Text networks, part one: Primer

This post is part of a series of posts about text network analysis. Each post will discuss one approach to algorithmically creating networks from texts.
Historical network analysis—or, more generally, network analysis in the digital humanities—is in most cases an application of Social Network Analysis in the fields of history or literary studies. It shares with sociological approaches its focus on social actors, or: people. In contrast to sociology, DH applications mostly focus on dead (history) or fictional (literary studies) people.

Gods, Graves and Graphs – About the Project (in English)

Not all of our readers know our homepage at the CERES institute at Ruhr University Bochum – which is available in English in large parts – and not all know the German language. Therefore, we give you a short introduction in English to what the SeNeReKo Project is about. (The German version was our first post on this blog.)

SeNeReKo is a joint research project of the Center for Religious Studies (CERES) at Ruhr University Bochum and the Trier Center for Digital Humanities (TCDH). Through collaboration of humanities, social sciences and computer science, new methods for analyzing historical religious resources will be developed. This “digital humanities” project builds on previous efforts of digitization and encoding of historical corpora. The project aims to enable the utilization of digital resources and new methodological approaches currently available for use in religious studies. Weiterlesen

Egyptology and digital humanities – does it fit together or do we open Pandora’s box?

Most people have a romantic and movie inspired view of an Egyptologist: he is masculine, between 40 and 60 years old, good looking and wears his best corduroy suit. Just like Harrison Ford in the Indiana Jones movies. When I worked for an exhibition of the pharaoh Tutankhamen, where I guided the visitors and answered all the questions they had about that “old guy”, some people complained about me to the exhibition manager. In their minds, I didn’t look like a typical Egyptologist (I am feminine, 29 years old, and wouldn’t dream of wearing a corduroy suit). Sadly, this is a true story.

People also have a more or less romantic view about our working conditions: if we are not digging somewhere in the sand, brushing artifacts tenderly or holding old-fashioned lectures (of course with antiquated overhead transparencies), we are sitting behind a huge wall of dusty books and haven’t seen the sun in months (ok, maybe this is true).

Only a very few would expect that the day of an Egyptologist is mainly characterized by working with computers and any kind of software. We use the Internet to announce call for papers, interesting news, and the latest publications – on homepages, twitter, or our own scientific blogs.

The work of an Egyptologist – how digital are we?

I think Egyptologists themselves don’t know how many digital resources they are already working with every day. The times when they were spending hours skimming through every single book in the library are long gone. Today, they can use the “Online Egyptological Bibliography”, for instance. Weiterlesen