Multicultural & Multilingual TEI Encoding: A Comparative Study of British Romanticism and Chinese Tang Poetry through the Lens of Romantic Ecology and Affect Narratology

Authors: Chen, Alisa C

Date: Thursday, 7 September 2023, 4:15pm to 5:45pm

Location: Main Campus, L 1 <campus:stage>


By analyzing British Romantic and Chinese Tang poetry, I argue the two periods should be central rather than tangential to existing scholarship and literature on eco-criticism, pastoral poetics, and affect narratology. In addition to analyzing and visualizing the poetry of these two periods through TEI text encoding, my project also aims to demonstrate the beauty of the multilingual and multicultural linguistic aspects of British and Chinese cultural influences. Both Romantic and Tang poetry explore human consciousness and translate emotional interiority into written language. Therefore, both poetic traditions rely heavily on eco-imagery and prosopopeia to garner deeper reader response and engagement. Both poetic traditions are indicative of each countries’ respective national ideological history, which is made evident through the effective usage of eco-imagery, colloquial language, and performativity.

For this project, I’ve created a WordPress website that houses a curated collection of twenty poems (ten from each period). The Tang poems are in traditional Mandarin and translated by Xu Yuanchong. Features of the website include: Side-by-side modules of the Romantic and the English-translations of the Tang poems; Hovering features that note pastoral elements, poetic devices, emotions, and spatiality; Background of the authors, their famous works, and signature features of their writing; Two network visualization of the poets.

I use TEI schema (XML) and Roma customization to encode the poetry, OpenRefine to clean my data, Cytoscape to visualize the network of the poets, CSS to visualize my encodings on the WordPress website, and Wave to check for accessibility.

The website provides an intersectional analysis of the Romantic and Tang poems that embraces the nuances of Eastern and Western poetic traditions. I hope my project will bring scholars and communities that study poetry of both the British Romantic and Chinese Tang Dynasty traditions together and further inspire interdisciplinary collaboration through digital literary means.

About the author

Alisa C. Chen is an English M.A. student at Northeastern University. She is pursuing Graduate Certificates in DH and WGSS. She studies Chinese Tang and British Romanticism poems with interests in Romantic ecology, affect theory, narratology, the anthropocene, and aesthetics. She is working on the Thoreau Journal Drawings website and her DH project.

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