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Grant number like: HJ-50187-14

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Stanford University (Stanford, CA 94305-2004)
Elaine Treharne (Project Director: May 2013 to May 2017)

Digging into Data
Digital Humanities

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$124,559 (approved)
$124,559 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2014 – 7/31/2016

Global Currents: Cultures of Literary Networks, 1050-1900

A collaborative project tracing the nature of literary networks across four major cultural domains: post-classical Islamic philosophy, Chinese women's writing from the Ming-Qing Dynasties, the Anglo-Saxon Middle-Ages, and the European Enlightenment. The project team includes humanities scholars and computer scientists from Stanford University (US), McGill University (Canada), École de Technologie Supérieure (Canada), and Groningen University (The Netherlands). The Canadian partners are requesting $249,942 from the Canadian funders (along with additional infrastructure funds from the Canada Fund for Innovation) and the Dutch partner is requesting €96,586 from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.

This project undertakes the cross-cultural study of literary networks in a global context, ranging from post-classical Islamic philosophy to the European Enlightenment. Integrating new image-processing techniques with social network analysis, we examine how different cultural epochs are characterized by unique networks of intellectual exchange. Research on "world literature" has become a central area of inquiry today within the humanities, and yet so far data-driven approaches have largely been absent from the field. Our combined approach of visual language processing and network modeling allows us to study the non-western and pre-print textual heritages so far resistant to large-scale data analysis as well as develop a new model of global comparative literature that preserves a sense of the world’s cultural differences.