Digital applications nowadays enable exciting and innovative research into literary texts. Anonymous authors can be unmasked using stylometry and through topic modeling, the main themes in large collections of text can automatically be detected. In the international movement or community of Digital Humanities (DH), scholars investigate how literary studies can be supported or even enhanced using computational techniques. Although many literary scholars are convinced about the enormous potential of DH for literature, it is currently still unclear how this novel arsenal of techniques can be connected with existing approaches or established theories. This tension gives rise to interesting debates which will be a central component within this course.
A representative sample of topics will be covered in the course:
• text reuse detection, to study how the popular movie adaptations deviate from the original novels;
• topic modeling, to understand how the (low) fantasy genre has been operationalized in the Potter-novels;
• text alignment, to model the differences between the American and British editions of the Harry Potter novels;
• stylometry, to study the authorship of The Cuckoo’s Calling (2013), a novel which Rowling secretly published under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith