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Digital Forensics – Philology in our Changed Medial Environment
Melinda Vásári

The main interest of the project is the influence of the medial environment of our times to the practice of literary studies. In the course of our everyday activities and professional practices, digital technology has become unavoidable and indispensable. My main questions are: how literary studies, especially philology can adopt and make use of this new, digital medial environment. The motivation of the research is to reinterpret the already existing practices in the light of this new development which means both its application in practice and its theoretical reflection.

The aim of the project is to map the possibilities of literary studies today given by the changed medial environment, and their applicability and realization in practice. The focus is digital forensics which can be regarded as the philology of the future (or even of our times). Since digital forensics makes possible the recovery of the content of the hard drive (even in the cases of damaged or deleted files), that is, the recovery of the born digital manuscript: there are softwares by which the process of writing (corrections, rewritings, crossings etc.) can be reconstructed, thus the genetic representation of a given text can be possible. This digital manuscript can be analysed by applying the earlier philological methods and by developing further special methodology that considers the medial environment. The theoretical framework of all of this has to be established since it affects the way we understand the practice, the task and the scope of literary scholarship. For this, the theoretical and praxeological discourse and the discourse of media archaeology and network theory. In cooperation with the Centre of Digital Humanities and the Petőfi Literary Museum, I investigate these questions also in practice, and as the member of the ELTE.DH Centre, I will hold a course for students, furthermore, as the planned project of the Centre, we are organizing an international research group on the subject.