Our international team of academics is working with BBC Arts and a host of other project partners including the British Library and Libraries Connected on an ambitious new engagement project to mark the 300th anniversary of the English Language novel. Starting in January 2020, The Novels That Shaped Our World is a year-long project that asks the public in Great Britain and beyond to debate a selection of 100 novels that have impacted upon the nation since Robinson Crusoe, 300 years ago. The project is accompanied by a nationwide Festival, programmes on BBC TV and Radio and a collaboration with libraries and reading groups throughout the UK.
Led by the University of Wolverhampton, our team provides quantitative and qualitative analysis of the public’s reading preferences and judgement of literary quality. The research project is titled Novel Perceptions: Towards an inclusive canon (NOPE). Sebastian Groes, Professor of English Literature in the School of Humanities at Wolverhampton and Professor of Computational Literary Studies Karina van Dalen-Oskam (Huygens Institute, Netherlands) will lead a team of computational linguistics and English literature scholars to analyse the public’s engagement with these 100 novels.