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Erik Ketzan

Dr Erik Ketzan

Lecturer in Digital Humanities and Cultural Computation

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Erik publishes and teaches on digital humanities, computational linguistic approaches to literary and historical texts, as well as legal and ethical issues in data acquisition and research infrastructures.

Thomas Pynchon and the Digital Humanities: Computational Approaches to Style (Bloomsbury 2022) is a computational stylistic examination of this influential postmodern novelist's oeuvre. 'A landmark contribution to Pynchon Studies.' — Prof. Luc Herman, University of Antwerp, Co-Editor of The Cambridge Companion to Thomas Pynchon.

Other recent work includes: a Python suite for the quick and easy comparison of digital textual variants (Ketzan and Schoech 2021); an evaluation of language identification tools at n-gram level in literary texts (Ketzan and Werner 2022); a stylometric investigation of literary language in Stephen King’s novels (van Cranenburgh and Ketzan 2021); and a computational analysis of gender bias in a 19th-century 'women's encyclopedia' written for female audiences (Ketzan et al. 2022).

Erik completed a PhD in English/Digital Humanities at Birkbeck, University of London, then worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher at University of Cologne, Institut für Digital Humanities on the project EncycNet: A Historical Encyclopedia Knowledge Graph. Erik was then Postdoctoral Research and Teaching Fellow at Trinity College Dublin as well as Coordinator (deputy director) of Trinity’s masters degree in Digital Humanities and Culture. Prior to his PhD, Erik worked as an academic researcher in the Computational Linguistics and Research Infrastructure departments of the Leibniz Institute for the German Language, and CLARIN, focusing on legal and ethical issues in research data.

Erik has published and lectured extensively on copyright and personal data protection in digital research. 'Digital Humanities Research Under United States and European Copyright Laws: Evolving Frameworks', provides a general overview (Ketzan and Kamocki 2021). Erik has worked as a Consulting Researcher on licensing issues for the successor project to The Oxford Text Archive at the Faculty of Linguistics, Philology and Phonetics, University of Oxford, and represented digital humanities organisations in government consultations.

Research interests and PhD supervision

  • Computational literary studies
  • Legal issues in research data
  • Corpus stylistics


Erik has taught and teaches a range of digital humanities areas, including computational literary studies, Python for the humanities, as well as given numerous guest lectures in legal issues in DH.

Selected publications

Erik Ketzan, Thomas Pynchon and the Digital Humanities: Computational Approaches to Style (Bloomsbury, 2022).

Erik Ketzan and Pawel Kamocki, “Digital Humanities Research Under United States and European Copyright Laws: Evolving Frameworks“, in Access and Control in Digital Humanities (Routledge, 2021).

Erik Ketzan and Nicolas Werner, “‘Entrez!’ she called: Evaluating Language Identification Tools in English Literary Texts,” Third Conference on Computational Humanities Research, University of Antwerp, Belgium, 12-14 December 2022.

Erik Ketzan and Christof Schöch, “Classifying and Contextualizing Edits in Variants with Coleto: Three Versions of Andy Weir’s The Martian,” Digital Humanities Quarterly 15:4 (2021).

Erik Ketzan, Thora Hagen, Fotis Jannidis, and Andreas Witt, “Quantitative Analysis of Gendered Assumptions in a Nineteenth-Century Women’s Encyclopedia,” DH2022, The University of Tokyo, 25-29 July 2022.