Optional Module: Network Analysis

This module is intended to introduce you to historical network analysis. The readings and discussion will give you a basic understanding of networks and how historians and art historians are currently using them. The technical activities will let you construct and analyze an historical social network.


1. Scott Weingart, “Demystifying Networks, Parts I & II” (2011).

2. Ruth Ahnert and Sebastian E. Ahnert, “Protestant Letter Networks in the Reign of Mary I: A Quantitative Approach,” ELH 82.1 (2015).

3. Matthew Lincoln, “Social Network Centralization Dynamics in Print Production in the Low Countries, 1550-1750,” International Journal for Digital Art History 2 (2016).

4. Ruth Ahnert, Sebastian E. Ahnert, Catherine Nicole Coleman, and Scott Weingart, The Network Turn: Changing Perspectives in the Humanities (Cambridge: Cambridge Elements, 2021). Note: while this is technically a book, not an article, it is only 100 pages.

5. explore Six Degrees of Francis Bacon, Linked Jazz, and Quantifying Kissinger

6. use the Slack channel to make note of your thoughts as you read and complete these exercises; depending on how many people are completing this optional module, this may or may not turn into an active discussion (that’s okay).

Technical Activities

1. download Gephi and complete the Gephi tutorial using the files linked in the tutorial.