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Bridging Gaps, Creating Links : The Qualitative-Quantitative Interface in the Study of Literature

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Bridging Gaps, Creating Links : The Qualitative-Quantitative Interface in the Study of Literature

Date : 07-Jun-2018 - 09-Jun-2018
Location : University of Padua, Italy, Italy
Contact Person : Sara Gesuato
Meeting Email : < click here to access email >
Web Site :

Linguistic Field(s) : Ling & Literature

Call Deadline : 10-Feb-2018

Meeting Description :

The aim of this conference is to bring together linguists and literary scholars who are willing to explore the depth and breadth of literary texts across languages, cultures and time periods in a true spirit of inter-disciplinary collaboration. We welcome contributions that aim to show : how a qualitative analysis of literary texts may be enhanced by quantitative data ; how a quantitative analysis of the same texts can be fruitfully informed by the insights of qualitative analysis ; and how together they can provide a well-rounded description and account of the value and specificities of literary texts.

Call for Papers :

Both in linguistics and in literary studies, scholars have started to pay attention to the benefits that may derive from adopting mixed-method approaches to the study of fictional and non-fictional texts. Qualitative and quantitative analyses provide complementary insights into the formal structure, rhetorical-narrative structure, topics and wording of various kinds of written texts. The findings obtained through such combined research methods cast light on the socio-historical themes, beliefs, ideologies and cultural constructs being conveyed.

A mixed-method investigation of literary texts serves two main enlightening research goals : on the one hand, detecting patterns and themes that might otherwise go unnoticed without considering the overall content and context of literary works, and on the other, collecting and systematizing quantitative evidence for testing qualitative interpretations of and hypotheses about those works. A versatile combination of qualitative and quantitative research approaches enables scholars to address such issues as

- describing an author’s style
- comparing and contrasting an author’s works against those of given time periods and/or genres
- identifying the genre membership of texts
- detecting topics in texts
- outlining the personality traits of fictional characters
- discovering the connotations of key terms on the basis of their lexical associations.

If interested in participating, we invite you to submit a 400-700-word abstract (plus optional references) for consideration. Topics to be considered include but are not limited to the following :
- using linguistic evidence to account for interpretations, aesthetic effects and stylistic properties of literary texts
- exploring similarities and differences between the grammar of everyday language and the grammar of literary texts
- analysing in depth rhetorical and formal devices (e.g. metaphors) in literary texts
- mapping the lexico-semantic make-up of literary texts
- mapping topics across texts and genres
- visualizing and analysing the development of formal and thematic elements in literature (thematic development, social networks of characters, construction and development of the plot, etc.)
- highlighting cultural specificities of literary texts through comparisons of their original and translated versions
- profiling and attributing authorship and literary genres
- examining literary texts from different time periods to trace language change and social variation
- interfacing the discourses of social, historical and cultural contexts with literature
- explaining which specific research methods may better serve which research goals.

You may submit a maximum of two abstracts if at least one of these is co-authored. The submission deadline is 10 February 2018. Notifications of acceptance will be sent out by mid-March 2018.

The languages of the conference are English and French.

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