What, when & where
Literature between Canon and Archive. New Distant Reading Approaches to the Study Of The Novel
Metacritic Journal for Comparative Studies and Theory
The inter- and transdisciplinary approaches advanced in the field of Digital Humanities open up new and exciting opportunities at a intracultural level by challenging researchers to employ methodologies and analytic instruments ranging from informatics, statistics or sociology into their critical investigations. From computational analyses (machine learning, stylometry, distributional semantics, topic modeling, network analysis, etc.) to various forms of digital archiving or corpus creation and management, the field of literary studies has been, over the years, gradually acquainted to digital methods in its investigations.
In the case of the critical assessment of novels and novel production in a given culture from a quantitative standpoint, Digital Humanities raises a host of very important questions in the field of literary studies: Is the literary canon really enough? Is the canon an “axiom”? How can one tackle the canon from a computational standpoint? Can the “archive” (or what Margaret Cohen called “the Great Unread”) reveal or explain patterns of cultural production? Is the reader an important actor in the cultural network and, if so, is this role quantifiable?
Furthermore, quantitative studies have provided a series of essential tools for the study of the evolution of literary genres (Moretti 2013), of literary geography (Cooper 2016) or of world literary circulation (by way of what Moretti dubbed, in 2000, “waves”). Additionally, quantitative investigations were also used in order to analyze critical discourse and the formation of certain habits in academic debates, as a meta-analysis of the ideas from within the humanities and social sciences (Tuzzi 2018). This is why we believe that the application of such instruments in the investigation of potential analytic models of nineteenth and twentieth century novel using, as starting points, digital corpora of these novels, could contribute with at least partial answers to the questions addressed earlier.
The next issue of the Metacritic Journal for Comparative Studies and Theory, to be published in December 2020, will be dedicated to digital explorations of the novel. Theoretical approaches, qualitative and quantitative analyses are all welcome. Articles should include, but not be limited to:
1. Quantitative analysis & distant reading (digital and analogue approaches)
2. Theoretical investigations into digital and quantitative formalisms for the use of
3. Historical perspectives on data and quantitative approaches of literature (nineteenth century to
4. Network analysis and the novel
5. Computational methods and tools in the study of literature
6. Genre theory in the context of distant reading
7. Literary geography and quantitative analysis
8. Translation studies and world literature in a digital humanities context
9. Presenting current European and world projects of Distant Reading
Deadline & how to apply
Deadline: 15 September 2020
Please submit a 150-word original proposal that clearly explains how it will contribute to, revise, or depart from existing debates regarding the digital turn in the humanities. Both proposals and final texts should be in English and should observe our guidelines as they appear on our website:
Final submission should include: 5,000-7,000-word article, including 150-word abstract, 5-7 keywords, list of references (only cited works), 150-word author’s bioprofile and the author’s photo-portrait (jpg, separate file). Proposals and final submissions should be formatted as Word
documents and sent to firstname.lastname@example.org