A case study in Gantt charts as historiophoty: A century of psychology at the University of Alberta

Michael R. W. Dawson
2013 History of Psychology  
History is typically presented as historiography, where historians communicate via the written word. However, some historians have suggested alternative formats for communicating and thinking about historical information. One such format is known as historiophoty, which involves using a variety of visual images to represent history. The current article proposes that a particular type of graph, known as a Gantt chart, is well suited for conducting historiophoty. When used to represent history,
more » ... epresent history, Gantt charts provide a tremendous amount of information. Furthermore, the spatial nature of Gantt charts permits other kinds of spatial operations to be performed on them. This is illustrated with a case study of the history of a particular psychology department. The academic year 2009 -2010 marked the centennial of psychology at the University of Alberta. This centennial was marked by compiling a list of its full-time faculty members for each year of its history. This historiography was converted into historiophoty by using it as the source for the creation of a Gantt chart. The current article shows how the history of psychology at the University of Alberta is revealed by examining this Gantt chart in a variety of different ways. This includes computing simple descriptive statistics from the chart, creating smaller versions of the Gantt to explore departmental demographics, and using image processing methods to provide measures of departmental stability throughout its history.
doi:10.1037/a0031079 pmid:23527536 fatcat:hz3yn7gjifhblotzttnv3rwstm