Helsinki Digital Humanities Research Seminar: eTRAP project on text reuse and intertextuality


Digital Humanities Research Seminar in Helsinki: eTRAP project on text reuse and intertextuality

Who? Emily FRANZINI (University of Göttingen) and Marco BÜCHLER (University of Göttingen)

When? Friday, 11 November at 15.15-18.00 (NB! Earlier start than usual)

Where? Metsätalo (Unioninkatu 40), Seminar room 4 (2nd floor)

Please register your participation by 8th of November using this link because of refreshments provided by Heldig.

Abstract: On the primitives and the process of text reuse (intertextuality)

The topic of text reuse is one of the most fitting for the Digital Humanities, as it comprises the kind of work that humanists - be those historians or linguists - and computer scientists must perform together. The study of text reuse offers computer scientists the chance to focus on a research question and to perfect algorithms, workflows and tools along the way, while humanists can benefit from the output of such scrutiny by working with the data produced and further explore their own subjects by new means.

The eTRAP (electronic Text Reuse Acquisition Project) research group aims to identify both the primitives of text reuse and the process of reusing the content of other works. This can be particularly difficult when reuse occurs in texts from different epochs and with different target audiences.

This talk is an introduction to the foundations of text reuse detection and the importance of interdisciplinary work for the advancement of this topic, as well as the advancement of research in computer science and the humanities. Text reuse will be introduced as based on the ACID framework for the humanities, which stands for Acceptance, Complexity, Interoperability, and Diversity. This framework matches the objectives set for our own text reuse detection software, TRACER. As a use case for the identification of text reuse we will introduce our work on the primitives - or motifs - found in the fairy tales of the Brother’s Grimm. To illustrate the process of reusing content across texts, we will explain our research on the process of adapting the novel Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen to a simpler version of the same novel for language learners.

The talk will be given by Emily FRANZINI, a humanist and Marco BÜCHLER, a computer scientist.

Keywords: text reuse, intertextuality, primitives, motifs, process mining

eTRAP website:

Motif database website:

TRACER website: