Module Project 3

November 4th, 2015

Module Project 3:
Network Visualization

The goal of this project is to give you hands-on experience of using network visualization for understanding literary texts.

Choose a literary text (e.g., a short story, novella, novel, or play) and create one or more network graphs to visualize the interaction between characters. In your network graph, characters will be nodes and interactions the edges. Interaction may take different forms, such as exchange of words, traveling together, or fighting with each other. You need to decide what a meaningful definition of character interaction is for your text.

You may choose whatever literary text you are familiar with or interested in. Good candidates for this project are literary texts with many characters who interact intensely with each other.

If you choose a novella or novel which has multiple chapters, or if you choose a play which has multiple acts, you are advised to keep track of the chapter/act where each character interacts with another. This will allow you to visualize character interactions for each individual chapter/act and explore whether and how characters interact differently in different sections of the text.

If you choose a literary text of significant length (a novella, even a novel, or a play), you may collaborate with one or more other students in class, divide up the work, and deliver a group project.

Share your visualization with the class in a 3-minute presentation on Thursday. Explain briefly in your presentation which text you use and how you interpret the visualization.

Reference: Franco Moretti’s short article “Network Theory, Plot Analysis” is a good example of how character networks help scholars better understand literary texts.

Submission Requirements: You must submit both your slides (which contains your network(s)) and your datasets (your original spreadsheet, and your nodes and edges csv files) to the online drop box before class. Since the drop box only allows you to submit one file, before uploading your datasets to the drop box, you need to compress them into one zip file.

Drop Box for Module Project 3: Slides and Datasets

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