CLiGS – Computational Literary Genre Stylistics

The e-Humanities junior research group “Computational Literary Genre Stylistics” (CLiGS) is funded by the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) and affiliated to the Department for Literary Computing at the University of Würzburg.

Short description

The worldwide advances in the digitization of the cultural heritage has reached a point where new types of research issues can be addressed and are required.

But nowadays, there is still a certain gap between the practice of computational text analysis and hermeneutic literary studies. Therefore the primary goal of the research group is to provide a methodological linkage between new techniques of quantitative analysis of literary texts and the fundamental issues of literary studies in the domain of genre theory and stylistics.

To establish such a linkage more specifically means that two types of knowledge need to be related to each other: on the one hand, knowledge of historical and scientific categorization (theory and history of literary genre and stylistic phenomena) and on the other, knowledge of categories and differentiations that are derived from the quantitative analysis of stylistic features (of different levels, complexity and combinations).

The project takes established basic issues of literary studies as a starting point, but from the point of view of computational methods. The goal is to answer questions of literary studies with a new foundation and from a new point of view, combining the use of large text collections with innovative analysis methods and hermeneutic sensibility for context.

This will be carried out on the basis of several large text collections that consist of French dramas of the classical period and the Enlightenment as well as French and Spanish novels of the 19th century.

The group is situated at the interface of romance literary studies and applied computer science and defines itself as part of the Digital Humanities.

Notice: A more detailed description of the goals and the methods of the group are available in the project outline (May 2014, German only).