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Medialiterature 15-16

The SNSF-funded project Medialiterature. Literary Poetics and Social Uses of Public Communication in French (15th-16th c.) is conducted by a group of researchers in Middle French Literature under the supervision of Prof. Estelle Doudet.

The four-year project is hosted at the Faculty of Arts, UNIL, and studies the development of public eloquence in French at the time of major historical upheavals, such as the invention of the printing press and the rise of the Reformation. It surveys the expansion of public communication in French-speaking regions through the comparative study of three literary practices commonly used between 1460 and 1560 by unprofessional authors : verse historiography, occasional poetry, and political theater. In order to observe how these specific literary genres were used as media, the project makes use of a number of digital tools such as data modeling, digitization, digital editing and virtual reality. The project aims to create online resources for scholarly community and the general public within three inter-connected research areas:

  • Scholarly Digital Edition of the Chronique Abrégée. Oeuvre et recueil (1488-1546) by the Burgundian poet Nicaise Ladam, roi d’armes of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. Through the convergence of both classical and ground-breaking  textual editing paradigms, the ongoing research aims to explore the potential offered by Machine Learning (ML) and Analytical Model Building, such as Handwriting Text Recognition (HTR) and Text Annotation with the final purpose of making Ladam’s major work better known.


  • Online database documenting theatrical culture in the French-speaking regions of today’s Switzerland (15th-16th). Records of performances, groups and individuals involved in theatrical activities, as well as preserved plays, including newly digitized documents, will be modelised and annotated in a database, while collected data will provide test material for Virtual Reality-based reenactments as part of the ARCHAS seminar.


  • Digital anthology documenting practices of rewriting and collecting occasional poetry in the 16th-century southern Netherlands, France and French-speaking regions of today’s Switzerland.



Site :

E-mail : estelle [dot] doudet [at] unil [dot] ch


Image :« Honneur », Dame Rhétorique et ses douze suivantes d’après G. Chastelain, Château Saint-Maire, Lausanne, c. 1500 © Bertin & Gindroz

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