Digital Journal for Philology
Special Issue # 6 (1.2022)
How do new technological developments in the Digital Humanities alter our understanding of Literary Studies? And: Which perspectives do models and practices from the field of Literary Studies offer on digital methods? The interdisciplinary contributions in this special issue examine the complex and promising interplay of Literary Studies and Digital Humanities from different theoretical as well as practical angles.
The relation between Literary Studies and Digital Humanities is not only characterized by the fact that Digital (or Computational) Literary Studies have become a subdiscipline that draws epistemologically from both supradisciplines. Literary Studies itself has become so digital that related methods enrich its existing methodological base in the long term. From the perspective of the Digital Humanities, its internal differentiation into the varieties ›digitized humanities‹, ›numerical humanities‹ and ›humanities of the digital‹ appears instructive and can be assigned to the areas Digital Edition, Computational Methods, and Digital Reading/Social Media, which structure this special volume.
This article discusses some of the problems and solutions within the scope of Digital Philology raised by the edition of the Romanceiro – the first Iberian modern folk balladry collection – by the Portuguese writer Almeida Garrett (Oporto, 1799 – Lisbon, 1854). We analyse, throughout this study, in what extent it is appropriate to skip into a digital scholarship environment in order to fulfil our editorial requirements. Moreover, we examine methodological and workflow driven aspects we have been discussing alongside the Garrettonline project development, regarding the relationship between an archive and a scholarly edition.
This article shows how digital approaches can be used to explore an expansive corpus of letters in order to create a praxeological approach to literary history at the nexus of quantitative recording and qualitative contextualisation. With the help of computational methods, it becomes possible to overcome the focus on canonical authors and to highlight the diversity of perspectives of artistic and cultural working contexts as polyphonic networks instead. This contributes to a readjustment of literary and cultural historiography in the course of the digitisation of cultural artefacts.
›Distant reading‹ approaches to investigating literary genre are relatively new but flourishing. Not only are new methods being explored but it is also assumed that problems which have engaged literary studies for some time can be fruitfully tackled with these new methods. In this paper, we take a closer look at two influential studies that employ DH methods (›distant reading‹) on genre theory: Andrew Piper’s »Fictionality« (2016) and Ted Underwood’s »The Life Cycles of Genres« (2016). We scrutinize the objectives and results of these studies by asking the following questions: (1) What is the traditional research topic that is addressed, and what are the explanatory targets? (2) How are the explanatory targets addressed, and what results are generated? And finally, (3) do these studies really answer the traditional questions they (explicitly) set out to answer, and are they successful in doing so? In asking these questions, we hope to work out something more general about the potentials of DH methods when it comes to (traditional) genre theory.
The field of multilingual literature uses a broad variety of methods; however, (digital) methods used to conduct case studies or corpus analyses are rarely discussed in detail. Using a corpus of 138 lyrical texts from the literary region of South Tyrol, this article presents a corpus analysis that was conducted using the software ATLAS.ti developed for qualitative data analysis in social sciences. This article aims to give insight into the decisions taking place when assembling and annotating the corpus as well as the possibilities of analysis.
The use of the computer in literary studies may be seen as a link between the two main intellectual traditions devoted to the study of literary texts: philology and close reading on the one hand, and literary theory on the other. However, forging this link is not easy. In this paper, we describe an experimental approach to computer-based literary research, based on a combination of several models and focusing on the discrepancies between them. The computer is fed with literary texts, processes them in various ways, then returns to the researcher a graphic product that points out where the models do not agree with one another, assuming that such places may be hermeneutically interesting for human scholars.
The analysis of spatial theories in literary studies has become a growing field of research, not least since the ›spatial turn.‹ Narratological concepts in particular provide the foundation for the operationalisation and computational modelling of spatial concepts. Against this background, relevant publications by Katrin Dennerlein and Barbara Piatti serve to develop annotatable categories for the concept of spatial entity as well as their classification concerning its status as a place of action (setting). Within a pilot annotation, these categories are evaluated qualitatively and by using ›inter-annotator agreement.‹ Furthermore, we highlight textual markers for the classification of settings, which are used as features in a machine learning ›classifier‹.
This article examines digital practices of literary (studies) communication in social media. Social media not only digitally transmit the offline offers of literary communication institutions. In fact, social media develop specific cultural practices of communication of, with, and about literature. Using the social network Twitter as an example, this article characterizes these digital practices of literary communication in social media and typologizes how literary studies and literature didactics implement these practices methodically and systematically in academic teaching. In conclusion, social media are becoming literarily and epistemically relevant networks for science communication.
The article asks about the influence of digital media on the practice of reading. The methodological challenge of examining digital reading is met with the draft of a literary- and media theory- informed reading praxeology. This emerges from theoretical considerations, which are based on, among other things, materiality research, Wolfgang Iser’s phenomenology of reading and the catalog of digital reading media attributes by Kuhn & Hagenhoff. Two literary examples illustrate how reading on digital media is accompanied by affordances that require stable reading strategies.
The debate surrounding #IchBinHanna and #IchBinReyhan has been continuously surging for over a year. It is time for a Textpraxis podcast: In this episode, we talk with Iuditha Balint (Fritz-Hüser-Institut für Literatur and Kultur der Arbeitswelt in Dortmund), Kristin Eichhorn (Universität Stuttgart), and Mahshid Mayar (Universität Bielefeld) about the hashtag campaign, the WissenschaftsZeitVertragsGesetz, and working conditions in German academia.