Plotting Poetry 4. Tackling the Toolkit
17–19 September 2020
Institute of Czech Literature, Czech Academy of Sciences—Prague—Czech Republic
In 1917, commenting on the rise of new media, Apollinaire urged for “plotting/mechanising (“machiner”) poetry as has been done for the world”. A century later, the slogan’s rich metaphor is made all the sharper with the new technologies’ emergence in literary studies. What role have machines and resulting software devices taken up in text reading? What do they teach us about poetics? What mechanical and strategic devices are we developing, with what results?
The annual international conference Plotting Poetry gathers literary scholars of all language areas sharing a keenness for the development of computational and statistical apparatuses to describe and analyse metre, style and poeticity. Our focus for the 2020 edition is Tackling the Toolkit. We welcome proposals on various methodological challenges, obstacles, or shortcomings arising from the application of quantitative methods (ranging from simple descriptive statistics to advanced machine learning) to poetry and/or poetics.
Participants are invited to present feedback – positive or not – on the computational and statistical tools they develop to address issues of poetics, metrics and stylistics, and to shed light on the fields of literature, linguistics or literary history. Devices that did not yield the expected results, provided their shortcomings provide an interesting and genuine insight, are utterly welcome as well. In the vast field of Digital Humanities, understanding our failures can prove most useful, particularly to pinpoint where the human/machine complementarity ends, or to measure the ratio of invested time over achieved result.
Possible exploration themes, geared towards an interpretation of texts and styles, could include, but are in no way limited to:
- Metrical analysis;
- topic modelling;
- computational stylistics;
- mechanically enhanced reading for literary genre characterization;
- blending “distant reading” and close reading;
- new technologies as tools for interpretation; digital hermeneutics.
We welcome abstracts for papers about poetic texts, versified or not, or even texts outside the poetry genre provided that “machines” are being used to explore their poeticity. Papers of 20-25 minutes may bear on corpora from any time and in any language, but shall be delivered in English.
Abstracts (max. 1600 characters including spaces) are to be sent no later than 1st April 2020 via the web-form.