Mark Olsen

Senior Fellow


Mark Olsen is the Assistant Director of the ARTFL Project at the University of Chicago where he started in 1988 after two years at Arizona State University. He received his B.A. (1980) and M.A. (1982) in History from Carleton University in Ottawa and Ph.D. (1991) in French History from University of Ottawa. Mark's recent publications include a study of the structures of the "renvois" (cross-references) in the Encyclopedie of Diderot and d'Alembert, work on theater performances in Paris during the French Revolution, and an analysis of author gender differences in French literature in the 18th and 19th centuries. He has published extensively on methods and critical theory in digital humanities, French intellectual and political history, book circulation in Montreal and Boston, and the philosophy of history. He is currently working on further examinations of gendered writing in France and a study of the history of the idea of "tradition" in French and English.

The ARTFL Project is a long-term collaborative reserch and development effort between the CNRS (France) and the University of Chicago. ARTFL is one of the older digital humanities projects in North America, devoted to creation and exploitation of large collections of French literature from the 16th century to the present. From the initial concentration on French digital libraries, ARTFL has become involved in a wide range of collaborations in many domains including medieval Italian and South Asian as well as with commercial organizations such as Alexander Street Press.In the last two years, ARTFL has released an Open Source version of PhiloLogic, a large scale text analysis tool developed to meet many of the specific needs of researchers and students in the humanities.