14th March 2022

Benjamin Krautter • Janis Pagel

Workshop on Computational Drama Analysis: Achievements and Opportunities

This is a CfP for the “Workshop on Computational Drama Analysis: Achievements and Opportunities” which will be held in Cologne on 14/15 September 2022.


Registration for the workshop is now open! If you would like to attend the workshop as a non-presenting participant, please send an email to Janis Pagel at janis.pagel@uni-koeln.de.

Call for Papers

In the light of ever larger digital text corpora, the ongoing consolidation of Computational Literary Studies highlights that computational methods for the analysis and interpretation of literary texts have become increasingly important and prominent. First and foremost, their potential aims at a higher-scaled view on literary history, promising to analyse thousands of literary texts simultaneously. Being part of the big tent that Digital Humanities has been evolving into over the last 20 years, quantitative drama analysis became one of its pillars laying out groundwork for Computational Literary Studies, e.g., regarding the application of social network analysis on literature (cf. Moretti 2012, Trilcke 2013). However, quantitative drama analysis itself has a long history (e.g., Yarkho 2019 [1929/1938], Reichert 1965 or Marcus 1973 [1970]), where its pioneers based their approaches on the same genre-specific characteristics which make it appealing for automatic computational analyses: dramas are structured by primary and secondary text; scenes, acts and character speech are labeled as such. These structural qualities allow for straightforward formalisations that – in contrast – would have required extensive preparatory work in other genres such as narrative texts.

Building on the lessons of the past and on current research approaches, our workshop (14 and 15 September 2022, Cologne) intends to depict the status quo of computational drama analysis: What are the achievements so far? Which obstacles must be overcome? What kind of opportunities can arise from quantitative drama analysis in the future? To answer these questions, the workshop aims to bring together scholars working with and /or critically reflecting on formal, quantitative or digital methods for the analysis of drama. On the one hand, we want to discuss the current state of computational drama analysis – which methods have proven successful, which findings can be fed back into close-reading analysis? On the other hand, we aim at opening up new perspectives and exploring possible routes computational drama analysis could take in the future.

The following topics are of particular interest:

  • Application of computational methods for drama analysis, such as topic modeling, stylometry, network analyses, sentiment or emotion analyses
  • Critical reflection on the application of these methods on questions of literary studies, in particular with respect to requirements, generalizability or interpretability
  • Development and application of language processing methods to character speech or stage directions
  • Exploring potentials for drama history by means of corpus-based analyses or classifications
  • Relation of quantitative analyses to findings, foundations or presuppositions in literary studies
  • Strategies for efficient corpus creation from scanned books to expressive XML collections
  • Exploitation of linked open data and metadata analysis for questions of drama analysis

We invite the submission of abstracts (1 page) on any of the above mentioned or closely related topics (deadline: 13 May 2022 6 May 2022). A decision on the acceptance to the workshop will be made based on these abstracts by the workshop organizers. Submissions should be in English and do not need to be anonymised (non-blind). Prior to the workshop, the accepted abstracts need to be extended into full papers (5000–6000 words). The results will be presented and discussed at the workshop. The revised full papers will then be published in workshop proceedings. Further details on the proceedings will follow shortly. For the specific deadlines, please see the timeline below. Please send your abstract in PDF format to janis.pagel@uni-koeln.de


The workshop will take place on-site at the Theaterwissenschaftliche Sammlung in Cologne, Germany. Travel grants are available to a certain extent.


May 13 2022 May 6, 2022 Deadline for Abstracts (1 page)
until May 19 2022 May 13, 2022 Notification of Acceptance
August 31, 2022 Deadline for Full Papers (5000–6000 words)
September 14 and 15, 2022 Workshop
End of 2022 Deadline for Revised Papers

Workshop Schedule

Date Time Event Author(s) Title
14 Sep 14.00-14.15 Welcome and Introduction
14.15-15.45 Talk Rebecca M. M. Hicke "Let every word weigh heavy of her worth": Examining How Women Enact Power in Shakespeare’s Comedies through Interactive Speech Pattern Visualizations
Talk Katrin Dennerlein, Thomas Schmidt, Christian Wolff Emotion and Stagedirections – first explorations
Talk Ingo Börner, Evgeniya Ustinova, Peer Trilcke, Frank Fischer, Carsten Milling Detecting Small World Networks in a Huge Multilingual Corpus of Theater Plays
16.00 Guided Tour of the Theaterwissenschaftliche Sammlung
18:00 Joint Dinner Eltzhof
15 Sep 09.00-10.30 Talk David Mareček, Marie Novákováτ, Klára Vosecká, Josef Doležal, Tomáš Musil, Rudolf Rosa Annotation and automated classification of dramatic situations
Talk Artjoms Šeļa, Joanna Byszuk, Bartlomiej Kunda, Albert Leśniak, Laura Hernández-Lorenzo, Ben Nagy, Botond Szemes, Michał Woźniak, Maciej Eder From stage to page: stylistic variation in fictional speech
Talk Pablo Ruiz Fabo, Delphine Bernhard, Andrew Briand, Carole Werner Computational drama analysis from almost zero electronic text: The case of Alsatian theater
11.00-12.30 Talk Botond Szemes, Bence Vida Clustering plays based on their dramaturgic structure. A size-independent and well-interpretable approach
Talk Beatrice Gavazza, Leon Glaser, Virginia Mastellari, Anna Novokhatko Exploring Ancient Greek comedy: material engagement theory and computational tools
Talk Benjamin Krautter, Janis Pagel The Schemer in German Drama: Identification and Quantitative Characterization
12.30-13.00 Final discussion / End of workshop

Workshop Organizers

  • Melanie Andresen, University of Stuttgart, Germany
  • Benjamin Krautter, University of Cologne, Germany
  • Janis Pagel, University of Cologne, Germany
  • Nils Reiter, University of Cologne, Germany


If you have questions regarding the workshop or this call, please contact Janis Pagel at janis.pagel@uni-koeln.de.


  • Moretti, Franco. “Network Theory, Plot Analysis”, Pamphlets of the Stanford Literary Lab, vol. 2, 2011.
  • Marcus, Solomon. Mathematische Poetik, translated from Romanian by Edith Mândroiu. Frankfurt a.M. 1973 [1970].
  • Reichert, Waltraud. “Kybernetische Methoden der Dramenforschung”, Grundlagenstudien aus Kybernetik und Geisteswissenschaften, vol. 5, no. 3/4, 1964, pp. 115–120.
  • Trilcke, Peer. “Social Network Analysis (SNA) als Methode einer textempirischen Literaturwissenschaft”, Empirie in der Literaturwissenschaft, edited by Philip Ajouri, Katja Mellmann and Christoph Rauen. Münster 2013, pp. 201–247.
  • Yarkho, Boris I. “Speech Distribution in Five-Act Tragedies (A Question of Classicism and Romanticism) [1935–1938]”, Journal of Literary Theory vol. 13, no. 1, 2019, pp. 13–76.