Skip to main content

Presentation on “Operationalizing the Change. Literary Transition in Poland Viewed Through Bibliographical Data (1989-2002)”

On March 13th, 2018, Maciej Maryl presented his work on literary transition in Poland from 1989-2002.

Operationalizing the Change. Literary Transition in Poland Viewed Through Bibliographical Data (1989-2002)

I will be presenting preliminary results of the quantitative research into transitions of Polish literary life 1989-2002. The abundance of scholarly and critical writing about this period makes it interesting from the perspective of data-driven research, allowing for validation of critical claims on the basis of the existing data. I will focus on operationalising and plotting key qualitative hypotheses about this period, namely dispersion and recentralisation of literary life after 1989, debut-centrism of the literary criticism in the early 1990s and the subsequent “return of old masters” in the second part of the decade.

The research is based on the Polish Literary Bibliography, a comprehensive database of Polish literary and cultural life, which indexes not only literary books but also other instances of literary life and reception. The bibliographical dataset I compiled for this study includes metadata about 24,025 writers and poets, 22,503 critics, 188,633 creative works (incl. 37,294 books) and 90,539 critical writings (e.g. reviews, interviews, profiles). Since big datasets tend to cause big problems, this talk will also address the pitfalls of data provenance.

Maciej Maryl, Ph.D., assistant professor at and the founding head of the Digital Humanities Centre at the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences. He chairs a COST action New Exploratory Phase in Research on East European Cultures of Dissent and coordinates the data project: Polish Literary Bibliography – a knowledge lab on contemporary Polish culture. He is also involved in DARIAH Digital Methods and Practices Observatory WG (DiMPO), ALLEA E-humanities Working Group, OPERAS Core group, and OpenMethods Editorial Board. He is currently a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at Stanford Literary Lab.