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A Social Network and Text Analysis of Charles Darwin's Correspondence, 1835-1842.

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Title: A Social Network and Text Analysis of Charles Darwin's Correspondence, 1835-1842.
Author: Floyd, Caroline
Department: Department of History
Program: History
Advisor: Abraham, Tara
Abstract: Popular and historical conceptions of Charles Darwin portray him as a lone scientific genius. My thesis challenges this picture by using digital tools from the digital humanities to analyze the collaborative process and extensive production timeline of his theory of evolution. My work characterizes him as a project manager figure identified through trends in his professional and personal communities. While traditional historical analysis has offered insight into Darwin’s collaborative networks, my work adds to this by digitally re-creating the academic network surrounding Darwin’s theory. I examined Darwin’s correspondences from 1835 to 1842, a period identified by historian Martin Rudwick (1982) as significant in the formulation of his theory. I generated social network visualizations separately for “hidden figure’s”, academic colleagues, and family members for each year, and I used text-based analysis to identify and compare key terms allowing identification of content within given letters representative of an individual’s original idea.
Date: 2019-04
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International