudonymously written by the “Laughing Scholar of Lanling” sometime in the late 1500s or early 1600s, the identity of the Plum in the Golden Vase’s author has been the subject of intense debate since its initial circulation. Many candidates have been proposed, argued over, and dismissed, but scholars continue to offer new possibilities and to rehash old arguments.
Vierthaler offers new insight into the authorship question using two distinct lines of evidence derived from network and stylometric analysis. Scholars currently have a relatively clear, but possibly incomplete, picture of who possessed a Plum in the Golden Vase manuscript prior to the cihua edition’s 1617 publication.
From this end-point, modeling manuscript circulation in elite social networks offers some evidence for the work’s initial starting point. Stylometric analysis offers further evidence: by analyzing n-gram frequency in a variety of contemporary texts, and using machine learning based classification algorithms, the author’s identity becomes clearer.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Although focused on the Chinese case, the analytical approaches examined here are valuable for scholars working across Asia, on all time periods.

Details

When:

Tuesday, February 9, 2016. 04:15 PM

Where:

CESTA, Wallenberg Hall, 4th Floor

Sponsor:

Wallenberg Hall, Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA), History Department, Center for East Asian Studies, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures

Contact:

650-721-1385
tsmullaney@stanford.edu

Admission:

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC | NO REGISTRATION REQUIRED