CIRCA:Epidemiology of Ideas resources


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Research Literature

Epidemiology in space and time

  • AvRuskin, Gillian A., et al. "Visualization and exploratory analysis of epidemiologic data using a novel space time information system." International Journal of Health Geographics 3.1 (2004): 26. link

Epidemiology beyond communicable disease

  • Christakis, Nicholas A., and James H. Fowler. 2009. "Social network visualization in epidemiology." Norsk Epidemiologi 19(1): 5-16. link.
  • Christakis, Nicholas A., and James H. Fowler. "Social network visualization in epidemiology." Norsk epidemiologi= Norwegian journal of epidemiology 19.1 (2009):
  • More articles by Christakos and his Human Nature Lab: link


  • Michel, Jean-Baptiste, et al. "Quantitative analysis of culture using millions of digitized books." Science 331.6014 (2011): 176-182. UAlberta Library link
  • Chris Harrison's visulizations gallery link. "Word Associations" and "Word Spectrum" specifically.

Geographic Approaches

  • Moretti, Franco. Atlas Of The European Novel, 1800-1900 / Franco Moretti. n.p.: London : New York : Verso, 1998., 1998. UAlberta library link

Text Analysis and Machine Learning

  • Plaisant, Catherine, et al. "Exploring erotics in Emily Dickinson's correspondence with text mining and visual interfaces." Proceedings of the 6th ACM/IEEE-CS joint conference on Digital libraries. ACM, 2006. link
  • Ruecker, S., S. Sinclair, and M. Radzikowska. "Designing data mining droplets: New interface objects for the humanities scholar." Digital Humanities Quarterly 3.3 (2009). link
  • Argamon, Shlomo, and Mark Olsen. "Words, patterns and documents: experiments in machine learning and text analysis." Digital Humanities Quarterly 3.2 (2009). link

Diffusion of Innovation theory in business

  • Rogers, E. M. (2003). Diffusion of Innovations, 5th Edition (Original.). Free Press.
  • Rogers, E. M. (2004). A Prospective and Retrospective Look at the Diffusion Model. Journal of Health Communication, 9(sup1), 13–19. doi:10.1080/10810730490271449

Everett Rogers is the foundational researchers in diffusion theory. His book Diffusion of Innovations was originally published in the 1970s and summarized the field up to then. Since then he has updated it regularly.

  • Strang, D., & Soule, S. A. (1998). Diffusion in Organizations and Social Movements: From Hybrid Corn to Poison Pills. Annual Review of Sociology, 24(1), 265–290. doi:10.1146/annurev.soc.24.1.265. Summary article from the Annual Review

Social Physics, Econophysics, Agent-Based Modeling

There is a significant field of researchers who have engaged with the idea of social contagion and diffusion from the disciplines of economics and physics. Many of these papers are published in the Papers in this area can also be found within the subjects of complexity, agent-based modeling, even chaos.

Some skeptical rejoinders

  • Shalizi, C. R., & Thomas, A. C. (2011). Homophily and Contagion Are Generically Confounded in Observational Social Network Studies. Sociological Methods & Research, 40(2), 211–239. doi:10.1177/0049124111404820. Shalizi and Thomas present mathematical and statistical reasons for why it is difficult to distinguish homophily (people with like traits grouping together) from contagion (people spreading trait/idea from one person to another).
  • A link to literature collected by Shalizi on the topic.

Examples and Tools

University of Chicago Knowledge Lab


Other Potentially Useful Articles

  • Goldstone, Andrew and Ted Underwood. "The Quiet Transformations of Literary Studies: What Thirteen Thousand Scholars Could Tell Us." (2014). link
  • Goldstone, Andrew, and Ted Underwood. "What can Topic Models of PMLA Teach Us About the History of Literary Scholarship?." Journal of Digital Humanities 2.1 (2012): 39-48. link
  • More articles by Underwood and Goldstone
  • Ted Underwood's blog, addressing relevant ideas, often with visualizations.
  • Drucker, Johanna. "Humanities approaches to graphical display." Digital Humanities Quarterly 5.1 (2011). link
  • Bollen, Johan, et al. "Clickstream data yields high-resolution maps of science." PLoS One 4.3 (2009): e4803. link
  • So, Richard Jean, and Hoyt Long. "Network Analysis and the Sociology of Modernism." boundary 2 40.2 (2013): 147-182. link
  • Wang, Dashun, Chaoming Song, and Albert-László Barabási. "Quantifying long-term scientific impact." Science 342.6154 (2013): 127-132. link
  • Schich, Maximilian, et al. "A network framework of cultural history." science 345.6196 (2014): 558-562. [1]

For Followup

  • Stanford Lit Lab
  • University of Maryland Human-Computer Interaction Lab
  • MITH
  • Visual Display of Quantitative Information, Tufte
  • The Software Studies Initiative visualizations.
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