Kleine Leistung (in Textform, max. 8 Seiten), unbenotet
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Distant reading is an approach in literary studies that applies computational methods to literary data, usually derived from large digital libraries, for the purposes of literary history and theory. Franco Moretti argued that comparative literature research is acting short sighted by narrowing its perspective to a small number of canonical books at a time. We can even spin the argument further, such that the digitization of literature changes the way we interact with it as significantly as the invention of the printing press.
Distant reading, while certainly losing some granularity of close reading, allows us to study large collections of primary works in a relatively short amount of time. By treating literature as data, we are able to study trends and patterns in tens of thousands of books, opening doors to new research insight for literary history.
This Übung will be organized as a practice seminar where students carry out their own experiments on distant reading under supervision. Knowledge of Python is required, and a bit of background in statistics certainly helpful.