• (Re)modeling the Narrative: Communication Networks, Petitionary Texts, and the 13th Century Prosopography

    James Buffington Harr III (see profile)
    Social networks, Prosopography, Middle Ages
    Item Type:
    Meeting Title:
    Graduate Symposium
    Meeting Org.:
    North Carolina State University
    Meeting Loc.:
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Meeting Date:
    20 March 2019
    social network analysis, Medieval studies, Medieval history, Medieval
    Permanent URL:
    Studies that apply Social Network Analysis (SNA) to historical documents and literary texts are becoming more reflective of the innovations and developments in digital medieval studies. Historical SNA studies conducted by Hammond (2016) looks at family trees in medieval Scotland to create a network. Similarly, Geggel (2018), builds a literary network using Irish and Viking texts, demonstrating a shift in medieval studies as they converge with network theory. However, none of these studies focus on historical documents or their contributions to paleography. In this project I employ SNA to examine the reign of Edward I (1272-1307), both in terms his place in English history and his impact on historical communication networks. Using petitions as historical evidence, I analyze smaller conversations occurring in England, looking at whether these events did, in fact, impact life in Western Europe. The data extracted from these minor historical documents are used to construct visualizations representing prosopographies - or collective narratives - shaped by English communication networks. The source material for my current research begins with a sample of 413 open-source digitized documents available from the British National Archives’ Special Collection 8. I argue that this methodology can give historians a better sense of the past. The results of this study reveal trends in 13th century communication networks, but, more importantly, provide the framework for a working model that future research in historical Social Network Analysis can implement.
    Last Updated:
    5 years ago


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