For the past year I have been working with the journal Signs on their fortieth anniversary project. Signs@40: Feminist Scholarship through Four Decades is now live. It features an interactive visualization of a topic model of the journal’s archive that I created in collaboration with Andy Mazzaschi, Susana Galán, Laura Lovin, and Lindsey Whitmore. The model is accompanied by commentary—both our own guide to exploration and commentaries by Signs editors and contributors past and future. The Signs group also created a series of thematic tables of contents for the journal and adapted a co-citation network visualization originally developed by Jonathan Goodwin. The whole provides many pathways for exploring the work of this central institution of feminist scholarship.
We will shortly make the source code available on github, where I’ll also add a few more technical notes on our modeling process and our visualization design. Here are some early thoughts about the site itself, now that it is at last whole and public: