SENSIS: The senses of Islam

Digital Humanities

Bridging the gap: Digital Humanities and the Arabic-Islamic corpus

This project, which started on 1 January 2018, is funded by the Netherlands eScience Center and is run jointly by Christian Lange (PI), Melle Lyklema (co-PI) and Umar Ryad (Leuven, co-PI). It seeks to harness state-of-the art Digital Humanities approaches and technologies to make pioneering forays into the vast corpus of digitised Arabic texts that has become available in the last decade. This is done along the lines of four case studies, each of which examines a separate genre of Arabic and Islamic literary history (jurisprudence, inter-faith literature, early modern and modern journalism, and Arabic poetry). This project seeks to develop a web-based application that will (a) enable easy access to existing Arabic corpora on GitHub and other online repositories and offer the opportunity for researchers to upload their own corpus (b) offer a set of tools for Arabic text mining and computational analysis. These tools will be used in the context of SENSIS to study the ratio of the senses and sensory vocabulary in a variety of legal texts, the Shiʿi compilation Biḥār al-anwār, and the corpus of Arabic poetry.


The project hosts a conference on the topic at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) on 13-15 December 2018. Read further:

Demo of root search on a corpus using different morphological analyzers (work in progress):