This essay questions whether digital literary studies can still be meaningfully regarded as part of literary studies. This heretical question is motivated by a praxeological view of a research project for the network analysis of dramatic texts, in particular by reflecting on the project’s underlying ›epistemic thing‹, which in this case consists of specifically-formatted structural data (and not the actual primary texts themselves). What does this corpus of structural data, which was extracted from 465 plays spanning the period from 1730 to 1930, have to do with the ›epistemic things‹ of literary studies? We explore this question by providing insight into our analyses, which describe the structural evolution of the ›plays‹, try to locate ›small world‹ properties in our corpus, and develop new metrics for plot analysis. The results show not only how digital methods can supplement or enrich literary studies; they also raise questions about how digital the field of literary studies already is, since its research objects are increasingly available in digital forms.
Within the Digital Humanities, philosophy still plays quite a marginal role. My investigation into the reasons behind this situation is divided into two parts. The first addresses the role of the discipline in the early years of DH, concentrating on a pioneering project that until now has been ignored in the historiography of early DH research: the Kant Index. Work on the index started in 1958, only one year after the publication of the first automated concordance in 1957. The first volume was published in 1967, seven years before the first publication of a volume of Busa’s Index Thomisticus. If we look at later developments, there seems to be a certain asymmetry between trends in the English-speaking world and German-language philosophy. This may suggest that philosophy in the German-speaking regions understands itself first and foremost as a ‘book discipline’, so that electronic forms of publication – the central venue for DH work – are viewed with suspicion. Nevertheless, I show in the second part that on a global scale DH work does play a role in the discipline. I identify five areas of interest: (1) editions and infrastructure, (2) prosopography, (3) text mining, (4) Semantic Web technologies, and (5) reflections on method.