When Networks Fail

Tue April 22nd 2014, 12:00 - 1:30pm
Pigott Hall, German Studies Library (Bldg 260, Rm 252)

Speakers): Scott Weingart

Network analysis and visualization has taken its place as one of the methodological pillars of the digital humanities. For better or worse, most new digital humanities projects cannot escape the siren call of the network, no matter how appropriate it is to the task at hand. This talk will cover the basic concepts behind network analysis, how they apply to humanities research, and how to avoid common mistakes and misuses of the method. The talk will also cover a few well-executed examples of networks in the humanities, and how they help answer traditional research questions. It will be followed by a hands-on workshop on how to analyze and visualize networks in Gephi.


Scott B. Weingart is a National Science Foundation graduate research fellow and a student of informatics and history of science at Indiana University. He actively develops novel computational humanities methods, both on his blog The Scottbot Irregular, and in various digital humanities and information science publications. Scott's research traces the circulation of knowledge across 150,000 early modern scholarly letters, particularly through the use of network analysis, topic modeling, and agent-based simulations.