Séminaire – « Digital Books, Digital Readers »

The Open University Digital Humanities and History of Books and
Readers Research Groups are pleased to announce that the next seminar
in our joint seminar series on Digital Books, Digital Readers will
take place on 1 April, 5.30–7.30 pm, in Room 234, Institute of English
Studies, Senate House, London.

All are welcome to attend.

Date: 1 April 2019, 5.30pm – 7.30pm

Venue: Room 234, Second Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Speaker: Prof Karina van Dalen-Oskam, Huygens Institute for the
History of the Netherlands and University of Amsterdam

Title: The Riddle of Literary Quality: can we measure literariness?

What is literature, and can we measure it using new methods developed
in the Digital Humanities? That is the key question of the project The
Riddle of Literary Quality. “The Riddle” is a research project of the
Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands (Amsterdam) in
collaboration with the Fryske Akademy (Leeuwarden) and the Institute
for Logic, Language and Computation (University of Amsterdam). The
Riddle combines computational analysis of writing style with the
results of a large online survey of readers, completed by almost
14,000 participants. Correlating readers’ opinions and stylometric
analyses makes visible which linguistic features play a role, but also
which biases are in place. Some authors and some works clearly have
more prestige than others. Why? And what does this tell us about
contemporary society?

Short bio:
Karina van Dalen-Oskam is head of the department of literary studies
of Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands and professor
in computational literary studies at the University of Amsterdam. Her
research deals with the analysis of literary writing style and builds
on her expertise in literary studies, medieval studies, onomastics and
lexicography. She is an active member of the international digital
humanities community, where she currently serves as chair of the
steering committee of the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations
(ADHO, https://adho.org/).


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