The tweeting and the tweeted: THATCampVA in 140 character sprints
When you spend most of your time using a tool in a way in which it was not intended, sometimes it’s satisfying to try to use it for what it was meant to do. This network visualization of Twitter mentions from the past weekend’s THATCampVA proved useful to me for just that purpose. There’s no real argument here besides… this is kind of pretty. I used NodeXL, which is social network analysis (SNA) software, to do the calculations and visualization of the network. NodeXL allowed me to access the Twitter search API and pull in all tweets since April 19th that include the #THATCampVA hashtag. I used the Harel-Koren Fast Multiscale algorithm to create the visualization. Those included in the visualization are people who tweeted about someone else and those who were referenced within tweets. The “edges” or lines between pictures (also known as vertices) represent the direction of the relationship. In other words, arrows originate at the image of the twitterer who wrote the tweet and are pointing to the person tweeted about or to.
On October 20-22, the UCLA Institute for Pure & Applied Mathematics will host the “Networks and Network Analysis for the Humanities: Reunion Conference.” Participants were 2010 NEH summer institute participants and they will present their projects during this 2 day event. Coincidentally, Robert Nelson, this week’s MITH digital dialogues guest speaker will be one of the presenters at the IPAM event.
Looking at this list of projects and preparing to discuss network analysis at MSA13 this weekend prompted me to make a list of known projects using (social) network analysis to pursue questions in the humanities. I’ve created a page where I attempt such a thing, and will post it on this site soon.
I will be participating in the “Modernity and Interdisciplinarity” seminar at the MSA 13 conference in October and now am in the throes of putting together the brief “white paper” required to participate. Here is the explanation of the seminar from its leader, Rebecca Colesworthy:
“Modernity and Interdisciplinarity”
In recent years, critics have illuminated innumerable connections between modernism in literature and the visual arts and innovations in other disciplines. Yet their methods vary considerably: while some adopt a definitional approach attuned to the history of disciplinary professionalization (see, e.g., Disciplining Modernism), others use materialist frameworks, rooting ideological and aesthetic shifts in changes in economic history (e.g., Esty, Wicke, Tratner). In response to the widely acknowledged difficulty of establishing a common ground for interdisciplinary analysis, this seminar will focus not on drawing interdisciplinary connections per se but on questioning and
elaborating the theoretical and historical grounds on which such connections are—and might be—made.
My paper will focus on how network theory, developed by social scientists in the 1950s can be useful for scholars interested in mapping the networks of social relationships between images and texts and their subjects and contexts in ekphrastic poetry.
My response, “A Method to the Model: Responding to Franco Moretti’s Network Theory, Plot Analysis” has been published at the Magazine Modernisms blog. My response along with James Stephen Murphy’s and Matt Huculak’s set the stage for our upcoming roundtable “Social Network Analysis and the Databases of Modernism” at MSA13.