Mind the Gap Bridging Distant and Close Reading across Heterogeneous Text Collections

1. Abstract

This paper describes the development of a new model of scholarly interaction that allows users to bridge the gap between distant and close reading approaches when conducting research on large, heterogeneous digital text collections. Using this model, which we call the 'intertextual bridge', our aim is to demonstrate that the conceptual relationships among texts discovered by text-mining algorithms can fruitfully guide close reading in dialectical interaction with distant reading. Fundamentally, we are contending that the core of scholarly reading in the digital age should be the discovery and navigation of intertextual relationships. The 'intertextual bridge' model will thus be a powerful hermeneutical device allowing users to navigate between individual texts and larger corpora that are related through shared themes, ideas, and passages. For this paper, we are focusing on the French Revolutionary period, and we test this model by applying it to several extensive and diverse 18th-century French collections.

Glenn Roe (glenn.roe@sorbonne-universite.fr), Sorbonne University, France, Clovis Gladstone (clovisgladstone@uchicago.edu), University of Chicago, USA, Mark Olsen (markymaypo57@gmail.com), University of Chicago, USA and Robert Morrissey , University of Chicago, USA

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