Dr. Oleg Sobchuk

Postdoctoral Researcher
The Mint research group

Main Focus

If we take a bird’s eye view of art history – say, the history of literature or film – what would we see? A chaotic change of short-lived fashions or, instead, long-lasting regularities? Such regularities can include, for example, the growing complexity of some art forms, similar to the well-known growing complexity of technology. Or, intensification in the use of some artistic techniques: say, during the last century film shots were becoming increasingly shorter. My goal is to find such trends (usually, through data mining), to explain them (usually, with the theory of cultural evolution), and, potentially, to suggest a general framework for studying the evolution of art forms.

Key publications

Sobchuk O, Tinits P (2020) Cultural attraction in film evolution: the case of anachronies, Journal of Cognition and Culture 20: 218-237.

Tinits P, Sobchuk O (2020) Open-ended cumulative cultural evolution of Hollywood film crews, Evolutionary Human Sciences 2: e26.

Moretti F, Sobchuk O (2019) Hidden in plain sight: Data visualization in the humanities, New Left Review 118: 86–115.

Morin O, Acerbi A, Sobchuk O. (2019) Why people die in novels: Testing the Ordeal Simulation Hypothesis, Palgrave Communications 5: 62.

Sobchuk O (2018) Charting Artistic Evolution: An Essay in Theory. Tartu University Press.

Shelya A, Sobchuk O (2017) The shortest species: How the length of Russian poetry changed (1750–1921), Studia Metrica et Poetica, 4, 66–84.

Kanatova M, Milyakina A, Pilipovec T, Shelya A, Sobchuk O, Tinits P (2017) Broken time, continued evolution: Anachronies in contemporary films, Stanford Literary Lab, Pamphlet 14.

Sobchuk O (2016) The evolution of dialogues: A quantitative study of Russian novels (1830–1900), Poetics Today 37, 137–154.

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