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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. The Emotions of London
    Erschienen: 01.10.2016

    A few years ago, a group formed by Ben Allen, Cameron Blevins, Ryan Heuser, and Matt Jockers decided to use topic modeling to extract geographical information from nineteenth-century novels. Though the study was eventually abandoned, it had revealed... mehr

     

    A few years ago, a group formed by Ben Allen, Cameron Blevins, Ryan Heuser, and Matt Jockers decided to use topic modeling to extract geographical information from nineteenth-century novels. Though the study was eventually abandoned, it had revealed that London-related topics had become significantly more frequent in the course of the century, and when some of us were later asked to design a crowd-sourcing experiment, we decided to add a further dimension to those early findings, and see whether London place-names could become the cornerstone for an emotional geography of the city.

     

    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