Beyond the Keyword: Three Studies in Modern French Literature

multipaper session
  1. 1. John Dawson

    Cambridge University

Work text
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This session proposal is unified both by subject and by methodology. French literature between the 18th century and the present constitutes the data on which the studies reported have been carried out.

This basic unity of subject is reinforced by strong methodological innovation.

Each paper in its own way goes beyond the simple retrieval of keywords, by now a routine activity in computer-literature study, to extend the scope of analysis to areas of interest more closely approximating what is usually done by scholars of literature. P. FortierÂ’s paper examines the methodological implications of wanting to study complex human phenomena like aging or senile dementia in the ARTFL database, something that cannot be accomplished simply by a keyword retrieval procedure. D. Laporte points out that limiting computer analysis of literature to texts by a single author, as the growing number of author-focussed databases encourages the researcher to do, overlooks the crucial inter-textual dimension of all literature. M. Olsen examines the oft-debated question of whether there is a discourse particular to women authors, pointing out the insufficiency of facile answers, and bringing both advanced linguistic theory and sophisticated computational techniques to bear on the question.

Note on the Language of Presentation: D. Laporte would prefer to give his paper in French. M. Olsen would prefer to give his in English. P. Fortier sees the advantages and disadvantages of each. The French option makes a statement about the international character of the associations. The English option assures the largest number of people in the audience and able to follow what is presented. We would be willing to be guided by the Programme CommitteeÂ’s advice in this matter.

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Conference Info



Hosted at Göteborg University (Gothenburg)

Gothenborg, Sweden

June 11, 2004 - June 16, 2004

105 works by 152 authors indexed

Series: ACH/ICCH (24), ALLC/EADH (31), ACH/ALLC (16)

Organizers: ACH, ALLC

  • Keywords: None
  • Language: English
  • Topics: None