Workshop „Advanced Methods in Stylometry“

The junior research group „Computational Literary Genre Stylistics“ (CLiGS) is organizing a hands-on workshop on „Advanced Methods in Stylometry“ which will take place at Würzburg University, Germany, on December 9-11. (All further information will be posted here; see bottom of this post for practical information.)

The workshop targets doctoral students in literary studies already familiar with computational text analysis and interested in using specific, advanced methods for their use-cases and research questions. The aims of the workshop are to help participants move beyond out-of-the-box functionality in stylo, either using advanced functionality in stylo or using specific Python packages. Participants are encouraged to bring their own datasets to the workshop.

The workshop will be taught by Maciej Eder (Paedagogical University, Kraków, Poland), Mike Kestemont (University of Antwerp, Belgium), and Jeremi Ochab (Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland), three experts in stylometry. It is being coordinated by Christof Schöch. The workshop will have three parts, adresssing the following issues:

  • The first part of the workshop will focus on designing and implementing workflows in R, aimed at performing large-scale custom stylometric experiments. To this end, a few low-level functions of the package ’stylo‘, as well as a number of generic R functions and routines will be introduced.
  • The second part will offer an introduction to the popular Machine Learning toolkit for Python: sklearn ( The workshop will focus on sklearn’s powerful suite of text processing algorithms. Using relevant examples from stylometry, it will be demonstrated how sklearn equips users with an arsenal of easily available (un)supervised machine learning routines.
  • The third part will be an introduction to models of complex networks as well as to the most prominent results on empirical networks. They will cover the most relevant graph characteristics, and will further expand to graph-based unsupervised clustering techniques, so-called community detection algorithms.

The workshop requires familiarity with the fundamental assumptions of computational text analysis including stylometry as well as solid competencies in using R and Python. If you are interested in joining us for the workshop, please send an application to until November 20, 2015, specifying why you would like to participate and how you have achieved your current level of competency in stylometry.

The workshop will start on Wednesday, December 9 at 9:30 am and end on Friday, December 11 at 1:00pm. Participation is free except for a small contribution for drinks and snacks during the breaks. The working language of the workshop will be English, but text collections used may be in the language of your choice. Participants are expected to bring their own laptop computers with the latest version of R (with stylo) as well as Python (version 3, with numpy, pandas, sklearn) installed.

The workshop is organized by the CLiGS group with funding from the German Federal Ministry for Research and Education (BMBF).

Practical information:

  • The workshop will take place at Würzburg University, Campus Hubland, Philosophisches Institut, Building 8, room 8.E.18. The pointer on this map points there.
  • The closest bus stop is „Philosophisches Institut“. From Würzburg Hauptbahnhof, buses 14, 114 and 214 take you there.

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