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11/29/2017 - 11/29/2017 | Berlin

Simulating Dramatic Networks

Digital Humanities ist eine Sammelbezeichnung für computergestützte Methoden und Praktiken in den Geisteswissenschaften, die es sowohl ermöglichen, alte Forschungsfragen auf neue Weise zu bearbeiten, als auch neue Ansätze in den Geisteswissenschaften zu verfolgen. Die Ringvorlesung thematisiert die voranschreitende digitale Transformation der Geistes- und Kulturwissenschaften und gibt einen Überblick über die Digital Humanities geben.

Simulating Dramatic Networks
This will be a lecture on drama that, instead of analyzing real plays, as we literary critics usually do, will discuss a series of simulations of dramatic networks. Behind this research project – which is still in process at the Stanford Literary Lab – lie two assumptions: first, that a network of Hamlet is as plausible a starting point for analysis as Shakespeare’s text itself; and, second, that simulations reveal aspects of literary form that actual works don’t allow us to understand. The argument is twice removed from literary works – plays become networks become simulations – in the hope that this double somersault will make us see something we hadn’t before.
Concretely, we establish four parameters – “centrality”, “loyalty”, “reciprocity”, and “casting” – which we “turn” more or less like one does with the knobs of a stove or of a hi-fi system: we change their settings, and this changes dramatic form in different directions. It’s really like conducting an experiment with the elements of literary structure. At the end, the outcomes are evaluated against four sets of tragic plays: by Sophocles, Shakespeare, Racine, and Ibsen. Whether the experiment was successful – in fact, what does “successful” even mean, in a case like this – will be for the audience to decide.

Franco Moretti
Permanent Fellow am Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin / Stanford University

Information on participating / attending:


11/29/2017 19:00 - 11/29/2017

Registration deadline:


Event venue:

Akademiegebäude am Gendarmenmarkt, Leibniz-Saal, Markgrafenstraße 38
10117 Berlin

Target group:

all interested persons

Email address:


transregional, national

Subject areas:

Cultural sciences, Information technology, Social studies

Types of events:

Presentation / colloquium / lecture




Gisela Lerch


Presse- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit

Event is free:


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