Digital Humanities for the Study of Social Reading

Simone Rebora, Gerhard Lauer, J. Berenike Herrmann, Moniek Kuijpers, Maria Kraxenberger, Fedrico Pianzola, P. Boot, Piroska Lendvai, Thomas Messerli, Massimo Salgaro

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan conferentiePaperWetenschappelijkpeer review


Over the last decades, with technological advancements such as growing digitalization and the development of social media platforms, the act of reading has transformed into an interactive experience (Cordón-García et al., 2013; Merga, 2015), where the Internet plays a key role (Murray, 2018). Social reading platforms like Goodreads and Wattpad are online environments where millions of people from all over the world come to share their love for the written word. Members come together to discuss what they have read and what they judge as good or bad literature, they recommend books to one another, and even try their hand at writing fiction.

While a growing number of studies have been dedicated to this phenomenon (Nakamura, 2013; Ramdarshan Bold, 2016), so far only a few have adopted computational methods (Faggiolani and Vivarelli, 2016; Thelwall and Kousha, 2017) and none has combined these methods with empirical approaches to the study of literature and its effects.

As the online environment is very different from the literary field as we know it, showing new types of complex interactions, we need to explore social reading and writing from both social and content perspectives. Social questions that should be investigated include interaction among users, questions of power (sources of literary authority), the effects on literacy and on reading behaviors, the changing system of social values (and of aesthetic evaluation). Content questions include questions about style, about the distribution and originality of comments, about the affective, reflective or social nature of content.

With this panel, we will showcase the potential of studying social reading through the combination of multiple and interrelated approaches: from purely statistical, data-driven, and stylometric analyses, through qualitative and quantitative surveys of key users and a theory-driven qualitative taxonomy of reading valuation, towards a combination of the empirical and the computational, supported by a sound theoretical/methodological awareness. The substantial variety of case studies in four languages (English, German, Italian, and Dutch) will reflect the diversity of social reading, which can and should be studied from multiple points of view as well as with an array of methodological tools.
Originele taal-2Engels
StatusGepubliceerd - 2019
EvenementDigital Humanities Conference 2019 - Tivoli Vredenburg, Utrecht, Nederland
Duur: 09 jul. 201912 jul. 2019


ConferentieDigital Humanities Conference 2019
Verkorte titelDH2019
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