Text networks, part two: Co-occurrence networks

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. See the primer for an introduction and the list of posts.

Recalling the networks 101, a network in its formal representation consists of nodes, i.e. the basic elements of my data, and edges, i.e. relations between the nodes. When creating a network from a text, one has to answer two basic questions:

  1. What are my nodes?
  2. What constitutes a relation between two nodes?


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

Gods, Graves and Graphs

Das Projekt SeNeReKo ist ein gemeinsames Forschungsvorhaben des Centrums für Religionswissenschaftliche Studien (CERES) an der Ruhr-Universität Bochum und des Trier Center for Digital Humanities (TCDH). In der Zusammenarbeit von Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaften einerseits und Informatik andererseits sollen neue Verfahren der Analyse religionshistorischen Quellenmaterials entwickelt werden. Das Projekt steht damit im Kontext der „Digital Humanities“ und baut auf bisherigen Vorhaben zur Digitalisierung und Erschließung historischer Korpora auf. Ziel ist es, die vorhandenen digitalen Materialien nun für Fragestellungen der Religionswissenschaft fruchtbar zu machen und in diesem Zuge auch neue methodische Verfahren zu entwickeln. Inhaltlich geht das Projekt von Fragen des Religionskontakts aus: Aufbauend auf dem Konzept der „Relational Religion“ und auf Arbeiten des Bochumer KHK zur historischen Entwicklung religiöser Kontaktzonen und zu Prozessen des Religionskontakts sollen der Transfer religiöser Ideen ebenso rekonstruiert werden wie religiöse Konfliktlinien. Weiterlesen