Moving Into the Center: Can Digital Humanities Find Credence in Other Disciplines?

It was late 2004 and I was sitting in The Tam, a dive bar on Tremont Street in Boston, talking with a group of literary friends. There may or may not have been trivia involved. The subject of our conversation was the state of publishing and what it meant for new authors; for authors of color, for authors who focused on women’s issues, for those who were women, for authors writing about the LGBTQ community. We were authors ourselves, regularly sending out manuscripts to literary journals all over the country and, just as regularly, receiving the two-sentence rejections (if we received anything at all). It seemed that print journals were publishing less, were closing down, were opting to print those authors who would draw a crowd. They weren’t interested in taking a chance on a newbie. And it seemed the same was true for the book industry, as well.

What was to befall authors like us? Continue reading

Navigating the Labyrinth: Network Mapping with Gephi

Exactly 8 months ago, I was sitting in an office with my boss, the Dean of Academic Research at a CUNY institution, looking at a network map. We were both in awe. The College’s librarian had provided us with two PDFs — one with a white background, one with a black — of the same dataset that had been mapped in vivid colors, swirling lines, and weighted names. The dataset was a list of faculty members and how frequently their work had been cited by other scholars. It was gorgeous. Exciting (we considered using it for a project book-cover). And it meant nothing. Continue reading