Literary reading across borders

  • Date: –16:00
  • Location: Engelska parken 4/2007
  • Lecturer: Karina van Dalen-Oskam
  • Website
  • Organiser: Insitutionen för ABM
  • Contact person: Isto Huvila
  • Phone: 3420
  • Seminarium

Karina van Dalen-Oskam is head of the department of Literary Studies at Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands and professor in Computational Literary Studies at the University of Amsterdam.

 

The attribution of literary value is an intriguing social process, and difficult to grasp. What is ‘high-brow’ literature, and can we measure it? That was the key question of the Dutch computational humanities project The Riddle of Literary Quality (2012–2019). The project combined 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 cultural biases are in place. Why are some authors and some works attributed with more literary prestige than others? What about translations? And what does this tell us about contemporary Dutch society? The Riddle project inspired a comparable project in the United Kingdom. In my talk, I will give an overview of the main results of The Riddle and describe how we will compare the Dutch and the English-language perspective.

Karina van Dalen-Oskam is head of the department of Literary Studies at Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands and professor in Computational Literary Studies at the University of Amsterdam.