Wednesday 7 January 2015
Ruth Ahnert has recently been awarded an AHRC Early Career Fellowship to complete a collaborative digital humanities project called ‘Tudor Networks of Power’ with her husband Sebastian Ahnert a physicist and expert in network analysis at the University of Cambridge.
This project will reconstruct the evidence for Tudor intelligence networks from 132,000 letters that survive in the State Papers - the British government archives - and analyse them using computational tools and algorithms developed within the field of complex networks. The project will have two outcomes. The first, a monograph, will provide a model of how we might rewrite literary history in the age of big data. The second will be an interactive web tool, which will allow users to navigate this important, but massive, archive of Tudor political correspondence in order to identify new projects and stories yet to be told.
Responding to the announcement, Ruth said "I’m absolutely thrilled to have been awarded this fellowship. I think our project is very timely: as more and more collections of literature are digitised, the way we access and navigate texts is, necessarily, changing. I believe that network analysis provides a way of making sense of the literary landscape in the age of big data. Although this project focuses on Tudor political letters, the methods I’m developing with Sebastian have applications for scholars across the arts and humanities".