OSL Course: Computational Literary Studies

OSL Course: Computational Literary Studies

Online | 22 March, 29 March, 12 April, 19 April, 10 May, 17 May 2021, 14:00-17:00 | 3-6 ECs | Organiser: prof. Karina van Dalen-Oskam (UvA) | With guest lectures from Joris van Zundert, Peter Boot, Floor Buschenhenke, Lamyk Bekius (Huygens Institute) | Open to: PhD Candidates and RMa Students, OSL members will have first access. 

NB: Members of the Huizinga research school should sign up via the Huizinga website.

Registration will open February 3, 2021

Bring your own laptop to all classes

 

Scholars working in computational literary studies make use of computer software that helps them to analyze digital textual data. Software can support the exploration of a much larger amount of data in systematic ways than was possible before. In this course, students will get introduced to the most important current approaches in computational literary studies, ranging from the analysis of style and methods for the verification and attribution of authorship to various forms of ‘distant reading’ and discourse analysis.

 

The first part of the course explores the new horizons and possibilities as well as the limitations of computational approaches in literary studies. Several computational tools will be demonstrated such as concordance software that can be used for discourse analytical approaches and specialized R-scripts for authorship attribution and stylistic analysis. The questions to be addressed in the first four sessions of the seminar include: How can different authors be distinguished from each other using computational tools? In which ways do their writing styles exactly differ? What are the options for computer-assisted discourse analysis? What kinds of reasoning and logic play a role when computational tools are applied and what are their epistemological implications? How can we evaluate the results of the new methods and techniques? Each class, a new tool will be introduced and the students will learn the basics of their use hands-on.

 

The second part of the course is optional and more practical. In two workshop-like hands-on meetings students will conduct small research projects of their own. In this way, they will learn to use the computational tools themselves and gain practical experience with their possibilities and limitations. The research projects can be devoted to the cases presented in the first part of the course but also be proposed by the students themselves.

 

Course objectives:

  • Students learn to employ empirical and computational methods in literary studies, including the selection of tools and the reflection on their possibilities and
  • Students get an overview of international discussions in the fields of computational literary studies and digital humanities and learn to relate their research to these
  • Students learn to reflect on the relation of research questions and digital methods in literary studies.

 

 

Programme

March 22: Introduction: Authorship attribution and Proper Names (Karina van Dalen-Oskam)

March 29: Stylometry: quantifying literary style (Karina van Dalen-Oskam & Joris van Zundert)

April 12: Application of Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) (Peter Boot)

April 19: Analyzing the genesis of digital-born literary works (Floor Buschenhenke & Lamyk Bekius)

May 10 and 17: Hands-on sessions: using the presented tools and designing the experiment for the paper (Karina van Dalen-Oskam)

 

 

Credits

Students receive 3 EC for active participation (readings and small assignments) in the first four meetings and an additional 3 EC for participation in the hands-on sessions and the preparation of a final assignment (= paper of 3000 words).

 

For more information please send an email to osl@rug.nl.