Two studies on toponyms in literary texts

Context

Because it is impossible for individuals to “read” everything in a large corpus, advocates of distant reading employ computational techniques to “mine” the texts for significant patterns and then use statistical analysis to make statements about those patterns (Wulfman 2014).

Although the attention of linguists is commonly drawn to forms other than proper nouns, the significance of place names in particular exceeds the usual frame of deictic and indexical functions, as they encapsulate more than a mere reference in space. In a recent publication, I present two studies that center on the visualization of place names in literary texts …

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Franco-German workshop series on the historical illustrated press

I wrote a blog post on the Franco-German conference and workshop series I am co-organizing with Claire Aslangul (University Paris-Sorbonne) and Bérénice Zunino (University of Franche-Comté). The three events planned revolve around the same topic: the illustrated press in France and Germany from the end of the 19th to the middle of the 20th century, drawing from disciplinary fields as diverse as visual history and computational linguistics. A first workshop will take place in Besançon in April, then a larger conference will be hosted by the Maison Heinrich Heine in Paris at the end of 2018, and finally a workshop …

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Distant reading and text visualization

A new paradigm in “digital humanities” – you know, that Silicon Valley of textual studies geared towards neoliberal narrowing of research (highly provocative but interesting read nonetheless)… A new paradigm resides in the belief that understanding language (e.g. literature) is not accomplished by studying individual texts, but by aggregating and analyzing massive amounts of data (Jockers 2013). Because it is impossible for individuals to “read” everything in a large corpus, advocates of distant reading employ computational techniques to “mine” the texts for significant patterns and then use statistical analysis to make statements about those patterns (Wulfman 2014).

One of the …

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Foucault and the spatial turn

I would like to share a crucial text by Michel Foucault which I discovered through a recent article by Marko Juvan on geographical information systems (GIS) and literary analysis:

  • Juvan, Marko (2015). From Spatial Turn to GIS-Mapping of Literary Cultures. European Review, 23(1), pp. 81-96.
  • Foucault, Michel (1984). Des espaces autres. Hétérotopies. Architecture, Mouvement, Continuité, 5, pp. 46-49. Originally: Conférence au Cercle d’études architecturales, 14 mars 1967.

The full text including the translation I am quoting from is available on foucault.info. It is available somewhere in Dits et écrits in paper form. If am understand correctly …

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