The CHI-KNOW-PO academic blog is meant to document the stages of implementation of the research project entitled “The Role played by Poetry in the Economy of Knowledge in Medieval China” (CHI-KNOW-PO) initiated by Marie Bizais-Lillig and sponsored by the University of Strasbourg Institute for Advanced Studies (USIAS, see here).

The CHI-KNOW-PO project considers the textual realm produced by literati across the empire as a continuum and thus embraces a very large corpus beyond the distinctions suggested by traditional genres and modern disciplines.

The CHI-KNOW-PO team will shed light on the dynamics of knowledge transmission throughout this massive body of text.

Alongside established methodologies such as text analysis and philology, the project will make use of computational tools and can thus be defined as a digital humanities project. Such a large body of text in classical Chinese language, produced in different genres over almost a millennium, presents a series of challenges to the researcher.

The first step is to handle a digitized corpus under an open license — and therefore to produce it, at least in part. Then we need to identify existing text mining tools which can be used to explore unstructured or poorly structured texts, along with those used in Chinese studies.  We also need to measure whether these tools are efficient to carry the analysis needed in the CHI-KNOW-PO project.

The research process therefore ultimately leads to the development of new tools that could prove useful for other projects.

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