Not-so-distant reading: A dynamic network approach to literature

  • 1 Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
  • 2 Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
Markus Luczak-Roesch
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  • Victoria University of Wellington, School of Information Management, Wellington, New Zealand
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  • Markus Luczak-Roesch is a Senior Lecturer in Information Systems at the School for Information Management, Victoria Business School, Victoria University of Wellington. Before joining Victoria Markus worked as a Senior Research Fellow on the prestigious EPSRC programme grant SOCIAM - The Theory and Practice of Social Machines at the University of Southampton, Electronics and Computer Science (UK, 2013–2016). A computer scientist by education, Markus investigates formal properties of information in socio-technical systems and human factors of information and computing systems. More information:
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, Adam Grener
  • Victoria University of Wellington, School of English, Film, Theatre and Media Studies, Wellington, New Zealand
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  • Adam Grener is Lecturer in the English Programme at Victoria University of Wellington. His main area of research is the nineteenth-century British novel, though he also has interest in the history of the novel, narrative theory, and computational approaches to literature. His work has appeared in the journals Genre, Narrative, and Modern Philology, and he is the co-editor of a special issue of Genre, “Narrative Against Data in the Victorian Novel”. He is completing a book on realist aesthetics and the history of probabilistic thought. More information:
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and Emma Fenton
  • Victoria University of Wellington, School of English, Film, Theatre and Media Studies, Wellington, New Zealand
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  • Emma Fenton is an honours student in English Literature at Victoria University of Wellington. She is interested in the aesthetics of literature, and how text might be represented in visual forms.
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In this article we report about our efforts to develop and evaluate computational support tools for literary studies. We present a novel method and tool that allows interactive visual analytics of character occurrences in Victorian novels, and has been handed to humanities scholars and students for work with a number of novels from different authors. Our user study reveals insights about Victorian novels that are valuable for scholars in the digital humanities field, and informs UI as well as UX designers about how these domain experts interact with tools that leverage network science.

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