Anna Karenina’s Social Networks: HSE Researchers Conduct Workshop in Germany

The Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg, one of the oldest universities in Germany, hosted a three-day workshop on social network analysis of literary texts conducted by Daniil Skorinkin, Lecturer at the School of Linguistics, and Frank Fischer, Associate Professor at the School.

Lecturers, PhD and master’s students of the Julius Maximilian University took part in the event. Most of the participants were young researchers and representatives of ‘junior research groups’ engaged in computational literary studies.

The main topics of the workshop were extracting references to characters and relations among them from literary texts, visualization of social networks (graphs) and various statistical metrics applicable to these networks. The participants learned to work in Gephi - the programme for graphical visualization, and practiced statistics skills using NetworkX library for Python.

Many participants prepared complete high-quality data extracted from literary corpora, which helped to apply the tools mentioned above to actual data, to build graphs and to measure centrality for the characters of hundreds of European novels of the 19th century.