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  1. "Operationalizing": or, the function of measurement in modern literary theory
    Erschienen: 01.12.2013

    The concept of length, the concept is synonymous, the concept is nothing more than, the proper definition of a concept ... Forget programs and visions; the operational approach refers specifically to concepts, and in a very specific way: it describes... mehr

     

    The concept of length, the concept is synonymous, the concept is nothing more than, the proper definition of a concept ... Forget programs and visions; the operational approach refers specifically to concepts, and in a very specific way: it describes the process whereby concepts are transformed into a series of operations—which, in their turn, allow to measure all sorts of objects. Operationalizing means building a bridge from concepts to measurement, and then to the world. In our case: from the concepts of literary theory, through some form of quantification, to literary texts.

     

    Hinweise zum Inhalt: kostenfrei
    Quelle: CompaRe
    Sprache: Englisch
    Medientyp: Arbeitspapier
    Format: Online
    DDC Klassifikation: Literatur und Rhetorik (800); Literaturtheorie (801)
    Sammlung: Stanford Literary Lab
    Lizenz: Veröffentlichungsvertrag für Publikationen
  2. Bankspeak: the language of World Bank Reports, 1946–2012
    Erschienen: 01.05.2015

    Hinweise zum Inhalt: kostenfrei
    Quelle: CompaRe
    Sprache: Englisch
    Medientyp: Arbeitspapier
    Format: Online
    DDC Klassifikation: Literatur und Rhetorik (800)
    Sammlung: Stanford Literary Lab
    Lizenz: Veröffentlichungsvertrag für Publikationen
  3. Canon/archive : large-scale dynamics in the literary field

    Of the novelties introduced by digitization in the study of literature, the size of the archive is probably the most dramatic: we used to work on a couple of hundred nineteenth-century novels, and now we can analyze thousands of them, tens of... mehr

     

    Of the novelties introduced by digitization in the study of literature, the size of the archive is probably the most dramatic: we used to work on a couple of hundred nineteenth-century novels, and now we can analyze thousands of them, tens of thousands, tomorrow hundreds of thousands. It's a moment of euphoria, for quantitative literary history: like having a telescope that makes you see entirely new galaxies. And it's a moment of truth: so, have the digital skies revealed anything that changes our knowledge of literature? This is not a rhetorical question. In the famous 1958 essay in which he hailed "the advent of a quantitative history" that would "break with the traditional form of nineteenth-century history", Fernand Braudel mentioned as its typical materials "demographic progressions, the movement of wages, the variations in interest rates [...] productivity [...] money supply and demand." These were all quantifiable entities, clearly enough; but they were also completely new objects compared to the study of legislation, military campaigns, political cabinets, diplomacy, and so on. It was this double shift that changed the practice of history; not quantification alone. In our case, though, there is no shift in materials: we may end up studying 200,000 novels instead of 200; but, they're all still novels. Where exactly is the novelty?

     

    Hinweise zum Inhalt: kostenfrei
    Quelle: CompaRe
    Sprache: Englisch
    Medientyp: Arbeitspapier
    Format: Online
    DDC Klassifikation: Literatur und Rhetorik (800)
    Sammlung: Stanford Literary Lab
    Lizenz: Veröffentlichungsvertrag für Publikationen
  4. Literature, measured
    Erschienen: 01.04.2016

    There comes a moment, in digital humanities talks, when someone raises the hand and says: "Ok. Interesting. But is it really new?" Good question... And let's leave aside the obvious lines of defense, such as "but the field is still only at its... mehr

     

    There comes a moment, in digital humanities talks, when someone raises the hand and says: "Ok. Interesting. But is it really new?" Good question... And let's leave aside the obvious lines of defense, such as "but the field is still only at its beginning!", or "and traditional literary criticism, is that always new?" All true, and all irrelevant; because the digital humanities have presented themselves as a radical break with the past, and must therefore produce evidence of such a break. And the evidence, let's be frank, is not strong. What is there, moreover, comes in a variety of forms, beginning with the slightly paradoxical fact that, in a new approach, not everything has to be new. When "Network Theory, Plot Analysis” pointed out, in passing, that a network of Hamlet had Hamlet at its center, the New York Times gleefully mentioned the passage as an unmistakable sign of stupidity. Maybe; but the point, of course, was not to present Hamlet’s centrality as a surprise; it was exactly the opposite: had the new approach not found Hamlet at the center of the play, its plausibility would have disintegrated. Before using network theory for dramatic analysis, I had to test it, and prove that it corroborated the main results of previous research.

     

    Hinweise zum Inhalt: kostenfrei
    Quelle: CompaRe
    Sprache: Englisch
    Medientyp: Arbeitspapier
    Format: Online
    DDC Klassifikation: Literatur und Rhetorik (800)
    Sammlung: Stanford Literary Lab
    Lizenz: Veröffentlichungsvertrag für Publikationen
  5. Network theory, plot analysis
    Erschienen: 01.05.2011

    In the last few years, literary studies have experienced what we could call the rise of quantitative evidence. This had happened before of course, without producing lasting effects, but this time it’s probably going to be different, because this time... mehr

     

    In the last few years, literary studies have experienced what we could call the rise of quantitative evidence. This had happened before of course, without producing lasting effects, but this time it’s probably going to be different, because this time we have digital databases, and automated data retrieval. As Michel’s and Lieberman’s recent article on "Culturomics" made clear, the width of the corpus and the speed of the search have increased beyond all expectations: today, we can replicate in a few minutes investigations that took a giant like Leo Spitzer months and years of work. When it comes to phenomena of language and style, we can do things that previous generations could only dream of.

    When it comes to language and style. But if you work on novels or plays, style is only part of the picture. What about plot – how can that be quantified? This paper is the beginning of an answer, and the beginning of the beginning is network theory. This is a theory that studies connections within large groups of objects: the objects can be just about anything – banks, neurons, film actors, research papers, friends... – and are usually called nodes or vertices; their connections are usually called edges; and the analysis of how vertices are linked by edges has revealed many unexpected features of large systems, the most famous one being the so-called "small-world" property, or "six degrees of separation": the uncanny rapidity with which one can reach any vertex in the network from any other vertex. The theory proper requires a level of mathematical intelligence which I unfortunately lack; and it typically uses vast quantities of data which will also be missing from my paper. But this is only the first in a series of studies we’re doing at the Stanford Literary Lab; and then, even at this early stage, a few things emerge.

     

    Hinweise zum Inhalt: kostenfrei
    Quelle: CompaRe
    Sprache: Englisch
    Medientyp: Arbeitspapier
    Format: Online
    DDC Klassifikation: Literatur und Rhetorik (800)
    Sammlung: Stanford Literary Lab
    Lizenz: Veröffentlichungsvertrag für Publikationen