"Topic and Style in Subgenres of the Spanish American Novel concerned with Representations of Society (1830-1910)."
Kontaktadresse an der Universität Würzburg:
Institut für Deutsche Philologie
Lehrstuhl für Computerphilologie
Am Hubland - 97074 Würzburg
Erstbetreuer: Dr. Christof Schöch
Klasse in der Graduiertenschule: „Philosophie, Sprachen, Künste“
Promotion in der Graduiertenschule ab SS 2016.
Nineteenth century Spanish American novels are for the most part concerned with representations of society. The historical, social and political novel are types that have been chosen by the authors to engage with the past, present and future of their new nations. Another subgenre that plays an important role is the sentimental novel which has been mixed to a great deal with the other types of novels. More specific subgenres like the gaucho or the anti-slavery novel have been practised by the authors and described by literary historians.
This investigation focuses on texts from Argentina, Mexico and Cuba between 1830 and 1910. It is a corpus-based study conducted with digital methods which aims to analyse the topics and style of the socio-political novels. How can those subgenres be described in terms of textual features? How do the different types of novels that have been determined for the Romantic period evolve towards the end of the century and how do they relate to novels which were created under the influence of subsequent literary currents? Might texts belonging to historical subgenres of a very limited thematic, geographical or temporal scope be part of textual groups defined in more general terms?
To answer these questions, groups of texts will be build from the corpus following a bottom-up approach. As the definitions of the subgenres of interest at least partially draw on the content of the texts, a first approach will be to group the texts based on an analysis of topics. This approach will be combined with the investigation of several stylistic means on different textual levels which are assumed to be of importance for the subgenres in question. Among the methods employed are an analysis of grammatical word classes and stylistically marked vocabulary, named entity recognition, temporal and spatial tagging, sentiment analysis and topic modeling.
It is the aim of this research to contribute to a better understanding of the concepts of socio-political subgenres and of their historical manifestations in Spanish American nineteenth century texts. By comparing the groups of texts resulting from the analyses with previously fixed groups by the authors themselves, contemporary critics and literary historians, this study will add to the knowledge about how subgenres of the novel are conceived.