Past Awardee

Successful Forgeries: Analyzing Fakelore for Oral-Formulaic Epic Poetry Characteristics

David Cooper
David Cooper

College: Liberal Arts and Sciences
Award year: 2020-2021
NCSA collaborators: Michal Ondrejcek

Two Czech manuscripts were taken as genuine monuments of medieval poetry for at least 60 years following their discovery in the early 1800’s before they were found to be an unusually successful case of literary forgery. This project will bring textual analysis techniques from information theory to bear on the characterization of oral-formulaic epic poetry’s use of a highly repetitive phraseology and analysis of the Czech manuscripts’ imitation of that model. The developed stemming or lemmatization for Old Czech and other highly inflected Slavic languages, as well as improved text analysis techniques, could be widely used in digital humanities research.