Research group Computational Literary Studies
Specialisation Dutch literature, computational humanities
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Karina van Dalen-Oskam studied Dutch language and literature at Utrecht University, obtained her PhD at Leiden University with a thesis on Jacob van Maerlant’s Rijmbijbel and worked as a lexicographer at the Institute for Dutch Lexicology (now Dutch Language Institute) in Leiden before moving to the KNAW in 2002. There she started as head of the Department of Dutch Language and Literature at the Netherlands Institute for Scientific Information Services (NIWI). After the dissolution of NIWI in 2005, she moved to Huygens Institute where she first led the ICT & Texts Department, then the Literature Department and since 2022 the Computational Literary Studies Research Group.

Karina van Dalen-Oskam is also endowed professor of Computational Literary Studies at the University of Amsterdam since 2012. From 2015-2019, she was Chair of the Steering Committee of the international Digital Humanities organisation ADHO (Alliance of Digital Humanities Organisations). Furthermore, from 2020-2025 she is Honorary Professor in the Humanities at the University of Wolverhampton (UK).

Karina’s research focuses on computational literature studies. She combines quantitative and qualitative methods in her analyses of writing style and of readers’ opinions about novels and places them in a broader social context. She is also interested in translation science and in proper names. As a name scholar, her research focuses on literary onomastics, in which she examines usage and functions of proper names in novels from a comparative perspective.

In June 2023, Amsterdam University Press published her book The Riddle of Literary Quality: A Computational Approach, in open access. This book contains an accessible synthesis of the results of the project The Riddle of Literary Quality, which ran from 2012 – 2019 and was funded by KNAW’s Computational Humanities Programme. A longer version of the book was published by AUP in 2021 under the title Het raadsel literatuur: is literaire kwaliteit meetbaar? More information can be found on the website accompanying the book.