Visualizing Humanities Data, Big and Small

In this talk, I present three visualization tools that I have worked on over the last several years: BigDIVA, a big-screen search engine capable of handling 50 million pages of data; Relate, a network visualization tool that is ideal for letter-writing networks of eight- to ten-thousand letters; and a suite of poetry visualization tools that visualize one poem at a time. I will relay excellent work by Franco Moretti and Ted Underwood on the effects of operationalizing concepts from literary theory. I will then discuss how materializing theoretical concepts via graphical interfaces helps us better understand them even as it applies to small amounts of data: the single poem.