Distant reading for European Literary History

Oddaljeno branje za evropsko literarno zgodovino

No. of contract:

Type of project:
from 01.01.2018 to 31.12.2021


Distant Reading for European Literary History (COST Action CA16204) is a project aiming to create a vibrant and diverse network of researchers jointly developing the resources and methods necessary to change the way European literary history is written. Grounded in the Distant Reading paradigm (i.e. using computational methods of analysis for large collections of literary texts), the Action will create a shared theoretical and practical framework to enable innovative, sophisticated, data-driven, computational methods of literary text analysis across at least 10 European languages. Fostering insight into cross-national, large-scale patterns and evolutions across European literary traditions, the Action will facilitate the creation of a broader, more inclusive and better-grounded account of European literary history and cultural identity. To accomplish this, the Action will:

  • build a multilingual European Literary Text Collection (ELTeC), ultimately containing around 2,500 full-text novels in at least 10 different languages, permitting to test methods and compare results across national traditions (more);
  • establish and share best practices and develop innovative computational methods of text analysis adapted to Europe’s multilingual literary traditions (more);
  • consider the consequences of such resources and methods for rethinking fundamental concepts in literary theory and history (more).

The Action will contribute to the development and distribution of methods, competencies, data, best practices, standards and tools relevant to Distant Reading research. This will not only affect the way scholars in the Humanities do research, but also the way institutions like libraries will make their holdings available to researchers in the future. The Action will foster distributed research, the systematic exchange of expertise, and the visibility of all participants, activities and resources.

If you’d like to find out more about you can join the Action’s activities, see our page How to join! We also have pages with more information about the management structure of the Action as well as an interactive map showing where our Action members are located.