Seminarium: Karina van Dalen-Oskam

  • Datum: –16.00
  • Plats: Zoom Room ID: 3305558415
  • Föreläsare: Karina van Dalen-Oskam
  • Arrangör: Digital Humanities Uppsala and the Department of ALM
  • Kontaktperson: Matts Lindström
  • Seminarium

Literary reading across borders

This seminar will be offered in a shortened format of approx. 45 minutes and is hosted via Zoom (room ID: 3305558415). It consists of a lecture offered by Karina van Dalen-Oskam, professor in computational literary studies at the University of Amsterdam. Karina will talk about her ongoing research and will participate in a concluding Q&A session. The seminar is a collaborative efforts between the department of ALM, DH Uppsala, and the University Library.  More information about the talk is available at:

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.