Call for Papers »Digital Methods in Literary Studies«

Special Issue

A special issue of the open-access journal Textpraxis. Digitales Journal für Philologie (Digital Journal for Philology), edited by Jan Horstmann and Frank Fischer, will discuss digital methods in current Literary Studies, reflect them theoretically and evaluate them with regard to their epistemological value for the analysis of literary texts.

Articles can be submitted in German or English and should emphasize the theoretical background of the respective method. The focus should be on the dialogue with the more traditional Literary Studies and literary theory, as well as on connections to and compatibility with the genuine research interests of the field. This special issue intends to respond to a current development within Digital Humanities, which could be referred to as a call for more theory and theorization (for which the formation of the working group “Theorie Digital Humanities” during the DHd conference in Paderborn in March 2020 is one indicator). Questions of particular interest are, among others: Where do Digital Literary Studies actually begin? When does a method qualify as digital? Is there a difference between digital and computational or between quantitative and digital methods? What are data in Literary Studies? Is there a difference between literary data and data of Literary Studies and if so, where do we draw the line and how do the two relate to each other?

Topics include (but are not limited to):

Literary Studies and the Digital

  • What separates and what unites library collections and (digitally researchable) corpora?
  • What kind of data do Literary Studies deal with (theoretical aspects, formats)?
  • How does reading change in a digital context (Stavanger Declaration etc.)?

Methods of Computational Literary Studies

  • How does the digital change the practice of annotation and what are the theoretical implications of manual, collaborative, free or taxonomy-based annotation?
  • What does it mean to quantitatively model relations in texts or between texts (e.g. in topic modeling, stylometry or network analysis)?
  • What are the benefits of decontextualizing automatic extraction procedures, such as named-entity recognition or sentiment analysis?
  • Can deep learning approaches (machine learning, word embeddings/word2vec, artificial neural networks) contribute to literary analysis, and if so, how?

Publication and Communication

  • What are suitable repositories for literary research data and how important are the FAIR principles?
  • How should digital methods be included in introductory Literary Studies courses?
  • How do visualization techniques relate to research interests of Literary Studies?
  • What role do social media play in conveying literary methods and findings?

We welcome proposals in German and English, abstracts should have a maximum length of 500 words and be sent to until December 31, 2020. The editors of the volume, Jan Horstmann (Research Association Marbach Weimar Wolfenbüttel) and Frank Fischer (Higher School of Economics, Moscow, and DARIAH-EU), will inform you about acceptance of your abstract by February 1, 2021. The completed articles are to be submitted by September 30, 2021, and will then be peer-reviewed. The publication of the special issue is set for May 1, 2022.