Toward text-mining the middle ages

Digital scriptoria and networks of labor

Authored by: Michael Widner

The Routledge Research Companion to Digital Medieval Literature

Print publication date:  December  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138905047
eBook ISBN: 9781315696041
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315696041-9

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Abstract

Of the many computational approaches embraced by digital humanists, none may be more discussed – in academic literature, in blogs, and even in mainstream print publications – than text-mining. Digital resources like the HathiTrust Research Center make possible the computational analysis of millions of books. Literary scholars buttress their arguments about literary history, genres, and national literatures by embedding data visualisations in scholarly articles and monographs. The possibilities to answer long-standing, seemingly irresolvable questions, to generate previously unthought of questions, and to explore the field of literature in as yet unforeseen ways is exciting not only to specialists, but also to a wide audience of readers. Given the allure of text-mining, where are the research projects using these techniques for new insights into medieval literature?

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