Category: Articles

Scatterplot of plays and the probabilities of two topics 0

Teaching and Research, or: a Post-scriptum to ‘Topic Modeling Genre’

Wouldn’t it be nice if teaching and research could always be closely connected? And I don’t just mean students benefitting from their instructors being active researchers. I also mean it the other way around, with researchers benefitting from the work they are doing with the students. The true Einheit von Forschung und Lehre (i.e., the unity of research and teaching)...

Distance matrix obtained from stylo for ELTeC-eng, visualized as a clustermap using seaborn. 6

Dear fellow stylometrists, let’s drop the dendrogram and cherish the distance matrix

The dendrogram is a classic and beloved visualization in stylometry. One could even say that, ever since it was included in the inevitable and unmatched stylo package for R, it has become an icon and metonymy of stylometry itself. The example shown below (Figure 1) illustrates what such a dendrogram looks like, although given its ubiquity, there is almost no...

Heatmap showing the weight of different topics depending on the subgenre 0

Computational Genre Analysis

Introduction Genre is, like authorship or time period, one of a number of fundamental categories allowing authors and readers as well as literary scholars to endow the vast field of literary production with some internal structure. Genre is not specific to literature, of course: whether we consider painting, music or cinema, genre as an intermediary category situated between individual works...

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Do Sentences in Novels Get Shorter over the Course of the Nineteenth Century?

Introduction The topic of this post is the evolution of average sentence length in literary texts and can be understood as a sequel, after a long time, to a post about sentence length in French literature, only this time the focus is on English-language fiction (with some forays into multiple European languages) and on a somewhat different time-frame (with a...

Atom editor 5

Can Atom replace oXygen?

Virtually anyone working with XML files in the context of the Digital Humanities, and especially in the context of scholarly digital editing, knows the oXygen XML editor. It is mature and packed with useful features, and yet every new version brings even more features and improvements. In fact, it is an editing ecosystem rather than an editor. It entertains a...

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Topic Modeling with MALLET: Hyperparameter Optimization

This is a short technical post about an interesting feature of Mallet which I have recently discovered or rather, whose (for me) unexpected effect on the topic models I have discovered: the parameter that controls the hyperparameter optimization interval in Mallet.[1] Yes, there are parameters, there are hyperparameters, and there are parameters controlling how hyperparameters are optimized. For a long...

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Follow-up on Simenon and Sentence-Length: Visualization and Hypothesis-Testing

In a conversation about my recent post on sentence length in Georges Simenon’s work, Fotis Jannidis said he thought the post was typical of quite a lot of recent work in digital literary studies in that it is exploratory rather than focused on hypothesis testing. I think this is true and that it is a problem. Exploratory methods, especially when...

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Detecting Transpositions when Comparing Text Versions using CollateX

The aims of this post are to explain what collation is, why detecting transpositions is special, and how to accomplish it using CollateX. The example I will be using involves comparing two versions of the recent best-selling novel The Martian by Andy Weir, a novel whose publishing history Erik Ketzan and me are currently investigating. More specifically, I will illustrate...

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Does Shorter Sell Better? Belgian author George Simenon’s use of sentence length

Belgian author Georges Simenon is probably most famous for his crime fiction novels in which police detective Maigret investigates serious crimes and elucidates them with intelligence, empathy, a team of inspectors and acquaintances, and, of course, his tobacco pipe as well as sandwiches and beers brought to his office. Simenon wrote 75 of these Maigret novels (and a certain number...

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How good are our texts, really? Quality assurance for literary texts from various sources

by Ulrike Henny and Christof Schöch — this post originally appeared on the CLiGS blog. Some weeks ago, we made our “New Year’s release” of text collections available. We publish the texts in the “CLiGS” group’s GitHub repository called “textbox“ and archive each release on Zenodo where they get a DOI. The texts are encoded in TEI with relatively detailed...

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The Schiller-Kleist Uncertainty Principle (guest post)

This is a guest post, written by Philip Dürholt, a student in the “Digital Humanities” program (BA and MA) at the Department for Literary Computing, University of Würzburg. As always, comments are welcome! I’m a student at the University of Würzburg. My subjects are Philosophy and Digital Humanities. Last winter semester I had an interesting mix of courses: Quantitative Analysis...

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Of the Digital Humanities considered as a Jazz ensemble

We frequently speak of Digital Humanities projects – in which people from one or several disciplines such as literary studies, musicology and/or art history work together with colleagues from computer science and/or statistics – using concepts like inter- or transdisciplinarity or like collaboration.[1] The danger, we quickly notice, lies in the “divison of labor” such arrangements imply. Such division of...

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Out now: French Literary Studies and the Digital Paradigm Shift

In what seems like a distant past, that is in september 2012, Lars Schneider and me organized a two-day session at the bi-annual conference of the German French Scholars’ Association in Leipzig (Frankoromanistenkongress; website no longer available!). The other day, the proceedings finally came out and we are of course very happy and proud. Just because it is digital doesn’t...

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