This chapter discusses the enormous promise of computational approaches to the study of literature, with particular emphasis on digital humanities as an emerging field. By 2008 computers, with their capacity for number crunching and processing large-scale data sets, had revolutionized the way that scientific research is carried out. Now, the same elements that have had such an impact on the sciences are slowly and surely revolutionizing the way that research in the humanities gets done. This chapter considers the history of digital humanities, also known as humanities computing, community of practice, or field of study/theory/methodology, and how revolution in this emerging field is being catalyzed by big data. It also emphasizes the potential of literary computing and cites the existence of digital libraries and large electronic text collections as factors that are sparking the digital humanities revolution.
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