This chapter discusses traditions that inform the book's macroanalytic approach to digital literary studies as well as the strength of macroanalysis as a tool in the study of literature. It begins with an overview of some early concerns and contemporary criticisms regarding literary computing and the digital revolution. It then considers the emergence of the so-called “digital humanities” or humanities computing and shows that its foundation, computational text analysis, has come a long way. It also examines the contributions of computing humanists to humanities scholarship, such as the creation of digital archives, along with a number of useful tools that have been developed by computer scientists working in natural language processing, corpus linguistics, and computational linguistics. Finally, the chapter cites examples of projects working to apply the tools and techniques of text mining and corpus linguistics to literature. It suggests that, despite all of the achievements and the overwhelming sense of enthusiasm and collegiality that permeates the DH community, there is much more work to be done.
Keywords: macroanalysis, literary computing, digital humanities, humanities computing, computational text analysis, humanities scholarship, corpus linguistics, computational linguistics, text mining, digital literary studies
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