Call for Applications to the Budapest Training School within the COST Action 16204: Distant Reading for European Literary History

The COST Action Distant Reading for European Literary History is organizing a Training School in Budapest, co-located with the DH_Budapest 2019 conference.

Key information

  • Dates: Monday, September 23 (1:30 pm) to Wednesday, September 25 (noon), 2019
  • Trainers: to be confirmed
  • Location: Budapest, Hungary
  • Contact persons: Roxana Patras, Training Schools Coordinator (, Christof Schöch, Action Chair (
  • Keynote: Katherine Bode (Australian National University)
  • Fee: there is no fee for participation

Background information

Training School Tracks

There are 3 parallel tracks each focusing on a different topic, but there are also several joint sessions. All participants need to decide on one track they want to follow and are expected to attend all 3 days of the Training School.

TRACK 1: Corpus design and text contribution for ELTeC
Coordinator: Carolin Odebrecht

The aim of this track is to give participants hands-on experience in creating TEI-XML versions of source texts compliant with the guidelines of the European Literary Text Collection (ELTeC), starting from scanned page images or from a preexisting HTML version. We will supply a set of raw materials for participants to work on, along with detailed instructions. At the end of our track sessions, each participant should be able to contribute new TEI encoded texts to the ELTeC GitHub repository..

TRACK 2: Natural Language Processing for Distant Reading
Coordinator: Mike Kestemont

This track will focus on the application of natural language processing (NLP) for the purpose of distant reading of large corpora of literary fiction. In an introductory part on Python, we will review some of the core concepts of the language that should allow novice users to follow along. In the second part, we will introduce the spaCy library for natural language processing and offer a hands-on introduction to its suite of tools (Part-of-Speech tagging, Named Entity Recognition, Sentiment Analysis etc.). In the final session, we delve into the topic of finetuning existing models on historical data, using real-world data from the ELTeC collection.

TRACK 3: Canonization in Distant Reading Research
Coordinator: Antonija Primorac

This track endeavors to answer the question Is the Canon a Theorem? by introducing participants (literary historians and others) to the specific topic of canonization in Computational Literary Studies (CLS). The discussions will address some of the most established notions about canonization, aspects of canon formation in different national literary traditions, and new ways of tackling with “the literary canon” from a CLS viewpoint.

Applicants are kindly asked to specify in their motivation letters which one of the 3 parallel tracks they would like to attend.

Target Audience

The target audience is formed of researchers, especially early-career investigators (ECI), from participating countries interested in Distant Reading, Digital Literary Studies, Corpus and Computational Linguistics and/or Literary Theory and their methodological uses across national traditions.

Early Career Investigators (ECI) from Inclusiveness Target Countries (ITC) ( are strongly encouraged to apply!

Call for Applications

We are now accepting applications for participation in the Budapest Training School. Note that participation is free of charge! In addition, applicants may apply for one of the grants providing financial support for participation. Depending on the estimated travel costs, grant amounts will vary. They will generally attempt to cover a substantial part but not necessarily all of the cost incurred by participants for travel and accommodation.

Beside the participation in one of the 3 parallel tracks, there are also opportunities for all Training School participants to register for and participate in the DH_BUDAPEST 2019 conference, held in Budapest directly following the Training School, from September 25 to 27, 2019! (More details will be posted on the conference page shortly.)

How to apply

To apply for participation in the Budapest Training School, please send the following documents in PDF format to Roxana Patras ( and Christof Schöch ( before June, the 25th, 2019 until July 15, 2019:

  • A one-page Curriculum Vitae
  • A one-page motivation letter including:
    • a clear statement of intent to participate in one of the three workshops;
    • why you would like to attend the track you indicated;
    • information about your current level of knowledge / experience in using track-related digital tools;
    • what your expectations are (trainers & taught materials).

If you would like to apply for a grant to support your participation, please

  • In addition to the above, include a statement in the motivation letter that says so and that provides us with a realistic but economical estimate of your travel costs from your home institution to Budapest and back.

After submission, all applicants are kindly asked to make sure they have received a confirmation of receipt within 24 hours. If this is not the case, please don’t hesitate to contact us again.

Selection criteria:

Applicants will be notified of their acceptance on July, the 5th, 2019.

Basic COST eligibility criteria need to be met.

  • Applicants with research interests relevant to the COST Action’s goals and activities are prioritised (Rank 1).
  • Applicants who are early career researchers (including doctoral researchers) and applicants from COST Inclusiveness Target Countries (ITC) are prioritised over other applicants (Rank 2).
  • Insofar as is allowable by the applications received and the selection criteria above, representation across as many COST countries as possible and a gender balance should be observed among the grantees (Rank 3).
  • Where all the above criteria are satisfied, places are offered on a first come-first served basis (Rank 4)

Participation without a grant

Participants who can cover their travel and accommodation expenses from other funds and do not need a grant are also welcome to join our Training School. If this is your case, you still need to submit the application materials (CV and motivation letter) by June, the 25th, 2019 to the email addresses mentioned above. You will be notified of acceptance to one of the 3 tracks in the Budapest Training School before July, the 5th, 2019. Note that the maximum number of participants per workshop is 20 persons.

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