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Abstract

This article examines the benefits and drawbacks of using social network analysis to study feminist artists’ networks. Looking at two of the author’s digital humanities projects, it explores the systemic and structural barriers that limit the utility of social network analysis for feminist artists. The first project on the social network of artist Carolee Schneemann analyzed her female circles through a correspondence network. The second project attempted to trace the circulation of feminist art manifestos in American feminist periodicals. Three factors are identified as constraining network analysis in these case studies, the lack of feminist artists’ archives, an insufficient amount of machine-readable material, and the limited availability of metadata pertaining to them. Network analysis therefore is best view as a supplemental to other digital approaches for studying this group.

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