At the upcoming Modern Language Association Conference in Chicago, we will be presenting new work as part of the special session Seeing with Numbers: Sociological and Macroanalytic Approaches to Literary Exclusion. The session is co-organized with Andrew Goldstone (Rutgers), who will also be presenting a paper. Amy Hungerford (Yale) and Matthew Jockers (University of Nebraska) will be serving as respondents. For details, please see the panel abstract.
Our article on “Network Analysis and the Sociology of Modernism” has now officially made it into print. Special thanks to the editorial staff at Boundary 2 for their help with revising the manuscript and with the layout of the gray-scale images. Color figures can be found here. Thanks also to those who have been so generous with their comments and critical feedback.
We’ve just completed a new working paper titled, “Translation Networks in the World Republic of Letters” (slides are here). This paper extends our project into the study of textual circulation and diffusion, specifically as revealed through publication networks. We outline some provisional concepts for thinking about the circulation of translated material on a macro-scale, with a focus on early-twentieth-century poetic trade between the US and Japan. Because this was written as a talk, parts of the argument and much of the supporting evidence have been abbreviated. A more complete version of the paper is forthcoming. Any and all feedback is welcome!
Hoyt Long recently presented some work from the Global Literary Networks project at the Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference, held this year in San Diego. His talk introduced some of the potential applications of social network analysis for the study of avant-garde poetry movements in Japan. It also raised questions about the use of scale in literary history. The talk can be downloaded here. Thank you to Song Chen for organizing the panel, as well as to fellow panel members Jack Chen, Elijah Meeks, Stephen West, and Jamie Yoo. Thank you as well to audience members for your insightful questions, positive responses, and healthy skepticism.
Our project, under the title Global Literary Networks, has been selected to join the Neubauer Collegium’s inaugural cohort of research grants. The news was officially announced today. Here’s a description of the project, which will get underway in the fall of 2013:
Global Literary Networks is a two-year digital humanities research project that examines the production, diffusion, and reception of literature on a macro-interpretative scale using tools of network analysis and network visualization. Combining large datasets, social scientific methods, and textual close reading, this project investigates the social dimensions of modernist literary history and aesthetics in the twentieth century by de-framing traditional literary categories – such as influence and dissemination – and introducing and adapting new categories from other disciplines. Using modernist poetry from the United States as the starting point, the project branches out to Japan, China, and Latin America to track the relation between modernist poetic activities in different national contexts. The project brings together theoreticians and technicians from literary studies, sociology, computer science, statistics, and visual design to explore new approaches to the analysis, preservation, and presentation of “big data”; new media platforms for processing, displaying, and disseminating digitally inflected work; and team-based scholarship.
Back in October, we presented a general overview of our work at the annual University of Chicago Humanities Day. We had a good crowd of prospective students, alumni, and other interested people from the community. The lecture is now available on youtube. If you’re interested in hearing about our project first-hand, and about other digitally-enhanced research taking place at U of C, please have a look.
We have recently finished a preprint version of our first collaborative essay, to be published in Boundary 2 next year. You can find it in our list of publications, but we wanted to put a link upfront. The essay, “Network Analysis and the Sociology of Modernism,” provides an introduction into the kind of work we are doing and also serves as a proof-of-concept for further inquiry. We welcome any and all feedback!
For those of you in the greater Chicago area, please come check out the 2012 Chicago Colloquium on Digital Humanities and Computer Science. Hoyt will be demonstrating a few pieces of our literary networks project and talking about some of the ways that network analysis and interactive visualization can enhance scholarly engagement with big bibliographic data.
Here is where you will find postings on our work in progress. We hope to use this page as a testing ground for new concepts, ideas, and images that we are in the process of working through. Status updates about the project will also be posted here.