Week 12

November 11th, 2015

Week 12 Tuesday

Re: Reading Assignments

  • Scholars have noted evidence of communications over long distances in Viking Age Scandinavia: “North African coins are found in Central Sweden, a strap-end of Central Asian type turns up in Iceland, and Scandinavian brooches are discovered east of the Urals .” After reading Sindbæk’s article “The Small World of the Vikings,” could you explain briefly how long-distance communications were realized in the Viking Age? Was the Viking Age as “globalized” as the world we live in today?
  • Figs. 4-6 visualize the same data in different ways. What features in the network of communications does each visualization emphasize? Please also be prepared to explain the meanings of nodes and edges in these figures.

Re: Exploration Assignments

  • Explore the visualizations on the following sites. Compare them to the Gephi graphs we explored in previous weeks. What are their differences? What questions do these visualizations allow us to ask and answer that the Gephi graphs don’t?
    • Voltaire and the Enlightenment” project in Mapping the Republic of Letters (make sure to check out its “Visualization” page)
    • Visual Correspondence (try data visualizations on one or more collections, choosing “Map,” “Faceted Map,” “Time Map,” or “Time Map with Slider” as the graph type)
  • Short Presentations:

Get Prepared for the Lab:

  • None.

Week 12 Thursday

Re: Reading Assignments:

  • What are Ayers’s discoveries in “Mapping Time”? How does spatial visualization contribute to these discoveries?
  • Moretti’s “Maps” chapter in his book. Consider the question he raises at the beginning: What do literary maps do? (That is, what do they do that cannot be done with words?)
  • Why does Moretti say that for him “geometry ‘signifies’ more than geography”? (p.56)
  • On p.57, Moretti discusses “forms” and “forces.” What “forms” has Moretti observed in this chapter? What, according to him, are the “forces” at work?
  • Relate the readings to your own experience and think through the following questions: What is “space”? How is it different from “place” and “location”? How do we conceive “space”? How can “space” be represented? Why does “space” matter for studying history and literature?

Re: Exploration Assignments:

  • Choose one of the assigned websites to focus on, and explore it by turning on and off the layers. Make at least two observations about spatial patterns and spatial relationships. Write them down (one or two sentences for each observation) and be prepared to share in class. For example, you may ask: Were churches often built in the vicinity of major markets? Did the transport routes or economic centers of an earlier period overlap with those of a later period? Again, it will be useful to keep Moretti’s agenda in mind while you explore these sites: What patterns can we see? What forces are at work? (Moretti, p.57)

Short Writing Assignment: 

  • Write a paragraph addressing one of the questions above about the Moretti reading. Then write one or two sentences on each of your observations from the exploration site. Save them in a Word document and submit it to the Moodle drop box before noontime this Thursday.

Getting Prepared for the Lab:

  • None.
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