Peter Leonard, Ph.D.
Director, Digital Humanities Lab Yale University Library
My graduate training is in literature, specifically new ‘post-ethnic’ figurations of national belonging in European fiction.

I am broadly interested in digital and quantitative methods in the humanities, including text mining, network analysis, image analysis and corpus query engines.


Marknadens Intertextualitet. Kulturarv och återbruk 1840-1900
With Mats Malm (Göteborgs Universitet)
Text mining techniques drawn from computational genomics reveal a hitherto-unknown case of large-scale plagiarism in a digital corpus of 19th-century Swedish prose fiction.
In Spänning och nyfikenhet : Festskrift till Johan Svedjedal. Edited by Gunnel Furuland, Andreas Hedberg, Jerry Määttä, Petra Söderlund, Åsa Warnqvist. Möklinta: Gidlunds förlag, 2016
Given a small, well-understood corpus that is of interest to a Humanities scholar, we propose sub-corpus topic modeling (STM) as a tool for discovering meaningful passages in a larger collection of less well- understood texts. STM allows Humanities scholars to discover unknown passages from the vast sea of works that Moretti calls the ‘‘great unread’’ and to significantly increase the researcher’s ability to discuss aspects of influence and the development of intellectual movements across a broader swath of the literary landscape. In this article, we test three typical Humanities research problems: in the first, a researcher wants to find text passages that exhibit similarities to a collection of influential non literary texts from a single author (here, Darwin); in the second, a researcher wants to discover literary passages related to a well understood corpus of literary texts (here, emblematic texts from the Modern Breakthrough); and in the third, a researcher hopes to understand the influence that a particular domain (here, folklore) has had on the realm of literature over a series of decades. We explore these research challenges with three experiments.
Poetics Volume 41, Issue 6, December 2013, Pages 725-749
“Bi- and Multilingual Aspects in the Literary Writing of Translingual Authors in Sweden”
The experience of transnational migration often occasions an increased awareness of the coupling of language and identity, as migrants must represent themselves in unfamiliar tongues no less than unfamiliar spaces. Since the 1980s, a body of literature in Swedish has emerged that is focused on this struggle to understand and present the self in a new language. Increased attention to these kinds of ‘post-ethnic identity’ in Scandinavia at the turn of the millennium has focused critical energy on these literary figurations of language change. A central theme in the authorships of Swedish writers such as Theodore Kallifatides is the need to express one’s own identity in the context of a new language. This struggle takes the form of maintain internal cohesion – as well as the ability to express that coherence to others. Throughout many of these narratives, questions of power, discrimination and inequality lurk: reminders of the centrality of language in the public sphere, and the barriers to national belonging for those do not yet master it.
Chapter in Wolfgang Behschnitt (ed.) Literature, language, and multiculturalism in Scandinavia and the Low Countries. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2012
Literary Denmark has spent the past two years searching within itself for a kind of literature common elsewhere in Europe but sadly lacking at home. “Poesi og prosa, der ser den danske virkelighed med nye øjne,” [Poetery and prose which sees Danish reality with new eyes] was the phrase that the Gyldendal publishing house and the Berlingske Tidende newspaper used to describe the goal of their competition Nye Stemmer, a “litteraturkonkurrence for alle med anden etnisk og kulturel baggrund” [literary competition for all those with a different ethnic and cultural background.] The resulting volume by the same name, published in early 2007, was an anthology of those writers who would, hopefully, represent the new, multiethnic Denmark. In this way, Gyldendal and Berlingske hoped that Danish literature would catch up with neigh- boring Sweden, where since 2001 authors such as Johannes Anyuru, Marjaneh Bakhtiari, Jonas Khemiri and Alejandro Leiva Wenger have formed the basis of an imagined ethnic lit- erature: a minority perspective within the nation-state but with roots beyond it, capable of depicting mainstream society through new eyes.
Article in Multiethnica. Meddelande från Centrum för multietnisk forskning Nr 31 October 2008. Uppsala University, Sweden

Invited Presentations

Text mining och digitala författarskap. Förädlade arkiv och semantisk uppmärkning i de stora råtextsamlingarnas tid
Nordisk Netværk for Editionsfilologer
Göteborg, Sweden
October 2015
CartoDBCamp Edu
New York University Library
August 2015
Beyond Text: Digital Humanities Methods for Visual Culture at Scale
Research in the big data era: legal, social, and technical approaches to large text and data sets
International Federation of Library Associations
Joint Session of the Committees on Academic Research Libraries, Copyright and other Legal Matters, and Serials and other Continuing Resources
Lyon, France, August 2014
Humanities Data Mining: Transforming Local Copies of Vendor-Digitized Cultural Material
Macroscopic Perspective: Data Visualization in Humanities Research Projects
The Critical Life of Information
Panel: Visual and Quantitative Analytics
Yale University, New Haven, April 2014
Texts, Networks, Discourses: Extracting Patterns from Humanistic and Historical Data
BYU Office of Digital Humanities & Scandinavian Studies Program
Provo, Utah, March 2014
Trawling in the Sea of the Great Unread: Sub-Corpus Topic Modeling and Humanities Research
Department of Literature, History of Ideas, and Religion - University of Gothenburg
Göteborg, Sweden, January 2014
Digital Scholarship and the Archive: Micro- and Macroscopes
New Directions for Digital Scholarship
Yale University Library, New Haven, March 2013
Topic Modeling the Great Unread
Alabama Digital Humanities Center
University of Alabama Library, Tuscaloosa, March 2013
Analysis and Visualization Using Large Bodies of Electronic Text
with Elisabeth Long
New Horizons in Primary Source Research
Center for Research Libraries, Chicago, April 2012
NEH Networks and Network Analysis for the Humanities
UCLA Institute for Pure & Applied Mathematics, Los Angeles, October 2011
Libraries: Issues & Inspiration - Data Mining Northern Europe
紀伊國屋書店 Kinokuniya International Library Roundtable
Waseda University Library, Tokyo, November 2010
Post-Ethnic Identity in Swedish Literature
Raoul Wallenberg Lecture Series
Nordic Heritage Museum, Seattle, May 2009
Identitet och vantrivsel: Kroppen mot staten i svensk och dansk samtidslitteratur
Uppsala Center for Multiethnic Research, April 2008

Conference Papers

with Daniel Dollar, Lindsay King and Peg Knight
Charleston Conference: Issues in Book and Serial Acquisition
Charleston, November 2014
Network Analysis of Modernist Japanese Poetry
Chicago Colloquium on Digital Humanities and Computer Science
Poster Session — with Hoyt Long & Keith Brisson
Loyola University Chicago, November 2011
Modeling Folklore in the Google Books Corpus
American Folklore Society
Indiana University, Bloomington, October 2011
Insights into Ibsen:
Remixing Scholarship Online
Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study
University of Washington, April 2010
Panel: Digital Scandinavian Studies
Men, Women and Pistols:
Staging Suicide in Mørk-Eidem’s Hedda Gabler
XIIth International Ibsen Conference
Shanghai, June 2009
Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study
Augustana College, April 2007
Panel: Immigrant Literature
Awarded Aurora Borealis Prize for Best Graduate Student Literature Paper
Revised June 2007
Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study
University of Mississippi, May 2006
Panel: Urban Space and Race in Modern Scandinavian Literature
Home Alone:
Lilja 4-ever and the Crisis of Domestic Masculinity in Sweden
Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study
Panel: Swedish Film
University of California, Los Angeles, April 2004

Public Events

Marjaneh Bakhtiari
Marjaneh Bakhtiari at Scandinavia House
Consulate General of Sweden, New York City, December 2006
Moderator, Discussant

Class Visit: Nordic Colonial & Post-Colonial Fictions
University of Washington Scandinavian Studies, Marianne Stecher-Hansen, Ph.D.

Sweden’s Desperate Hunt for Diversity
Simpson Center for the Humanities
Moderator, Discussant
Consulate General of Sweden, New York City, November 2005
Moderator, Discussant
Reviews & Translations Awards & Fellowships Professional Activities Teaching Education