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Event: Profiling Genres in the Corpus of Early English Drama

Wednesday, 26 May 2010, a Joint LFAS and Digital Text & Scholarship Seminar

Venue: Room G37 (Senate House, Ground Floor)
Time: 17:30 – 19:00
Speakers: Michael Whitmore (University of Wisconsin-Madison), ‘Profiling Genres in the Corpus of Early English Drama’

Jointly organised by  London Forum for Authorship Studies and the Digital Text & Scholarship Research Seminar.

In this talk, Michael Witmore (University of Wisconsin-Madison) and Jonathan Hope (Strathclyde University) will discuss their research into the underlying linguistic matrix of early modern dramatic genres using multivariate statistics and a text tagging device known as Docuscope, a hand-curated corpus of several million English words (and strings of words) that have been sorted into grammatical, semantic and rhetorical categories. The talk will focus particularly on the place of Shakespeare’s work in the broader context of early modern drama. Details on this research can be found at

Michael Witmore is Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he is the organizer of the Working Group for Digital Inquiry, a research collective that is mapping the prose genres of Early English Books online using techniques from bioinformatics and corpus linguistics ( ). His most recent books are Shakespearean Metaphysics (Continuum) and Pretty Creatures: Children and Fiction in the English Renaissance (Cornell). In addition to serving as textual editor for the Comedy of Errors with the new Norton Shakespeare, he is currently at work on a collaborative study of Shakespearean scenes, characters and objects with the photographer Rosamond Purcell entitled Landscapes of the Passing Strange: Reflections from Shakespeare, to be published by Norton in December.

Jonathan Hope is Reader in Literary Linguistics at Strathclyde University, Glasgow.  His The Authorship of Shakespeare’s Plays appeared in 1994 from CUP, and Shakespeare and Language: Reason, Eloquence and Artifice in the Renaissance will appear late this year from Arden.

Source: University College London Digital Humanities Blog

You can find a write-up of this event, and further research, at

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