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Social Networks of the Past: Mapping Hispanic and Lusophone Literary Modernity, 1898-1959

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - MapModern (Social Networks of the Past: Mapping Hispanic and Lusophone Literary Modernity, 1898-1959)

Reporting period: 2021-12-01 to 2023-05-31

MapModern applies cutting-edge technology to analyse the impact of Hispanic and Lusophone literary networks and cultural mediators in international modernity between 1898 and 1959. This project unearthes under-studied networks and mediators, and cultural dynamics in less-established cultural capitals. It also raises fundamental gender issues by shedding light on multiple Ibero-American women that have been completely forgotten. MapModern pursues 3 central goals: 1) to retrieve the lost history of Iberoamerican mediators in modernist intercultural and multilingual networks and reappraise their role; 2) to narrow the knowledge divide in terms of access and production in the Iberoamerican field by generating new and reliable data that addresses the lack of documented cultural heritage, and 3) to offer an innovative and reproducible model that can be applied across periods, languages, and disciplines to analyse cross-border phenomena, under-examined mediators and networks and overshadowed geographical scales in their relations to the wider world. These goals are being achieved by a twofold methodology:
i) an open and collaborative research tool providing a data source for quantitative and qualitative analysis on Iberoamerican mediators;
ii) 4 subprojects (SP) on key cultural transformation processes.
1) ‘Literary translation and the Iberoamerican press’ maps at large-scale literary translation flows in a significant sample of periodical publications between 1898-1959;
2) ‘The Iberoamerican national committees of the International Institute of Intellectual Cooperation (IICI, the former UNESCO)’ analyzes the internationalization of Ibero-American cultures through the organization of intellectual gatherings and facilitating international cultural relations;
3) ‘Film Culture(s) of the Global South’ explores the impact of Ibero-American mediators on the international rise of cinema through the organization of film societies and the writing of film reviews in Ibero-American periodicals;
4) ‘Ibero-American Women as cultural mediators’ breaks gender stereotypes and examines women’s shifting roles through their transatlantic personal and professional networks, and their various travels and stays abroad.
The project promotes a digital humanities approach to create reliable digital data about cultural phenomena related to Hispanic and Portuguese mediators and their networks via the above-mentioned subprojects.

Research objectives and tasks:
O1. Identification of sources and relevant data
O2. Consultation with libraries and archives
O3. Intensive discussion related to the theoretical framework
O4. Intensive discussion related to methodological issues
O5. Automated extraction of data and cleaning
O6. Optical Character Recognition
O7. Manual extraction of data
O8. Analysis of the collected data through case studies
The research plan was slightly adjusted to a) re-assess the process and sources, following consultations with experts in the different angles of the project; b) to extend the process of source identification and access, due to challenges in communication with Latin American national libraries and digital archives that varied from no response to slow exchange of communication or impossibility for certain institutions to share their data, and c) to gain more time after some delays for subcontracting the automated data extraction and analysis company due to the tender procedure. The work performed led us to identify Pan-American archives with larger collections like WorldCat or the Biblioteca Digital del Patrimonio Iberoamericano-BDPI. We also established further discussions with other National Libraries. The current sanitary situation around Covid-19 also hinders this task.
As a result of all these hurdles, we have proceed to 1) include in the research plan intensive theoretical and methodological discussions with all members of the team and experts in the different domains of the project and on key concepts such as modernity, network, archive, global, cosmopolitanism, minor and peripheral, or institutionalization; 2) to prioritize online available sources and automated data retrieval; 3) to recruit two data scientists 4) to adapt the calendar for the automated data retrieval, but also for the archival research and trips to LA and European institutions; 5) to reduce manual data retrieval to specific printed sources on a small scale, and 6) to leave crowdsourcing on an occasional basis.
The project focuses on 3 interrelated fields: a) global literary studies, b) social networks and cultural mediation, and c) Hispanic and Lusophone modernisms. And it addresses the following gaps: i) to contribute to a decentred and empirical global literary history; ii) to undertake a multi-scale analysis of networks and mediators; and iii) to reassess the role of Iberoamerican modernisms with a significant expansion of available data.
The expected results, both qualitative and quantiative, include:

- For SP1: 1) to improve the historical knowledge of Ibero-American periodicals (1898-1959) from a transnational and large-scale approach, focusing on the presence of the ‘other’ via translation and reviews of foreign authors and texts; 2) to identify general patterns of titles, contributors and translated authors through graph analysis and network analysis based on massive data extracted with automatic and digital tools; 3) to identify different functions of literary translation in periodicals and to decentralize their canon.
- For SP2: 1) to improve the historical knowledge of Latin American national committes of the International Institute of Intellectual Cooperation (IICI), a key instance of international cultural relations during the interwar period; 2) to unearth understudied Ibero-American cultural mediators; 3) To develop a novel word-to-ngram relation tool to tackle multiple complexities resulting from DH methodologies and OCR applied to a vast and heterogenous archive material; 4) to perform Named Entity Recognition analysis and CER/WER, as well as Topic Modelling and SNA in the case of correspondence to extract the most important topics and measure different types of centrality of the actors involved.
- For SP3: 1) to get a better understanding of film clubs in the Ibero-American domain, as well as the networks that were established within a follow the actor perspective; 2) to unearth understudied Ibero-American women taking an active role in Iberoamerican film clubs, as well as a film-club audience; 3) to improve our knowledge of film criticism in Iberoamerica and discover the agents involved; 4) to reveal unexplored processes of domination in cinema history.
- For SP4: 1) to discover Iberoamerican women as cultural mediators in both Iberoamerica and the international scene through their networks and multiple roles beyond the private sphere; 2) to trace their connections through female cultural institutions and in their role of translators, translated authors, writers and diplomats, and as film producers, critics or film animators.

On the data side, we also aim at creating digital resources which do not exist or are only partial, and make them available to the scientific community to build upon, correct and/or improve, and analyze them further.
image of the new website that will be launched at the end of September 20
image of the new website that will be launched at the end of September 20