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Special Collection

Distant Reading and Discourse Analysis

Collection launched: 28 Jun 2016

With the publication of this special issue (edited by Maurice Erb, Simon Ganahl, and Patrick Kilian), Le foucaldien continues its experiment of updating and operationalizing the thought of Michel Foucault. Can historical discourse analyses be carried out with the aid of computers? In order to examine this question, we compare Franco Moretti's "distant reading" with Foucault's archaeological method. Despite their common origins in the French Annales School, the two approaches differ fundamentally. While Moretti interprets literary data by means of social history, Foucault seeks the immanent meaning of discourses. Our preliminary conclusion: A digital archaeology of knowledge appears to founder on the operationalization of the complex concept of the statement (énoncé). Apart from three research papers and a summarizing editorial, the collection also includes a substantial interview with Franco Moretti.

How to Cite: Maurice Erb, Simon Ganahl, Patrick Kilian (eds.): "Distant Reading and Discourse Analysis", in: Le foucaldien, 2/1 (2016), URL: