Bembus. A Research Team for Digital Philology is a private and independent research group that is part of Humanities for Change.

The research team aims at investigating the potentialities of the digital analysis of literary texts by applying Lachmann’s ecdotic principles and the tools of computational and digital philology to a selected corpus of vernacular lyric poetry of the XV and XVI centuries.

This research, at the crossroad of traditional and innovative practices, has a strong pioneering character and it is currently the first systematic investigation of the humanistic-Renaissance literary expressions carried out on the basis of an assiduous interaction between different methodologies of critic and philological analysis.

In particular, the following fields of research represent a privileged object of study for Bembus:

  1. authorship attribution: recognition of the principal stylometric features and of lexical and lexicographical markers for the authorship attribution of lyric texts, with a focus on those belonging to the humanistic-Renaissance period with a miscellaneous tradition and/or a controversial and debated authorship attribution; references to digital paleography for the identification of different scribes’ hands or handwriting (also recurring to artificial intelligence);
  2. intertextuality between different language codes: development of queries for the research of intertextual patterns between prose and poetry, Latin, Old French and vernacular, from a diachronic and synchronic perspective; classification of different degrees of transtextuality, according to structuralist theories (and, in particular, to those of Gérard Genette), in order to establish different kinds of imitation and distinguish – when possible – genuine echoes of the classics from episodes of cryptomnesy and other repertory derivations.

From this point of view, the blog qualifies itself mainly as a space for the communication of updates and for the spread of the partial results of our research. In addition, it also intends to gather references to useful resources for those who operate in the field of digital philology, providing i.e. updated bibliographies and lists of sites and tools for digital humanists. In a wider perspective, this blog aspires to become a medium through which encourage a productive discussion with the international scientific community and, above all, with other institutions, authorities and private entities which share common interests. Indeed, we are strongly convinced that only through an assiduous dialogue the progress of the academic research becomes possible.

The research team is directed by Marco Sartor (University of Parma).

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