In many ways, my proposal echoes that of my new Northeastern colleague, David Smith. I’m working with David and others to discover and map reprinted texts in the nineteenth-century American press. As we’ve develop this project, I’ve delved more and more into network analysis as a way to make sense of the thousands of texts we’re uncovering.
I’d like to think with the THATCamp NE community about how network analysis—a methodology borrowed from the social sciences—could better serve humanities projects. In some ways I want to turn the typical DH conversation around. Instead of asking how the computation tool of network analysis can shape humanities research, I want to ask What unique perspectives on network analysis might emerge from the humanities. What kinds of networks can we map in literary studies, history, or other humanities fields that might not be apparent to researchers trained in social science methodologies? Are there ways that network analysis tools could better serve humanities research? What changes would we imagine for network analysis software if we could?