Call for Papers

Please, be aware that the the deadline has already passed.

Call for Papers: Digital Stylistics in Romance Studies and beyond

Digital Stylistics is a subdiscipline of Literary Studies, Linguistics, and Digital Humanities concerned with the computational and statistical analysis of literary style as well as style in language use (Leech/Short 2007; Herrmann et al. 2015). Several factors, such as authorship, genre and period do have an impact on style. Using digital methods, Digital Stylistics aims at an explicit modelling, understanding and analysis of the relationship between stylistic function and stylistic effects on the one hand and of language use on the other hand. For example, a qualitative stylistic analysis focuses on a deep reading and a detailed analysis of single texts. Regarding quantitative aspects, Digital Stylistics is concerned with a more extensive analysis of stylistic phenomena, in order to describe tendencies and  possible changes over a longer period of time, within a national literature or language or cross linguistically.

Whereas digital methods for stylistic analyses are already being applied in research on English (Burrows 2002; Biber and Conrad 2009; Underwood 2014) and German (Jannidis/Lauer 2014; Salgaro et al. 2018), studies on Romance languages are fairly new, as it can been seen by the works on French (Pincemin 2009; Bornet/Kaplan 2017; Schöch 2017), Italian (Ciotti 2017) or Spanish (Navarro-Colorado 2015; de la Rosa/Suárez 2016; Rißler-Pipka 2016).

Therefore, the main purpose of the conference “Digital Stylistics in Romance Studies and beyond” is to bring together international scholars working in the field of stylistic analysis, in order to present and discuss their methods, digital tools and current research projects.

The following questions can be addressed during the conference:

  • In what respect is the term style in literary and linguistic research subject to change due to digital methods (lexical and grammatical features, Topic Modeling, reduction of dimensionality, Sentiment Analysis, networks)?
  • Which new insights on style can be gained from Digital Stylistics?
  • Which aims and approaches  are pursued under the tag Stylometry beyond authorship?
  • Regarding research on Digital Stylistics, how can the actual Status Quo in Romance studies be described?
  • Which terminological traditions are applied for research on different languages (engl. stylometry, fr. textométrie, dt. computergestützte Gattungsstilistik) and how could they be put in relation or benefit from each other?
  • Which challenges concerning software and data (i.e. availability of digital texts and tools, quality of digital tools etc.) has Digital Stylistics (in Romance languages) to face?
  • Which typological features of different languages favour or prevent cross linguistic research?


Abstracts in English for a presentation (20 min; followed by 10 mins of discussion) until the 31st of october 2018 to the following address:

Abstracts should not exceed more than 500 words (excl. references). Notification of acceptance will be communicated until November 2018. A publication of the conference proceedings is foreseen.


Deadline: 31.10.2018


27th of February – 2nd of March 2019


The conference will be held at the University of Würzburg, in Southern Germany, close to cities with international airports such as Frankfurt or Nürnberg. It’s foreseen that confirmed speakers will receive a travel grant. More information on the venue and the program will be published on the conference homepage.


  • Prof. Douglas Biber (Applied Linguistics, Northern Arizona University)
  • Prof. Glenn Roe (Digital Humanities, Sorbonne Université)

Local Organizers

CLiGS research group (Robert Hesselbach, José Calvo Tello, Ulrike Henny-Krahmer, Daniel Schlör)

Scientific Committee:

  • Prof. Dr. Elisabeth Burr (Leipzig)
  • Prof. Dr. Karina van Dalen-Oskam (Amsterdam)
  • Prof. Dr. Maciej Eder (Kraków)
  • Prof. Dr. Hanno Ehrlicher (Tübingen)
  • Prof. Dr. Fotis Jannidis (Würzburg)
  • Dr. Borja Navarro-Colorado (Alicante)
  • Prof. Dr. Christof Schöch (Trier)
  • Prof. Dr. Angela Schrott (Kassel)


Biber, Douglas, and Susan Conrad. 2009. Register, Genre, and Style. Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press.

Bornet, Cyril, and Frédéric Kaplan. 2017. “A Simple Set of Rules for Characters and Place Recognition in French Novel.” In: Frontiers in Digital Humanities 4.

Burrows, John. 2002. “‘Delta’: A Measure of Stylistic Difference and a Guide to Likely Authorship.” In: Literary and Linguistic Computing 17 (3): 267–87.

Ciotti, Fabio. 2017. “Tempi Verbali e Strutture Narrative: L’Analisi Computazionale Dei Morfemi Temporali Nei Testi Narrativi Italiani Tra Realismo e Modernismo.” In: Access/Accès. Montreal.

Herrmann, J. Berenike, Christof Schöch, and Karina van Dalen-Oskam. 2015. “Revisiting Style, a Key Concept in Literary Studies.” In: Journal of Literary Theory 9 (1): 25–52.

Jannidis, Fotis, and Gerhard Lauer. 2014. “Burrows’s Delta and Its Use in German Literary History.” In: Distant Readings. Topologies of German Culture in the Long Nineteenth Century, edited by Matt Erlin and Lynne Tatlock, 29–54. Rochester: Camden House.

Leech, Geoffrey N, and Mick Short. 2007. Style in Fiction: A Linguistic Introduction to English Fictional Prose. London; New York: Longman.

Navarro Colorado, Borja. 2015. “A Computational Linguistic Approach to Spanish Golden Age Sonnets: Metrical and Semantic Aspects.” In: Proceedings of the Fourth Workshop on Computational Linguistics for Literature. Denver.

Pincemin, Bénédicte. 2009. “« Panorama bref et pragmatique des outils de textométrie et apparentés », Fiche réalisée à l’intention des participants, Ecole thématique CNRS MISAT (Méthodes Informatiques et Statistiques en Analyse de Textes), Besançon, 15-19 juin 2009.”

Rißler-Pipka, Nanete. 2016. “Avellaneda y los problemas de la identificación del autor. Propuestas para una investigación con nuevas herramientas digitales.” In: El otro Quijote. La continuación de Avellaneda y sus efectos, edited by Hanno Ehrlicher, 27–51. Mesa Redonda. Augsburg: Universität Augsburg.

Rosa, Javier de la, and Juan Luis Suárez. 2016. “The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes and of His Machine Learning Adversities Non-traditional authorship attribution techniques in the context of the Lazarillo.” In: Lemir, 20: 373–438.

Salgaro, Massimo, Simone Rebora, Gerhard Lauer, and Berenike Herrmann. 2018. “The Tiroler Soldaten-Zeitung and Its Authors. A Computer-Aided Search for Robert Musil.” In: Kritik der digitalen Vernunft. Cologne: DHd.

Schöch, Christof. 2017. “Topic Modeling Genre: An Exploration of French Classical and Enlightenment Drama.” Digital Humanities Quarterly 11 (2).

Underwood, Ted. 2014. “Understanding Genre in a Collection of a Million Volumes, Interim Report.”

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