Unit 2: Blog Post One

My Personal Networks

Network Analysis was never something I had considered before; was there really a way to map out the ways people knows each other? Reciprocity? Different types of connections? It all seemed a little far-fetched. However, when I got started looking at the data from the Stonewall Jackson Cemetery, I realized that all of those things I though impossible could be achieved through proper representation, software, and the all-important data manipulation. In trying to think of a thesis topic, I realized that, not only did this software help us understand realtionships between people, but it also could repesent relationships between people and dates, objects, locations, etc. if represented a certain way. It’s all about making people and things “know” each other. I began to see networks everywhere after this.

For example, I worked on a digital humanities project this summer that performed a text analysis of different newspapers around a murder scandal in Paris 1908. Would there be a way to take network analysis and make visual representations of the social networks surrounding those people in that case? Could we track the primary suspect’s relations, both sexual and not, to better map how much external influence she had on the outcome of her own trial? It’s something to consider.

Expanding on that a little, would it be possible to make verbs or adjectives or subjects know each other? For example, if a specific verb appeared more during a certain chapter, a certain paragraph, or a certain article, could we then take those and make them “know” each other? Could we make a certain verb know a position on a page by representing them as indviduals in a network analysis data set? This opens up a whole new avenue of research surrounding the importance of text and network analysis combined.