Session 1: Social Network Analysis with Dan (10:30-11:20)

Social Network Analysis with Dan (10:30-11:20)

  • Introductions
  • Dan’s Salem witch trial project (wordpress.com)
    • Briefing on his project
      • Biggest problem: How are people connected?
        • Over 900 documents to review
          • SNA is a useful way to keep track of the individuals and track their interactions
        • So far he has over 2000 pairs
      • Question: how is this being created?
        • NodeXL demonstration
          • System of line and node connections
          • Ranks the most central figures
          • First two months of documents have been documented
            • March documents
              • Information recorded in an excel spreadsheet
                • 50 people
                • Over 1000 relationships
              • Input data into NodeXL where the data is prepared through the program
            • Program can track the different clusters
            • Data can be grouped into boxes
              • Tracks the various trial
            • Behind each infividual, the program positions them within the web
              • Degree of centrality-how many people do they know?
              • Betweenness centrality-how many connections are there between individuals
              • Closeness centrality
              • Eigenvector centrality
                • If it is a high number-they can be identified as the most powerful/important people
              • Question: why did they (accusers) accuse so many people?
                • Unknown
                  • Various theories
                  • Ann Putnam is a 12 year old girl in a puritan society
                    • Believes that her father (Thomas Putnam) is pushing her to do this
                  • Question: Have you found anything that you didn’t expect to find?
                    • Past scholarship did not connect different groups but Dan has all of the people connected (everythingis examined through a larger lens)
                    • He has found connections that weren’t previously identified
                  • There are many ways that data can be displayed
                    • Harel-Koren
                      • You can see the individuals and their relations “blossom”
                    • Circle
                      • You can see the density of your network
                        • Helps you see who you should focus on (fewer connections vs. many connections)
                      • Spiral (not the best for this project)
                      • Sine Wave
                        • Demonstrates the denseness as well
                      • Question: are you keeping an archive of the documents you record?
                        • So far the information exists in a book
                        • Future plans to scan documents in Salem, MA
                      • Positive feedback by senior Salem scholars
                    • Question: how is the network constructed?
                      • It is important to look at the network as a whole before there is an investigation on a deeper level
                        • These connections would not have been found if there was not a quantitative applications to this history
                      • Question: is there a way to identify this textually? What happens when people are color blind?
                        • Extremely difficult
                      • Question: How do you emphasize people are in contact every day? Can you weigh individual relations in the visualization?
                        • You would make an edge weight (make line between the nodes thicker)
                        • Directional vs. non-directional (identified by arrow)
                          • Demonstrates who is reaching out to who
                        • Question: Is there a good tutorial out there?
                          • Book by NodeXL
                          • Diane Cline’s upcoming book Digital Humanities and NodeXL (coming in 3 months)
                            • Example in book Plutarch’s Life of Pericles
                              • Through the example, there is a step-by-step instructions so that data can be visualized
                                • Extremely detailed instructions
                              • Gender column to track the interactions between male and females
                            • Other SNA projects
                              • Diane Cline’s Socrates project
                                • Students, philosophers, intellectuals, Sophists, etc
                                  • Look at the different clusters interaction
                                  • Connections within Shakespeare’s play
                                  • Stanford Lit Lab
                                    • Tracks Hamlet and the relationship between the characters
                                    • Has not been generated in an SNA program
                                  • Tina’s oral history project
                                    • Group house of an artistic community in Alexandria (no longer in existence)
                                      • Looks at how artistic communities are anchored by different people
                                        • Mapping of relations between the “creative class”
                                          • What can you see about the creative class of Arlington
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About Angela Spidalette

I am a junior at the George Washington University studying archaeology and classical studies. I have participated in projects such as the Lodz Ghetto Project through the USHMM and the Smithsonian Transcription Center. Furthermore, I find the digitization of museum collections very interesting.