Digital text analysis talk and workshop

Posted on January 13, 2017 by



LEL and Digital Humanities have something special for you this month! On 26th Jan, Prof Mike Kestemont (Antwerp) will be talking on The State of Stylometry: Achievements and Challenges in Computational Stylistics, and on 27th Jan, Dr Folgert Karsdorp (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences) is giving a workshop on Text Analysis with Python. Both events have only a limited number of tickets available, so book now via the link above!

The talk on Thur 26th will be at 4:15pm in Sam Alex A4, and the workshop on Fri 27th will be 10-12 and 1-3, Sam Alex A18. Here’s the abstract for the talk:

Stylometry or computational stylistics is a popular subfield of the Digital Humanities, an international community of scholars which explores how computational methods can enhance the existing practice in Humanities scholarship. Computational authorship studies have probably been stylometry’s most successful application recently, with high-visibility case studies, involving J. K. Rowling or Harper Lee, attracting much attention in the popular media. In this paper, we will introduce and survey the state of the art in stylometry, with ample attention for some of the most difficult challenges which remain, such as cross-genre authorship attribution and authorship verification. Throughout the talk, we will refer to representative work in recent stylometry, including a recent authentication study of the War Commentaries of Julius Caesar, which sheds a fascinating light on the oeuvre traditionally attributed to the Roman general.

And for the workshop:

In this workshop, we will provide an introduction to the Python programming language for Humanists. The workshop ventures into a simple form of exploratory text analysis. The corpus we use is the well-known collection of stories of the One Thousand and One Nights (also known as the Arabian Nights), a collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian folktales stemming from the Islamic Golden Age (ca. 700-1400 AD). During this workshop on exploratory data analysis, participants will get acquainted with the main control statements in Python (e.g., for-loops, if-else statements), objects (e.g., functions and classes), and some of the most important modules in the standard library of Python. The end-goal of the workshop is a playful “distant reading”: a visualization of the length of each of the 1001 nights in the collection. While this workshop does not offer a full-blown introduction to Python, it should give novice students a background which is sufficient to start working on their own research problems.

Manchet hopes to see you there!

Featured image: from the One Thousand and One Nights (Wikimedia Commons).

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