Project Description


Combining methods drawn from the cognitive sciences and digital humanities with narratology and literary history, our research group aims at a richer and empirically robust understanding of graphic literature and, in particular, the genre of the graphic novel. The group brings together scholars from psychology, computer science, as well as literary and cultural studies to contribute to the establishment of empirical methods in the humanities. The main research goals of the project are: 1) the creation of an XML-language that allows for the annotation of all relevant textual and visual aspects of graphic narrative, including an editor with state-of-the-art image-processing features and a representative database of contemporary graphic novels; (2) collection of an empirical reference corpus of eye movement measures and development of corresponding analysis tools and measures in the form of an R package, (3) deduction and experimental tests of causal hypotheses, using cognitive experiments involving eyetracking and gaze-contingent display change methodology, and (4) the development of central concepts of a narratology of multi-media texts and the empirical description of the genre of the graphic novel from historical and comparative perspectives.