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Prof. Dr. Berenike Herrmann

+49 521 106-67194
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+49 521 106-3702
UHG C6-145

Prof. Dr. Berenike Herrmann


Welcome to my website! I'm professor of Newer German Literature with a specialization in Literary Theory and Digital Humanities at Bielefeld University. Here, I run the Bielefeld Computational Literary Studies Group and am PI at the Collaborative Research Centre ‘Practices of Comparing: Ordering and Changing the world’ (SFB 1288). My research focuses on literary style, spatial and affective literary studies and on questions of historical change, using computational, empirical and mixed-methods approaches.

I am also appointed Private Lecturer in Digital Humanities and Newer German Literature at the Digital Humanities Lab of Basel University. My offices include Acting Chair of the SCC Collections of NFDI Text +, Speaker of the Community of Practice “Data Literacy” of BiLinked at Bielefeld University, and board member of the international ADHO Special Interest Group “Digital Literary Stylistics” SIG DLS. Until its finalization in May 2022, I was Management Committee member of the “COST Action Distant Reading for European Literary History”. In the fall semester 2020/2021, I was visiting professor of Digital Humanities at the Excellence Cluster “Temporal Communities” at FU Berlin.


February 2024: Guest lectures at Kyushu University Fukuoka, Japan

I am thrilled to have been invited to Kyushu University Fukuoka, Japan. At the invitation of Prof. Dr. Yasumasa Oguro, I will be giving two guest lectures on my research in the field of digital literary studies.

2024年2月15 日(木)15:30~17:00 "Digital Literary Studies, what do they Entail? On Questions, Methods and Results"


Associated project "Computational Literary Studies of Fictional Space and Affect" at the DFG Priority Program "Computational Literary Studies"

Our Bielefeld research project "Computational Literary Studies of Fictional Space and Affect" has been associated with the DFG Priority Program "Computational Literary Studies". In this research project, Daniel Kababgi, Robin Martin Aust, Marie-Christine Boucher and I are asking questions about literary space and affect, landscape and sentiment, and the spatial coordinates of diegesis and their affective evaluation in literary-historical change. More here:


Just Published

- A Fairy Tale Gold Standard. Annotation and Analysis of Emotions in the Children's and Household Tales by the Brothers Grimm (Link)

- Examining the representation of landscape and its emotional value in German-Swiss fiction between 1840 and 1940 (Link)

- Tool criticism in practice. On methods, tools and aims of computational literary studies (Link)


Contextualised metrics of linguistic creativity in literary and non-literary text

It is with much delight that my colleague Prof. Dr. Sina Zarrieß and I have learned that our project "Contextualised metrics of linguistic creativity in literary and non-literary text" is going to be funded by DFG for four years. Even better: it is going to be part of the CRC1646, a collaborative research center concentrating on "linguistic creativity in communication" at Bielefeld University. more news will follow! See press release here: (Link)


DHd 2024 Passau

Two contributions involving my working group were accepted at the DHd 2024 in Passau:

  • "Towards a Method for Automatic Detection of Implicit Comparisons. A Case Study on 'Swissness' in Literary Histories around 1900" (Robin-M. Aust, Daniel Kababgi, Berenike Herrmann)
  • "Digitalität in der germanistischen Literaturwissenschaft, quo vadis? Ein Bericht aus
    der Praxis" (Marie-Christine Boucher, Julia Gold, Fabian Menke, Matthias Preis, Maximilian Benz, Matthias Buschmeier, Daniel Kababgi, Kai Kauffmann, Walter Erhart, Berenike Herrmann)


Opening Digital Editions to Text Mining: Pilot project for a new digital critical edition of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing's complete writings and letters

The Ministry of Science and Culture of Lower Saxony is providing 300,000 euros for the preparation of a digital critical edition of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing's complete writings and letters. By the end of 2024, scholars from five institutions, including the Bielefeld literary scholar Professor Dr. Berenike Herrmann, and the Herzog August Bibliothek (HAB) aim at creating the necessary conditions for a timely digital new-edition. As one of the first critical editions ever, it shall contain digital interfaces for text mining. This allows to computationally analyze Lessing's writings in comparison with contemporary writers, but also in diachronic change. In both cases, new digital corpora can be created in a flexible way, assessing open digital resources such as the German Text Archive, as well as the texts from the projected Lessing edition. Up to now, digital editions have generally served to digitally simulate the analog texts in their materiality, while the systematic extraction of full texts for corpus-literary analyses is a novelty. (Link)



Uni Bielefeld has released an interview in which I talk about my new research project in the SFB1288. Here, Robin Aust and I are investigating how practices of comparing shaped ideas of "national literature" in German-speaking Switzerland 1850-1950. (Link)


Computational Humanities Research

I was invited to the programme committee of the 2023 edition of the Computational Humanities Research, hosted December 6-8 at the École pour l’informatique et les techniques avancées (EPITA) - Paris. (Link)

Past Events

Workshop: Mapping Online Book Reception Across Cultures and Languages (January 25th - 27th)

Addressing the great relevance of cultural practices in the digital sphere, the workshop will pursue a cross-cultural investigation of fiction book reviewing across six languages. The focus is on the practices of ‘non-professional readers’ from different cultural backgrounds and across cultures in digital contexts: On the one hand, we will discuss theoretical approaches to model book reviewing and book reception across different global and cultural spheres: Mapping the field, we address these practices as cultural, literary, psychosocial, medial, linguistic, art-philosophical, but also data-scientific, market-economic and legal. On the other hand, we illuminate which methodologies need to be developed in between ‘close reading’ of individual reviews and large-scale data mining on many million reviews.

Social Media


Research and Teaching Associates

Current Student Assistants

Former Research and Teaching Associates


Bielefeld University

For current and past courses, see the course registry.

University of Basel

For current and past courses, see the course registry.





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