Navigating Scale

Led by Stacey Allison-Cassin

The ability to see patterns in large datasets and then zoom in to examine evidence is essential to humanities research, but it has been elusive in most contexts until now. LINCS will allow movement between granular data and distant views for those probing the complex interactions that contribute to cultural change.

We will mobilize a rich set of researchers’ musical data—entertainment records, early music scores, and ethnomusicological datasets covering Canadian Indigenous, East Indian, other folk music, and European traditions—to enable comparative investigation of influences, movements, and networks. Interlinking this data with that of our partners will enable even broader analysis of the impacts of cultural policies and funding, such as the creation of the NPR in the USA as compared to the CBC in Canada.

Such prosopographical datasets help trace how cultural identities circulate within avant-garde literary circles, or as applied to Indigenous and settler citizens in Canadian prison records. They offer glimpses of many who are otherwise lost to history, and have the potential to link to Canadians within inclusive projects such as the Digital Panopticon and other datasets of ‘ordinary’ people.

The interplay of macro and micro is vitally important in work on material and textual culture. Editorial theorists and practitioners will use LOD to mobilize new kinds of editions and scholarly journal content. These probings of textual dynamics, using data that itself enacts networked textuality, will yield crucial insights in a world where textual conventions have been disrupted by digital tools. They will enable experiments in new forms of publication and application prototypes.