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Abstract

The aim of the special issue is to present theory-conscious studies of selected facets of digital cultures of evaluation across a broad range of discourses on the social web. At the same time, bringing together papers from linguistics, literary studies, and digital humanities, it is our aim to take stock of common denominators, but also differences, in method and theory, instilling discussion for a cross-disciplinary data-driven and data-intensive inquiry of valuation and evaluation within “data humanities”. The types of discourse covered will include online lay book reviews on platforms such as Goodreads and LovelyBooks, as well as reviews of non-literary “products“ such as cooking recipes, restaurant reviews, and concerts.
Journal of Cultural Analytics 7.2 (2022): 1-3. https://doi.org/10.22148/001c.33086
Journal of
Cultural Analytics
February 26, 2022
Cultures of E/valuation on the Social
Web. A very short introduction to the
special issue
Berenike Herrmann, Noah Bubenhofer, Daniel Knuchel, Simone Rebora, Thomas
Messerli
Berenike Herrmann, University of Bielefeld
Thomas Messerli, University of Basel, Switzerland
Noah Bubenhofer, Daniel Knuchel, University of Zurich, Switzerland
Simone Rebora, University of Verona, Italy
Article DOI: https://doi.org/10.22148/001c.33086
The Social Web is a network of people and platforms, of performances and products;
of reactions, opinions, judgments, and comparisons; of emotions, valuations, and
affects; of evaluations, ratings, and rankings. Shared and connective practices lead
to emergent, fluid, and sometimes quite stable, cultures of valuation and evaluation,
managing issues of identity, world view, and social participation.
In the late fall of 2020, the conference Digital Practices,
1
virtually held in Basel
(CH), asked about such cultures and issues, focusing on practices of reading, writing,
and evaluation on the social web. Following up on that conversation, and zooming
in on evaluation practices, we are glad to now introduce a special issue of the Journal
of Cultural Analytics entitled “Cultures of evaluation on the social web”.
The aim of the special issue is to present theory-conscious studies of selected facets
of digital cultures of evaluation across a broad range of discourses on the social web.
At the same time, bringing together papers from linguistics, literary studies, and
digital humanities, it is our aim to take stock of common denominators, but also
differences, in method and theory, instilling discussion for a cross-disciplinary data-
driven and data-intensive inquiry of valuation and evaluation within “data
humanities”.
2
The types of discourse covered will include online lay book reviews
on platforms such as Goodreads and LovelyBooks, as well as reviews of non-literary
“products“ such as cooking recipes, restaurant reviews, and concerts.
A V ER Y SH ORT I NT RO DU CT IO N TO T HE S PE CI AL I SS UE
2
Drawing from a timely and diverse cross-disciplinary array of theoretical
frameworks of “valuation” and “evaluation” from disciplines such as linguistics,
literary studies, and data science, the bulk of the papers collected in the special issue
will address their specific research topic through an interaction between theoretical
modeling and real-world data.
Together, the collected contributions will offer a diverse picture of today’s valuation
and evaluation cultures on the (social) web. Each paper will examine a different
aspect of how value is attributed and negotiated by thousands of people on the web,
the discourse being typically mediated by an ordinal scale of votes and unfolding
within the limits of a platform or forum.
The theoretical frameworks will document a wide scope of approaches on
“valuation” and “evaluation”—covering aesthetic and Bakhtinian perspectives from
literary studies,
3
pragmatic, usage-based, corpus-linguistic/corpus pragmatic
4
and
sociolinguistic approaches from linguistics,
5
and approaches from data science that
address evaluation apparently “theory-lessly”.
6
“Cultures of evaluation on the social web” will take the form of a rolling issue, with
new contributions published regularly in the Journal of Cultural Analytics, starting
from “Between consumers and fans. Writing fan reports as a multifunctional
evaluation practice” by Simon Meier-Vieracker, published together with this
introductory piece.
In addition, an overview paper (co-authored by the editors of the special issue) will
map the current field from an interdisciplinary “data-humanities” angle and discuss
potential future developments. There, the editors will address the issue of
“valuation” and “evaluation” on the web in its heterogeneity as portrayed by the
papers, but, importantly, they will assume a synthetic vantage point: highlighting the
common denominators, methodological linchpins, and shared open questions of a
“data humanities”.
JO URN AL OF CU LT UR AL A NA LY TI CS
3
Notes
1
https://digitalpractices2020.philhist.unibas.ch/en/
2
https://culturalanalytics.org/post/1210-mind-the-agent
3
von Heydebrand and Winko, “The Qualities of Literatures. A Concept of Literary Evaluation in Pluralistic
Societies.”
4
Spitzmüller, Flubacher, and Bendl, “Soziale Positionierung: Praxis und Praktik. Einführung in Das Themenheft.”
5
Gee, “Semiotic Social Spaces and Affinity Spaces. From The Age of Mythology to Today’s Schools.”
6
Knoop et al., “Mapping the Aesthetic Space of Literature ‘from Below.’”
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Article
Full-text available
The present paper aims to elucidate the conceptual structure of the aesthetics of literature.Following Fechner's "aesthetics from below" (1876) and adopting a method introduced by Jacobsen, Buchta, Kohler, and Schroeger (2004), we asked 1544 German-speaking research participants to list adjectives that they use to label aesthetic dimensions of literature in general and of individual literary forms and genres in particular (novels, short stories, poems, plays, comedies). According to our analyses of frequency, mean list rank, and the Cognitive Salience Index, beautiful and suspenseful rank highest across all target categories. For plays/comedies, funny and sad turned out to be the most relevant terms; for novels and short stories. , suspenseful, interesting and romantic; and for poetry romantic, along with the music-related terms harmonious, rhythmic, and melodious. A comparison of our results with analogous studies for visual aesthetics and music yielded a comprehensive map of the distribution of aesthetic appeal dimensions across sensory modalities and aesthetic domains, with poetry and music showing the greatest overlap. The article is available Open Access under http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.poetic.2016.02.001.
The Qualities of Literatures. A Concept of Literary Evaluation in Pluralistic Societies
  • Von Heydebrand
  • Winko
von Heydebrand and Winko, "The Qualities of Literatures. A Concept of Literary Evaluation in Pluralistic Societies."
Soziale Positionierung: Praxis und Praktik. Einführung in Das Themenheft
  • Flubacher Spitzmüller
  • Bendl
Spitzmüller, Flubacher, and Bendl, "Soziale Positionierung: Praxis und Praktik. Einführung in Das Themenheft."
Semiotic Social Spaces and Affinity Spaces. From The Age of Mythology to Today's Schools
  • Gee
Gee, "Semiotic Social Spaces and Affinity Spaces. From The Age of Mythology to Today's Schools."