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The Australian National University

Dr Glenn Roe

PhD (Hons), University of Chicago. MA in French Literature; BA (Hons) in Classics and French.
ARC DECRA Research Fellow
Senior Lecturer in Digital Humanities
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
T: +61 2 6125 4952

Areas of expertise

  • Literature In French 200511
  • Communication Technology And Digital Media Studies 200102
  • Literary Studies 2005
  • Pattern Recognition And Data Mining 080109
  • Literary Theory 200525
  • Stylistics And Textual Analysis 200526
  • Comparative Literature Studies 200524

Research interests

  • Digital Humanities
  • French Literature and Literary History (1750-1950)
  • Text Mining, Machine Learning, and Data-driven research for the Humanities
  • Literary and Intellectual History of the French Enlightenment
  • Computational Text Analysis and Historical Linguistics
  • The Encyclopédie of Diderot and d'Alembert (1751-1772)
  • Intertextuality and Historical Text Re-use
  • Book History


I was appointed as Lecturer in Digital Humanities at the ANU Centre for Digital Humanities Research in 2013. For the previous two years, I held a highly competitive Mellon Post-doctoral Fellowship in Digital Humanities at the University of Oxford, the first digital humanities position of its kind at that institution. Prior to my time at Oxford, I spent eight years as a Senior Project Manager for the University of Chicago’s ARTFL Project (American and French Research on the Treasury of the French Language), one of the older and better known North American research and development centers for computer-assisted text analysis. Since 2010 I have served as Associate Editor of the online digital edition of Diderot and d’Alembert’s Encyclopédie, a flagship digital humanities project. I have published on a variety of scholarly subjects, from French literary and intellectual history, to the design and use of new digital methodologies for literary research, both in traditional venues and collaboratively in various digital humanities journals. I received my PhD with honours in French from the University of Chicago in 2010. 

My first book, The Passion of Charles Péguy: Literature, Modernity, and the Crisis of Historicism (Oxford University Press, 2014), examines the literary-critical thought of the French writer Charles Péguy (1873-1914). An essayist, poet, political thinker, and cultural critic, Péguy's decade-long polemic with the positivist historians of his time was one of the first significant challenges to the historicist approach to literature and literary criticism, as well as to the methodological underpinnings of the newly-formed discipline of literary history. Péguy’s defence of the autonomy of the literary text thus shares a direct parentage with later formalist and hermeneutic literary theory, from Anglo-American New Criticism to French Post-structuralism and Deconstruction; connections that invite us to reconsider and re-evaluate Péguy’s place among French literary thinkers and to consider the further and future implications of literary-historical studies in the digital age.

Researcher's projects

My current research agenda is primarily located at the intersection of new computational approaches with traditional literary and historical research questions. Drawing from diverse domains such as intellectual history, literary theory, history of the book, and digital humanities, I am chiefly interested in the idea of ‘intertextuality’ as it pertains to various editorial, authorial, and critical practices over the longue durée. To this end, I was awarded an ARC DECRA Fellowship (2016-2019) to complete a book-length study on the evolution of the concept of ‘authorship’ in Enlightenment France, and its often-times contentious relationship with ‘authority’ – be it of the State, the Church, the Ancients, the Moderns, or any other sort – over the long 18th century.

Leveraging the content of various large-scale digital collections – including literary and historical databases, correspondence collections, and a host of reference works – my goal is to trace the exchange and dissemination of ideas and texts through the intercultural 18th-century ‘Republic of Letters’; a network of authors/authorities aimed at moving the narrative of Enlightenment forward. By examining the interrelated notions of anonymity and pseudonymity, citation and self-citation, compilation, criticism, and censorship, we can begin to uncover the diverse narrative and textual strategies employed by Enlightenment figures such as Bayle, Voltaire, Diderot, Rousseau, Raynal, and others, as they each grappled with the spectre of authority and the affirmation of authorship in their writings.

Available student projects

I am available to supervise PhD, Masters and Honours topics in any of my areas of expertise. I am particularly interested in student projects that employ new digital methodologies to explore research questions in the humanities, or that bring humanities methods to bear on digital artefacts and culture. I would especially welcome any projects that aim to explore the long-term (longue durée) literary, intellectual, and book history of modern Europe and France (1700-1950) using computational methods. 


Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  17 August 2018 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers