Network Analysis as Interdisciplinary Method

I will be participating in the “Modernity and Interdisciplinarity” seminar at the MSA 13 conference in October and now am in the throes of putting together the brief “white paper” required to participate.  Here is the explanation of the seminar from its leader, Rebecca Colesworthy:

“Modernity and Interdisciplinarity”
In recent years, critics have illuminated innumerable connections between modernism in literature and the visual arts and innovations in other disciplines.  Yet their methods vary considerably: while some adopt a definitional approach attuned to the history of disciplinary professionalization (see, e.g., Disciplining Modernism), others use materialist frameworks, rooting ideological and aesthetic shifts in changes in economic history (e.g., Esty, Wicke, Tratner).  In response to the widely acknowledged difficulty of establishing a common ground for interdisciplinary analysis, this seminar will focus not on drawing interdisciplinary connections per se but on questioning and
elaborating the theoretical and historical grounds on which such connections are—and might be—made.

My paper will focus on how network theory, developed by social scientists in the 1950s can be useful for scholars interested in mapping the networks of social relationships between images and texts and their subjects and contexts in ekphrastic poetry.