Aller au contenu

Literature & Computation Week @ UCLouvain

LITERATURE & COMPUTATION Week @ UCLouvain (May 2nd through May 6th 2022)

A week-long series of talks, presentations, workshops, and round tables on:

Computational Approaches to Literature

Analytical-creative Computational Literature

Digital/Computational Literary Studies

Electronic Literature

NLP & Machine Learning for Literature

Platform Intermediality in Literature

AI Poetry

Computational Literary Performance

and… many more…

The event will bring together contributions researching and/or showcasing the most innovative computational approaches to practicing, theoretically articulating, and critically assessing literature in the age of connectivity. Most notably in recent trends and not always consistently covered by the relevant scholarship, computational approaches to literature have complemented algorithmic analysis with creativity and platform-based intermediality. While these directions are in part related to digital literary studies (DLS, mainly analytically) and electronic literature (e-lit, creatively), they comport aspects substantial and contributions significant enough already to require new and more complex and nuanced theoretical and critical approaches.

Analysis in general and computational analysis in particular inevitably involve creativity, but what has emerged as particularly salient over the past years is computation-based analytical creativity for and in literary practice. The latter actually acquires new meanings and manifestations in the context as artificial intelligence can ‘learn’ and quantify literary features only from text corpora and by means of literary text datafication (cf. Pold & Erslev 2020). Creativity therefore involves in our current literary culture, on the one hand, data-analysis-driven computer and human-computer-interaction (HCI)-based writing mainly as sampling (Johnston 2019) or translation (Margento et al. 2021). Such approaches provide an algorithmic consistency and specific scalable methodology to the previously advanced “uncreative” poetics (Perloff 2008, Goldsmith 2011). On the other hand then, and arguably even more relevantly, creativity in literature gained new meanings and approaches, specifically related to generating or creating new literary or literature-relevant data. Relevant contributions in this respect range from literary text maps (Eide 2015) to computationally assembled literary anthologies and automatically expanded poetry corpora (cf. Sondheim et al. 2019) to interactive and comparative web-based ‘editions of editions’ of certain literary work (Raposo et al. 2021). While drawing on fields like digital humanities (DH), DLS, and digital writing and publishing is obviously necessary in tackling such trends, new more inclusive and complex paradigms able to account for these strongly emerging types of analytical-creative literariness need also be defined and developed.

Another significant phenomenon we will be exploring is platform intermediality. In the context of digit(al)ization and globalization literature has acquired more and more intermedial facets and manifestations, which boosted its mercurial and at times encompassing cultural and technological representativity. The history of (modern) literary genres has been revisited for instance, in certain cultural, economic, and political terms, as the history of globalization (Habjan and Imlinger 2016), the ubiquity of (data) visualization and visualities encouraged exploring literature itself as visual culture (Bodola and Isekenmeier 2017), while critically researching and overviewing the evolving, deep and chameleonic, relationship the literary has with computationality invited redefining contemporary literature as the digital (Tanasescu 2021). Particularly this latter aspect, as foregrounded by a number of the featured presentations, can unveil the multilayered intermedial valences of the literary and the consequential relevance it has to platform culture and communities.

Selected References

Armaselu, Florentina. 2022. “Genetic Criticism and Analysis of Interface Design. A Case Study.” In Digital Studies / Le champ numérique, ed. Daniel O’Donnell, forthcoming.

Bodola, Ronja, and Guido Isekenmeier, eds. 2017. Literary Visualities. Visual Descriptions, Readerly Visualisations, Textual Visibilities. Berlin and Boston: De Gruyter.  

Eide, Øyvind. 2015. Media Boundaries and Conceptual Modelling: Between Texts and Maps. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Funkhouser, C.T. 2012. New Directions in Digital Poetry. London and New York: Bloomsbury. 

Goldsmith, Kenneth. 2011. Uncreative Writing: Managing Language in the Digital Age. New York:Columbia University Press.

Habjan, Jernej, and Fabienne Imlinger, eds. 2016. Globalizing Literary Genres. Literature, History, Modernity. London and New York: Routledge.  

Johnston, David Jhave. 2019. ReRites. Human + A.I. poetry. Generated by a computer. Edited by a human. Montreal: Anteism Books.

Larrue, Jean-Marc, and Marcello Vitali-Rosati. 2019. Media Do Not Exist: Performativity and Mediating Conjunctures. Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures.

Margento, Steve Rushton, and Taner Murat. 2021. Various Wanted. An (almost) missing original and five—literary, computational, and visual—translations. Iasi & London: Timpul.

Perloff, Marjorie. 2008. Unoriginal Genius: Poetry by Other Means in the New Century. Chicago: UCP.

Pold, Søren Bro & Malthe Stavning Erslev. 2020. “Data-Realism: Reading and Writing Datafied Text.” Electronic Book Review,

Ramsay, Stephen. 2011. Reading Machines. Toward an Algorithmic Criticism. Urbana-Champaign: UIP.

Raposo, José, António Rito Silva, and Manuel Portela. 2021. “LdoD Visual – A Visual Reader for Fernando Pessoa’s Book of Disquiet: An In-Out-In Metaphor.” DHQ Volume 15 Number 3,

Rettberg, Scott. 2019. Electronic Literature. Cambridge: Polity. 

Siemens, Ray & Susan Schreibman, eds. 2013. A Companion to Digital Literary Studies. Oxford: Blackwell.

Sondheim, Alan, Brian Kim Stefans, Johanna Drucker, John Cayley, and Margento. 2019. “Our Shared World of Language: Reflections on ‘US’ Poets Foreign Poets.” Asymptote, “Essays” section of the journal’s blog,

Tanasescu, Chris. 2021. “Literature and/as (the) Digital. An Introduction.” In Interférences littéraires / Literaire interferenties Volume 25, guest. ed. Chris Tanasescu, pp. 1-25,

Plenary opening talk by

Ray Siemens (University of Victoria, Canada)

« Code, Poetry and Traditions of Text: Editing in Open, Broad Context »

on May 2nd from 2 pm

a hybrid (in-person and online) event


MONDAY 2/05 – MORE 56 (GPLO-DROIT) (Place Montesquieu, 2) & Teams 

  • 14h00 – 14h50: Keynote lecture 
    • Code, Poetry and Traditions of Text: Editing in Open, Broad Context (Ray Siemens, University of Victoria)  
  • 15h00 – 15h50: Panel “Digital Heritage Research at KBR (Royal Library of Belgium)” (Panel Chair: Sally Chambers, UGent – KBR – DARIAH) 
    • Computational Document Recognition in the KBR Data Science Lab (Tan Lu, VUB – KBR)  
    • KBR’s Digital Research Lab & Computational Literary Studies (Julie Birkholz, UGent – KBR)  
    • Introducing LabEL, a Laboratory for Electronic Literature at KBR (Isabelle Gribomont, UCLouvain – KBR)  

TUESDAY 3/05 –  LECL 82 (Place Montesquieu 1) & Teams 

  • 14h00 – 14h50: Reflective Modelling with Visual Representations: What the digital humanities can learn from modelling in design practice (Jan-Erik Stange, Freie Universität Berlin)  CANCELED for health reasons
  • 15h00 – 15h50: De l’enquête exploratoire à l’exposition en ligne : Bureaux-écrans d’écrivain·e·s. Coulisses numériques de la création (2021-2022) (Corentin Lahouste et Anne Reverseau, UCLouvain)  
  • 16h00 – 16h30: Compute INCAL. Networked Communities and Cross-disciplinary Trans-centric Research Predictions for the Institute for the Study of Cultures, Arts, and Letters at UCLouvain (Derek Siemens, University of Victoria, and Chris Tanasescu, UCLouvain)  

WEDNESDAY 4/05 – SOCR 20 (Place du Cardinal Mercier, 10-12) & Teams 

  • 14h00 – 14h50: What might a Canadian bilingual DH center look like? The Case of the Centre de recherche interuniversitaire sur les humanités numériques (bilingual French & English talk) (Michael Sinatra, Université de Montréal)  
  • 15h00 – 15h50: Saisir la littérature en contexte numérique : du projet Littérature québécoise mobile à la matérialité des œuvres numériques (René Audet, Université Laval) – en distanciel/online talk 

THURSDAY 5/05 – MERC 01 (Rue du Compas, 1) & Teams 

  • 14h30 – 15h50: Panel “EMBEDDIA Project (Cross-Lingual Embeddings for Less-Represented Languages in European News Media)”  
    • Text Analysis Using Cross-lingual Embeddings: Results from the EMBEDDIA project (Senja Pollak, Jozef Stefan Institute)  
    • Natural Language Processing Online with ClowdFlows (Martin Žnidaršič, Jozef Stefan Institute)  
  • 16h00 – 16h50: Towards a Collection of Works of Digital Literature from Flanders and the Netherlands (1971–2022) (Siebe Bluijs and Lois Burke, Tilburg University).  

FRIDAY 6/05 – Online only 

  • 14h00 – 15h00: What’s a Scientific Text? Discussing literary genre by processing a digital corpus (Margherita Fantoli, KU Leuven) 

FRIDAY 6/05 – Facebook livestream (@Margento.Official

  • 22h00 – 23h30: Code Is Poetry. Intermedia Computational Performance (MARGENTO & Friends) 

Registration: HERE

See full programme including talk abstracts and presenters’ bios here:

Campus map including locations of auditoriums:

LITERATURE & COMPUTATION Week @ UCLouvain (May 2nd through May 6th 2022)


co-organized by

The Altissia Chair in Digital Cultures and Ethics (UCL)





Register here and see you soon, in person (campus map) or online (register to attend on TEAMS when filling out the registration form).