Seminar: LECTIO Chair Barbara McGillivray on Semantic Change in Ancient Texts

In April (27 & 28), the 2023 Chair of the KU Leuven Institute for the Study of the Transmission of Texts, Ideas and Images in Antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance (LECTIO) will give a lecture and lead an accompanying doctoral seminar.

LECTIO is devoted to the study of the intellectual history of pre-modern and early modern Europe. It builds on the strong and unique Leuven tradition of (art) historical, philosophical, philological, linguistic, juridical and theological approaches to the history of ideas. Its mission is to foster collaborative research across the boundaries of disciplines, theories and methods. Combining more traditional philological, hermeneutical and historical-critical approaches with new methodologies, LECTIO is also at the forefront of recent developments in the Digital Humanities and the application of Artificial Intelligence to the historical humanities.

This year, the LECTIO Chair is held by Dr. Barbara McGillivray (Kings College London), who will deal with approaches to studying semantic change in her lecture and the seminar.

The lecture is entitled “From corpora to semantic spaces: how computational methods can help us uncover word meaning change in ancient texts”. The accompanying seminar is geared towards PhD candidates, during which they will learn about the practical side of studying semantic change and variation. There will also be an opportunity for the PhD researchers to present their research and receive feedback.

LECTIO encourages PhD candidates to register for the doctoral seminar, not only if their work is directly connected with NLP or corpus analysis, but if they are interested in seeing the opportunities that these approaches could bring to their research. The registration form offers two options: (1) to attend only, or (2) to attend and give a short presentation.

The dates are Thursday 27 April for the lecture, and Friday 28 April for the seminar. Attendance is free, but registration is required. Further information can be found on the LECTIO website:


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