5.0617 CFP: MLA/ACH Session (1/59)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Wed, 22 Jan 1992 23:13:11 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 5, No. 0617. Wednesday, 22 Jan 1992.

Date: Tue, 21 Jan 92 21:05:39 CST
From: FORTIER@ccm.UManitoba.CA
Subject: ACH Call for Papers, MLA 1992


The ACH will be organising two sessions at the 1992 MLA Convention, to
be held December 27-30, 1992, in New York City, around Mark Olsen's
position paper proposing a new direction for computer-aided studies of
literature (summary below). Please contact Paul Fortier --

Deadline for submission of paper or abstract March 1, 1992 to
FORTIER@UOFMCC.BITNET. People presenting papers at the the MLA
Convention MUST be members of the MLA. Announcement of acceptance
April 1, 1992.


Signs, Symbols and Discourses: A New Direction
for Computer-aided Literature Studies.

Mark Olsen*
University of Chicago


Computer-aided Literature Studies have failed to have a
significant impact on the field as a whole. This failure is
traced to a concentration on how a text achieves its
literary effect by the examination of subtle semantic or
grammatical structures in single texts or the works of indi-
vidual authors. Computer systems have proven to be very
poorly suited to such refined analysis of complex language.
Adopting such traditional objects of study has tended to
discourage researchers from using the tool to ask questions
to which it is better adapted, the examination of large
amounts of simple linguistic features. Theoreticians such
as Barthes, Foucault and Halliday show the importance of
determining the lingusitic and semantic characteristics of
the language used by the author and her/his audience.
Current technology, and databases like the TLG or ARTFL,
facilitate such wide-spectrum analyses. Computer-aided
methods are thus capable of opening up new areas of study,
which can potentially transform the way in which literature
is studied.

[ ... ]


[A complete version of this paper is now available through the
fileserver, s.v. OLSEN MLA92. You may obtain a copy by issuing
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as a batch-job, addressed to ListServ@Brownvm. Thus on a VM/CMS system,
HUMANIST; if you are not on a VM/CMS system, send mail to
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