CFP Arts, Humanities, and Complex Networks 2015

February 27, 2015

AHCN2015A yearly event I always gladly advertise: it’s the Arts, Humanities, and Complex Networks satellite symposium at NetScie2015! The sixth edition of this truly multidisciplinary event will take place in Zaragoza (Spain). I presented at this symposium once and can definitely recommend it. Details below.

Arts, Humanities, and Complex Networks
— 6th Leonardo satellite symposium at NetSci2015

taking place at the World Trade Center Zaragoza (WTCZ) in Spain,
on Tuesday, June 2, 2015.

For submission instructions please go to:

Deadline for submission: March 29, 2015.
Notifications of acceptance will be sent out by April 6, 2015.


For the sixth time, it is our pleasure to bring together pioneer work in the overlap of arts, humanities, network research, data science, and information design. The 2015 symposium will again follow our established recipe, leveraging interaction between those areas by means of keynotes, a number of contributions, and a high-profile panel discussion.

In our call, we are looking for a diversity of research contributions revolving around networks in culture, networks in art, networks in the humanities, art about networks, and research in network visualization. Focussing on these five pillars that have crystallized out of our previous meetings, the 2015 symposium again strives to make further impact in the arts, humanities, and natural sciences.

Running parallel to the NetSci2015 conference, the symposium provides a unique opportunity to mingle with leading researchers in complex network science, potentially sparking fruitful collaborations.

As in previous years, selected papers will be published in print, both in a Special Section of Leonardo Journal MIT-Press and in a dedicated Leonardo eBook MIT-Press (see below). – See more at:

For the sixth time, it is our pleasure to bring together pioneer work in the overlap of arts, humanities, network research, data science, and information design. The 2015 symposium will again follow our established recipe, leveraging interaction between those areas by means of keynotes, a number of contributions, and a high-profile panel discussion. In our call, we are looking for a diversity of research contributions revolving around networks in culture, networks in art, networks in the humanities, art about networks, and research in network visualization. Focusing on these five pillars that have crystallized out of our previous meetings, the 2015 symposium again strives to make further impact in the arts, humanities, and natural sciences. Running parallel to the NetSci2015 conference, the symposium provides a unique opportunity to mingle with leading researchers in complex network science, potentially sparking fruitful collaborations. As in previous years, selected papers will be published in print, both in a Special Section of Leonardo Journal and in a dedicated Leonardo eBook MIT-Press:

As in previous years, we will feature a high-profile keynote from the areas of cultural data science, network visualization, and/or network art.

Best regards,
The AHCN2015 organizers,
Maximilian Schich*, Roger Malina**, and Isabel Meirelles***

*    Associate Professor, ATEC, The University of Texas at Dallas, USA
**   Executive Editor at Leonardo Publications, France/USA
***  Professor, Professor, Faculty of Design, OCAD University, Toronto, Canada

CFP Göttingen Dialog in Digital Humanities

February 24, 2015

gottingenI just heard about a new initiative that might be of interest to readers of this blog. All info below. There’s even a price for the best paper! Good luck!

Call for Papers: Göttingen Dialog in Digital Humanities

The Göttingen Dialog in Digital Humanities (GDDH) has established a new forum for the discussion of digital methods applied to all areas of the Humanities, including Classics, Philosophy, History, Literature, Law, Languages, Social Science, Archaeology and more. The initiative is organized by the Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities (GCDH).

The dialogs will take place every Tuesday at 5pm from late April until early July 2015 in the form of 90 minute seminars. Presentations will be 45 minutes long and delivered in English, followed by 45 minutes of discussion and student participation. Seminar content should be of interest to humanists, digital humanists, librarians and computer scientists.

We invite submissions of complete papers describing research which employs digital methods, resources or technologies in an innovative way in order to enable a better or new understanding of the Humanities, both in the past and present. Themes may include text mining, machine learning, network analysis, time series, sentiment analysis, agent-based modelling, or efficient visualization of big and humanities-relevant data. Papers should be written in English. Successful papers will be submitted for publication as a special issue of Digital Humanities Quarterly (DHQ). Furthermore, the author(s) of the best paper will receive a prize of €500, which will be awarded on the basis of both the quality and the delivery of the paper.

A small budget for travel cost reimbursements is available.

Full papers should be sent by March 20th to in Word .docx format. There is no limitation in length but the suggested minimum is 5000 words. The full programme, including the venue of the dialogs, will be sent to you by April 1st.

For any questions, do not hesitate to contact
For further information and updates, visit

GDDH Board (in alphabetical order):

Camilla Di Biase-Dyson (Georg August University Göttingen)
Marco Büchler (Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities)
Jens Dierkes (Göttingen eResearch Alliance)
Emily Franzini (Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities)
Greta Franzini (Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities)
Angelo Mario Del Grosso (ILC-CNR, Pisa, Italy)
Berenike Herrmann (Georg August University Göttingen)
Péter Király (Gesellschaft für wissenschaftliche Datenverarbeitung mbH Göttingen)
Gabriele Kraft (Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities)
Bärbel Kröger  (Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities)
Maria Moritz (Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities)
Sarah Bowen Savant (Aga Khan University, London, UK)
Oliver Schmitt (Gesellschaft für wissenschaftliche Datenverarbeitung mbH Göttingen)
Sree Ganesh Thotempudi (Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities)
Jörg Wettlaufer (Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities & Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities)
Ulrike Wuttke (Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities)

This event is financially supported by the German Ministry of Education and Research (No. 01UG1509).

CFP Sunbelt SNA session challenges in archaeological network science

February 19, 2015

sunbeltI have attended the Sunbelt Social Network Analysis conference only once, in Hamburg two years ago. But it was a brilliant experience and so different from archaeological conferences (and not just because of the traditional two evenings of unlimited open bar). The conference is attended by mainly sociologists and statisticians with a good proportion of mathematicians, computer scientists and physicists. In the last few years there have been annual historical and archaeological network science sessions. So the number of historians and archaeologists attending the event are increasing. I can definitely recommend attending Sunbelt, and of course you should present in our session :)

I would like to bring the session ‘Challenges in Archaeological Network Science’ to your attention. The session will be held at the Sunbelt Social Network Analysis conference in Brighton on 23-28 June 2015. We welcome all abstracts that address the challenges mentioned in the session abstract below.

The deadline for submissions is 31 March 2015. Please visit the Sunbelt website for more information and to submit an abstract:

Please ensure to select the session ‘Challenges in Archaeological Network Science’ during the submission process. Feel free to notify us if you decide to submit an abstract.

We look forward to meeting you in Brighton,

Termeh Shafie and Tom Brughmans


Challenges in Archaeological Network Science

The application of network analysis in archaeology has only become more common in the last decade, despite a number of pioneering studies in the 1960s and 70s. The use of different techniques for the analysis and visualisation of network data has already led to new insights into past human behaviour. However, this renewed interest in network science is also accompanied by an increasing awareness of a number of methodological challenges that archaeological network scientists are faced with. These include, but are not limited to the following:

– How to deal with spurious data?

Sampling strategies in archaeology are often dominated by the geopolitical and financial constraints of excavation campaigns. Moreover, differences in the preservation of different materials provide a very fragmented picture of past human behaviour. As a result, networks constructed from archaeological data can be very sparse with apparent uncertainties.

– How to introduce more complex assumptions concerning tie dependency in the reconstruction of archaeological networks?

Network modelling is based on hypotheses from archaeological theory which in turn is based on archaeological evidence. A major challenge is how to infer the structure of an archaeological network given a set of assumptions regulating the occurrence of ties.

– How to deal with the poor chronological control of archaeological data?

The contemporaneity of observations and the exact sequence of events are often uncertain. This is problematic for network science techniques that assume node contemporaneity or require knowledge of the order of events.

– How to consider complex socio-spatial phenomena?

Archaeologists commonly study the spatial distribution of their data and evaluate to what extent spatial constraints influenced human behaviour. A limited number of spatial network techniques are currently available and many of these are not or hardly applicable in archaeology (e.g. network analysis of road networks).

This session invites papers that address these or other methodological challenges that network scientists in archaeology are faced with.

This session is organized by and will be chaired by:

Termeh Shafie,, Department of Computer & Information Science, University of Konstanz.

Tom Brughmans,, Department of Computer & Information Science, University of Konstanz.

The Connected Past special issue of Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory out now!

February 17, 2015


I am super massively chuffed to announce that The Connected Past special issue of the Journal of Archaeological Method and theory is out now. It aims to provide examples of the critical and innovative use of network science in archaeology in order to inspire its more widespread use. What’s even better, the editorial is open access! And it’s accompanied by a glossary of network science techniques and concepts that we hope will prove to be a useful resource for archaeologists interested in network concepts.

My fellow editors Anna Collar, Fiona Coward, Barbara Mills and I are extremely grateful to all the authors of this special issue for their great contributions. You can read in the editorial the details of why we think these contributions are great. We would also like to thank the editors of Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory for offering us great support throughout the process, and to Springer for agreeing to make the editorial open access.

Original papers in this issue (Gotta read ‘em all!):

Networks in Archaeology: Phenomena, Abstraction, Representation
by the editors Anna Collar, Fiona Coward, Tom Brughmans, and Barbara J. Mills

Are Social Networks Survival Networks? An Example from the Late Pre-Hispanic US Southwest
by Lewis Borck, Barbara J. Mills, Matthew A. Peeples, and Jeffery J. Clark

Understanding Inter-settlement Visibility in Iron Age and Roman Southern Spain with Exponential Random Graph Models for Visibility Networks
by Tom Brughmans, Simon Keay, and Graeme Earl

Inferring Ancestral Pueblo Social Networks from Simulation in the Central Mesa Verde
by Stefani A. Crabtree

Network Analysis of Archaeological Data from Hunter-Gatherers: Methodological Problems and Potential Solutions
by Erik Gjesfjeld

Procurement and Distribution of Pre-Hispanic Mesoamerican Obsidian 900 BC–AD 1520: a Social Network Analysis
by Mark Golitko, and Gary M. Feinman

The Equifinality of Archaeological Networks: an Agent-Based Exploratory Lab Approach
by Shawn Graham, and Scott Weingart

Remotely Local: Ego-networks of Late Pre-colonial (AD 1000–1450) Saba, North-eastern Caribbean
by Angus A. A. Mol, Menno L. P. Hoogland, and Corinne L. Hofman

The Diffusion of Fired Bricks in Hellenistic Europe: A Similarity Network Analysis
by Per Östborn, and Henrik Gerding

Digital Classicist CFP

February 9, 2015

DCI can only recommend people to attend or present at the Digital Classicist. It’s a friendly and inspiring forum for presenting the kind of work that I tend to blog about. All details about the call for papers can be found below.

The Digital Classicist London seminars provide a forum for research into the ancient world that employs innovative digital and interdisciplinary methods. The seminars are held on Friday afternoons from June to mid-August in the Institute of Classical Studies, Senate House, London, WC1E 7HU.

We are seeking contributions from students as well as established researchers and practitioners. We welcome papers discussing individual projects and their immediate contexts, but also wish to accommodate the broader theoretical considerations of the use of digital methods in the study of the ancient world, including ancient cultures beyond the classical Mediterranean. You should expect a mixed audience of classicists, philologists, historians, archaeologists, information scientists and digital humanists, and take particular care to cater for the presence of graduate students in the audience.

There is a budget to assist with travel to London (usually from within the UK, but we have occasionally been able to assist international presenters to attend).

To submit a proposal for consideration, email an abstract of no more than 500 words to<> by midnight GMT on March 8th, 2015.

Organised by Gabriel Bodard, Hugh Bowden, Stuart Dunn, Simon Mahony and Charlotte Tupman. Further information and details of past seminars, including several peer-reviewed publications, are available at:

Most awesome city in the world hosts DHBenelux

February 5, 2015

OLV-KathedraalOf course I am referring to the amazing city of Antwerp in Belgium! It’s my home town but I don’t think that skews my perception of its awesomeness. The University of Antwerp will host the second Digital Humanities Benelux conference. DH conference are usually really inspiring due to the sheer number of topics that fall within their remit. They are particularly welcoming to PhD students and early career researchers. So I can definitely recommend attending or presenting at this event. More details below.

Conference website
Submit a paper
Deadline for submitting abstracts: Sunday 1 March 2015, 23:59 CET.

Second Call for Proposals: DHBenelux Conference, 8 & 9 June 2015, University of Antwerp

To all our colleagues in the humanities and digital humanities,

On 8 and 9 June 2015, the second DHBenelux conference will take place. The DHBenelux conference is a young initiative that strives to further the dissemination of, and collaboration between Digital Humanities projects in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg by hosting an annual conference in various institutions throughout these countries. The conference serves as a platform for the fast growing community of DH researchers to meet, present and discuss their latest research results and to demonstrate tools and projects.

The first DHBenelux conference took place in The Hague (The Netherlands) in 2014 and was a great success, attracting an audience of over 160 participants with a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds, coming from a variety of different countries (including but not limited to the Benelux). In 2015 the conference aspires to welcome an even larger and more diverse audience.

NB: In line with the community building principles of Digital Humanities, we have attempted to tend more to gender balance and geographical spread within the Program Committee, which is the reason the PC has seen some additions with regard to the conference’s first CfP.

= Conference, Program, Venue =

The DHBenelux 2015 conference will be proudly hosted by the University of Antwerp. The conference will take place on Monday 8 and Tuesday 9 June 2015 at the University of Antwerp campus.

The DHBenelux conference welcomes contributions and participants from all areas of research and teaching in Digital Humanities. While the conference has a focus on recent advances in Belgium, The Netherlands, and Luxembourg, we do warmly welcome contributions from outside the Benelux. The language of the conference is international English. We hope that we may welcome many scholars to the European scientific meeting platform that DHBenelux will constitute in summer 2015 for the Digital Humanities.

The conference program will offer oral presentations, project presentations, poster sessions, and a demo space. Our first confirmed keynote speaker will be William Noel ( /), Director of The Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and
Manuscripts at the University of Pennsylvania.

= Call =

We now invite submissions of abstracts on any aspect of digital humanities: practical experimentation, thorough theorizing, cross- and multidisciplinary work, new and relevant developments. Relevant subjects can be any of—but are not limited to—the following:

– Digital media, digitization, curation of digital objects
– Software studies, modeling, information design
– Text mining, data mining, big data & small data
– Design and application of algorithms and analyses
– Application of digital technology in literary, linguistic, cultural, and
historical studies
– Critical study of digital arts, architecture, music, film, theatre, new
media, digital games
– Social and economic aspects of digitality and digital humanities
– Stylometry, topic modeling, sentiment mining and other digital techniques
– Interfaces, augmented reality, serious gaming
– Pedagogy, teaching, and dissemination of digital humanities

We particularly encourage PhD students and junior researchers to submit abstracts. Note that this call is not limited to researchers in the Benelux. Anyone can submit an abstract.

Proposal should be at least 250 words, not exceeding 500 words. References and/or bibliography, recommended but not obligatory, are excluded from the word count. Proposals may contain graphics and illustrations. Proposals and abstracts should clearly state the title and name and affiliation of the authors and presenters. Also indicate for which category (or categories) of presentation you are submitting your proposal. Presentation categories are:

* Paper

Oral presentations on papers will be given 15 minutes presentation time and 5 minutes for Q&A. Oral presentations are well suited for presenting research methods and results, concise theoretical argument, reporting on ongoing research, project presentations, and presenting intermediate finds or theory development.

* Poster

Posters are particularly suited for detailed technical explanations and clarifications, and for the show and tell of projects and research alike. A two hour poster session is scheduled, posters may be put up for display during the entire conference.

* Demonstration

For demonstrating prototypes, finished software, hardware technology, tools, datasets, digital publications and so forth a ‘market place’ will be organized.

* Panel

If a group of researchers wishes to highlight and discuss different aspects of a larger topic in Digital Humanities together with the audience, they may propose to organize a panel. A panel session takes one hour, and will be chaired by one of the panelists — who will be responsible for finding a good balance between presentation and discussion. To apply for a panel, please submit your proposal as an ‘oral presentation’, and make it clear that you wish to organize a panel in the abstract.

Proposals may combine two presentation modes, e.g. to support the theory detailed in a paper presentation with a practical demonstration on the demo market place. Combined presentations should either consist of a paper plus demonstration, or a paper and poster. In the interest of planning we ask authors to be very careful in indicating chosen combinations of presentation modes.

To submit your proposal, please use the EasyChair facility that we have put online at:<; .

= Important dates =

Deadline for submitting abstracts: Sunday 1 March 2015, 23:59 CET.
Notification of acceptance: Sunday 15 March 2015.
Deadline for revised abstracts: Wednesday 1 April 2015.

= More information =

Please check our website at / for further details that will become available running up to the conference. Any additional questions and inquiries can be sent to Elli Bleeker (

We look forward to welcoming you all in Antwerp!

Kind regards,

On behalf of the conference organizers and the program committee

–Joris van Zundert (Program Chair)

Conference Organizers:

– Elli Bleeker, University of Antwerp.

– Thomas Crombez, Royal Academy of Fine Arts & University of Antwerp.

– Walter Daelemans, University of Antwerp.

– Katrien Deroo, Ghent University.

– Wout Dillen, University of Antwerp.

– Aodhán Kelly, University of Antwerp.

– Mike Kestemont, University of Antwerp.

– Saskia Scheltjens, Ghent University.

– Joris J. van Zundert, Huygens Institute for the History of the

– Ben Verhoeven, University of Antwerp.

– Dirk Van Hulle, University of Antwerp.

Program Committee (includes members of Organizing Committee):

– Joris J. van Zundert (Chair), Huygens Institute for the History of the

– Marijn Koolen (Vice Chair), University of Amsterdam

– Florentina Armaselu, CVCE Luxembourg

– Paul Bertrand, Université Catholique de Louvain

– Rens Bod, University of Amsterdam

– Barbara Bordalejo, KULeuven

– Steven Claeyssens, Royal Library, The Hague

– Sally Chambers, Ghent University

– Seza Doğruöz, Tilburg University

– Seth Van Hooland, Université Libre de Bruxelles

– Catherine Emma Jones, CVCE Luxembourg

– Folgert Karsdorp, Meertens Institute

– Anne Roekens, Université de Namur

– Els Stronks, Utrecht University

– Karina van Dalen-Oskam, University of Amsterdam & Huygens Institute
for the History of the Netherlands

– Antal van den Bosch, Radboud University Nijmegen

– Nicoline van der Sijs, Radboud University Nijmegen

– Christophe Verbruggen, Ghent University

– Lars Wieneke, CVCE Luxembourg

Lord of the Rings, Disney’s Mulan and the stuff I do: it’s all the same

February 2, 2015

Yes, there are similarities between my work and things that people actually want to spend time listening to. But you really have to look hard for them. I’ve given a lot of presentations over the last few years and noticed that one of the best ways of getting a difficult idea across is to use a movie analogy. I also learned I was very bad at preparing my presentation in time to think up movie analogies. So here’s a blog post to make up for it, inspired by a new paper I wrote that just came out in Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory. My work is a bit like Lord of the Rings and Mulan.

But not in the way you hope it is. There is nothing near as exciting in my research as the cavalry charges in both those movies, and I definitely never experienced a ‘montage’ moment that provided me in a ridiculously short timespan with the crazy skills needed to destroy the baddie.

What my work has in common with both Mulan and Lord of the Rings are fire signals. This video shows the memorable scene from Return of the King when the fire beacons in Gondor are lit, triggering the lighting of a chain of other beacons. The message is clear and reaches its target quickly: Gondor looks to Rohan for help.

The opening scene of Disney’s Mulan is similar: when the bad guys attack, beacons are lit all along the great wall of China to warn the Chinese people of the coming threat.

These scenes are not completely unthinkable fantasy scenarios, but are inspired by early communication systems that actually existed in the past. In times before telephones and telegraphs, signalling systems using fire, smoke, sound or light could have been used to spread messages over very long distances.

Archaeologists studying the Iron Age of Spain believe such a communication system might have existed in some regions. And it is easy to understand why. The settlement pattern in much of Spain during the Iron Age was dominated by large fortified urban settlements on hills, hence they are sometimes referred to as hillforts. These large urban settlements were surrounded by smaller rural settlements. The surrounding landscape could be visually controlled from many of these hillforts, and the hillforts were visually prominent features that could be seen from far away.

Now what scene of Lord of the Rings does this remind me of? That’s right: the Eye of Sauron perched on top of the massive tower of Barad Dur, scanning the surrounding landscape for his enemies, and to his followers acting as a visible reminder of who’s boss.

Many archaeologists believe these large urban settlements were located on hills on purpose, and not just because a hill was easier to defend but because of the views it offered: visually controlling the landscape, being visually prominent from its surroundings and acting as a good link in a fire signalling network.

And this is where networks come in! If archaeologists argue that settlements might have been located with visibility in mind for the three reasons mentioned here, then we should approach these statements as hypotheses that need testing. And we can do that in three ways using network science:

1) visualise the network of inter-visible settlements using our knowledge of the settlement pattern;
2) explore its structure to see whether it would function well as a communication network, or whether some settlements are more visually prominent;
3) simulate a process where places are settled so that a well-functioning communication network and/or a few more visually prominent settlements is established, and compare this simulated settlement pattern with the observed one.

This is what I do. The first approach uses network data representation and network layout algorithms to show a network of inter-visible settlements, and explore this pattern in a new way by extracting it from its geographical context and focusing just on its structure for a change. The second approach then uses exploratory network analysis techniques that tell us something more about individual nodes in the network and about the network as a whole (e.g. identify most visually prominent settlements, identify chains of inter-visible settlements). The third approach is in my eyes the most interesting one because it is totally new: using simulation models we generate millions of networks according to the process we hypothese might have taken place and we compare the simulated networks with the oberved ones using the same exploratory network analysis techniques as in the second approach.

This new approach to simulating our hypotheses about visibility networks is called exponential random graph modelling for visibility networks. A pair of papers just came out in which we introduce this method and apply it to Iron Age and Roman Southern Spain. The results are really interesting: there is no evidence for a well-functioning communication network, but there is definitely reason to believe that the pattern of visually prominent settlements that visually control surrounding rural settlements was purposefully established in the Iron Age. The importance of visibility as a factor determining settlement location then gradually decreases throughout Roman times.

Our recently published paper in Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory tells you the full story. The method is explained in detail in our paper in Journal of Archaeological Science. Both are available through my page or my bibliography on this blog. Enjoy!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,343 other followers