Doing literary studies with corpora. The case of KOLIMO

The canon of the great books is one of the main organizing principles to do literary studies. This comes, however, at the cost of reducing the historical and cultural complexity of literary history. People read more than just the great books. And authors learn from more sources than just the canon. There are dozens of stones unturned in literary history. To improve literary studies the use of corpora is one way to solve the problem of the ‘great unread’ and to improve the literary studies. With computer-based methods large (historical) data sets could now be read. My talk will explain the details how to build a reliable corpus in literary studies. My case is our new corpus of German literary modernism: KOLIMO (https://kolimo.uni-goettingen.de). I will describe and explain the issues of building a reliable corpus and of analysing larger data in literary studies than ever before.