Global Currents: Cultures of Literary Networks, 1050-1900


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.

Principal Investigators

Elaine Treharne, Stanford University, US, NEH
Lambert Schomaker, Groningen University, NL, NWO
Andrew Piper, McGill University, CAN, SSHRC/NSERC/CFI