We learned that we have been awarded a Digging into Data Grant for our project, “Global Currents: Cultures of Literary Networks, 1050-1900.”

Our project will undertake 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 based on the visual data of texts.

We have assembled four teams from Canada, the U.S., and the Netherlands to undertake the cross-cultural study of literary networks across four separate database collections, which together comprise 1,194,000 page images: post-classical Islamic philosophy, Chinese Women’s Writing from the Ming-Qing Dynasties, the Anglo-Saxon Middle-Ages, and the European Enlightenment. Uniting each of these domains is the shared sense of being a culture in transition. Our central question is how are these different transitional periods and places characterized by networks of shared ideas?

Principal Investigators:

1. McGill University – Andrew Piper (andrew.piper@mcgill.ca)

2. École de technologie supérieure (ETS) – Mohamed Cheriet (mohamed.cheriet@etsmtl.ca)

3. Stanford University – Elaine Treharne (treharne@stanford.edu)

4. University of Groningen – Lambert Schomaker (L.Schomaker@ai.rug.nl)

The overall project will be led by Andrew Piper.