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USM to Host Libra Professor Lecture by Matthew Jockers, Prominent Digital Humanities Scholar

This month, the University of Southern Maine will host nationally recognized digital-humanities scholar, Matthew Jockers, assistant professor of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, who present a Libra Professor Lecture on how digital technologies and quantitative methods can be used for scholarly inquiry in the field of humanities.  The lecture begins at 7 p.m., Thursday, April 17, in Talbot Auditorium, Luther Bonney Hall, University of Southern Maine, 34 Bedford St., Portland.  The event is free and open to the public.  For more information call 207-780-4780 / TTY: 207-780-5646 or

Jockers, a faculty fellow at the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities and director of the Nebraska Literary Lab at the University of Nebraska, will speak on “macroanalysis,” the unique, cutting-edge methodology he has developed to examine literary texts and data

spanning a 200-year period from 1800-2011. He has been selected to lecture as a Libra Professor, a prestigious recognition confirmed by the University of Maine System that acknowledges excellence of scholarship.

“Digital technologies significantly impact almost all spheres of education and social life,” said John Muthyala, USM Professor of English, who proposed the event for the Libra Professorship. “Thanks to digital tools, we now have access to millions of texts, which can be tagged, encoded and made available for computational analysis and scholarly research.”

The Libra Professorship was established in 1989 by the University of Maine System Board of Trustees in partnership with philanthropist Elizabeth Noyce and the Libra Foundation. The professorship enables the university to invite nationally and internationally recognized scholars who engage with faculty and students and exemplify excellence in their respective discipline.

The lecture is sponsored by the Libra Foundation and the USM Departments of English, History, Political Science, Communication and Media Studies, and Women and Gender Studies, Faculty Commons and Professional & Continuing Education.

For more information about the event, go to