What are Literary Topics, Really?

Christof Schöch (Universität Würzburg)

Topic Modeling is a highly popular method of computational text analysis which is increasingly being used to investigate thematic aspects in large collections of literary texts. The topics obtained, however, are not only thematic, but also relate to setting, personnel, narrative motives, metatextuality, register, and more. Topic models derived from literary texts are therefore both richer and more complex than those derived from expository prose. This talk will explore some of the practical and theoretical challenges and opportunities arising from this phenomenon.