Antwerp Centre for Digital Humanities and Literary Criticim (ACDC)

In 2017, the University of Antwerp's Literature Department founded ACDC, the Antwerp Centre for Digital humanities and literary Criticim. Building on a long tradition of literary research at the university, it takes the field's more recent developments into account by applying digital tools and methodologies to humanities research.    

The analysis and interpretation of texts constitute a central research focus in literary studies. At this moment Humanities research is increasingly being enhanced by means of automation (Digital Humanities). In addition to 'close reading' this development also enables 'distant reading', an umbrella term for new methods of digital text analysis which allow humanities researchers to discover not only micro- but also macrophilological phenomena, such as the development of narrative patterns or structures, the genesis of complex literary works, the distribution of manuscripts and books, the detection of variants between versions by means of automatic collation, computational authorship attribution or the automatic dating of texts.

The research group aims to build bridges between different departments. The range of approaches is diverse. The many interconnections between the various departments find a forum in the University of Antwerp's Platform for Digital Humanities (platform{DH}), which brings together various researchers for lectures and discussion. We also make a special effort to share this dynamic with our students through the research/education nexus: in collaboration with colleagues from other departments, members of our research group teach the course 'Digital Humanities' in the Bachelor's programme and offer the option 'Digital Text Analysis' in the Master's programme.

The research group does not approach digital research as a service or auxiliary science, but as a methodology with groundbreaking potential. This involves both a form of scaling up and a scientific strategy that is not just about computational skills, but also about creating a cluster of innovative methods. These methods can be deployed in literary studies and are also relevant to other disciplines within the Faculty of Arts, not only in order to enhance and develop existing research, but also to break new ground in the field of Digital Humanities.