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  1. Literature, measured
    Published: 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... more

     

    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.

     

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    Source: CompaRe
    Language: English
    Media type: Working paper
    Format: Online
    DDC Categories: 800
    Collection: Stanford Literary Lab
    Subjects: Quantitative Literaturwissenschaft; Digital Humanities
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  2. The Emotions of London
    Published: 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... more

     

    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.

     

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    Source: CompaRe
    Language: English
    Media type: Working paper
    Format: Online
    DDC Categories: 800
    Collection: Stanford Literary Lab
    Subjects: London; Digital Humanities; Romantheorie; Schauplatz
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  3. Broken time, continued evolution : anachronies in contemporary films

    In 1983, Brian Henderson published an article that examined various types of narrative structure in film, including flashbacks and flashforwards. After analyzing a whole spectrum of techniques capable of effecting a transition between past and... more

     

    In 1983, Brian Henderson published an article that examined various types of narrative structure in film, including flashbacks and flashforwards. After analyzing a whole spectrum of techniques capable of effecting a transition between past and present – blurs, fades, dissolves, and so on – he concluded: "Our discussions indicate that cinema has not (yet) developed the complexity of tense structures found in literary works". His "yet" (in parentheses) was an instance of laudable caution, as very soon – in some ten–fifteen years – the situation would change drastically, and temporal twists would become a trademark of a new genre that has not (yet) acquired a standardized name: "modular narratives", "puzzle films", and "complex films" are among the labels used.

     

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    Source: CompaRe
    Language: English
    Media type: Working paper
    Format: Online
    DDC Categories: 790; 800
    Collection: Stanford Literary Lab
    Subjects: Filmtheorie; Zeitraffer; Zeitlupe; Zeitumkehr; Zeitperspektive
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  4. Patterns and interpretation
    Published: 01.09.2017

    One thing for sure: digitization has completely changed the literary archive. People like me used to work on a few hundred nineteenth-century novels; today, we work on thousands of them; tomorrow, hundreds of thousands. This has had a major effect on... more

     

    One thing for sure: digitization has completely changed the literary archive. People like me used to work on a few hundred nineteenth-century novels; today, we work on thousands of them; tomorrow, hundreds of thousands. This has had a major effect on literary history, obviously enough, but also on critical methodology; because, when we work on 200,000 novels instead of 200, we are not doing the same thing, 1,000 times bigger; we are doing a different thing. The new scale changes our relationship to our object, and in fact 'it changes the object itself'.

     

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    Source: CompaRe
    Language: English
    Media type: Working paper
    Format: Online
    DDC Categories: 800
    Collection: Stanford Literary Lab
    Subjects: Romantheorie; Digital Humanities; Quantitative Literaturwissenschaft; Muster <Struktur>; Syntax; Interpretation
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  5. Totentanz : Operationalizing Aby Warburg’s 'Pathosformeln'
    Published: 01.11.2017

    The object of this study is one of the most ambitious projects of twentieth-century art history: Aby Warburg's 'Atlas Mnemosyne', conceived in the summer of 1926 – when the first mention of a 'Bilderatlas', or "atlas of images", occurs in his journal... more

     

    The object of this study is one of the most ambitious projects of twentieth-century art history: Aby Warburg's 'Atlas Mnemosyne', conceived in the summer of 1926 – when the first mention of a 'Bilderatlas', or "atlas of images", occurs in his journal – and truncated three years later, unfinished, by his sudden death in October 1929. Mnemosyne consisted in a series of large black panels, about 170x140 cm., on which were attached black-and-white photographs of paintings, sculptures, book pages, stamps, newspaper clippings, tarot cards, coins, and other types of images. Warburg kept changing the order of the panels and the position of the images until the very end, and three main versions of the Atlas have been recorded: one from 1928 (the "1-43 version", with 682 images); one from the early months of 1929, with 71 panels and 1050 images; and the one Warburg was working on at the time of his death, also known as the "1-79 version", with 63 panels and 971 images (which is the one we will examine). But Warburg was planning to have more panels – possibly many more – and there is no doubt that Mnemosyne is a dramatically unfinished and controversial object of study.

     

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    Source: CompaRe
    Language: English
    Media type: Working paper
    Format: Online
    DDC Categories: 800
    Collection: Stanford Literary Lab
    Subjects: Pathosformel; Warburg, Aby Moritz; Mnemosyne; Muster <Struktur>
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