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This curated panel examines the changing nature of the production, communication, and dissemination of humanities research and scholarship. Focusing on the use of network analysis and its ability to identity and explore social, political, and academic connections, a series of lightning talks will demonstrate the potential of this methodology in a range of scholarly projects. This panel highlights network analysis tools and their ability to open up new possibilities for academic research in the humanities.
Jason Heppler: “Networks in the Humanities: An Introduction”
What are networks and how have scholars used them? My talk sets the stage by demonstrating the ways humanists have used network analysis to uncover patterns, systems, and relationships. That relationships help us understand the world is not a new idea, but our opportunity to visualize large networks and formalize network methods for academic research is much newer. My talk will quickly give examples how scholars have used networks and address the kind of situations and questions we can ask with network analysis today.
Rebecca Wingo: “Can I Get a Witness?: Network Analysis of Nebraska Homesteaders”
Every homesteader listed four people who could testify on their behalf during their final proof at the Land Office. Using these four known connections for 638 homesteaders across ten townships in Nebraska, network analysis demonstrates community formation, leadership, and geographic settlement patterns of neighborhoods in the rural west. The network also provides insight into the prevalence of homesteading fraud among successful homestead claims.
Brian Sarnacki: “Reconstructing Social Networks”
Lacking a single, unifying data set, I explore the challenges of small data through my experience in network and spatial analysis. By creating a number of visualizations in Gephi based on smaller data sets, I am able to piece together a picture of the early twentieth-century urban world and uncover social networks that facilitated political corruption and hindered reform in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Andrew Wilson: “Mapping the International Dimensions of the Nicaraguan Revolution”
Through the use of the visualization tool Palladio, my project includes mapping the international networks of solidarity that supported the Nicaraguan Revolution, as well as the efforts of the global counterrevolutionary alliance that sought to destroy it. Through network visualizations the revolution moves from an event of regional importance to one of international significance.