Representing Networks, University of Cologne, 5-6 June 2019

This event will be of interest to readers of this blog. The program looks great and I can definitely recommend you attend this. Don’t forget to register before 31 May.

via HNR and Danijela Stefanović:

Representing Networks: Past and Present

Workshop at the University of Cologne,

5-6 June 2019

Please register at by 31 May

For more information, see


Wednesday, 5 June

17:30               Welcome and registration

18:15               Public key note lecture:

From Microhistory to the Global Network – The World of the Treasurer Senebi (Danijela Stefanović, University of Cologne, University of Belgrade)

Reception in the rooms of Egyptology, sponsored by Uschebti e.V.

Thursday, 6 June

09:30               Welcome and registration

09:45-10:00     Introduction

10:00-11:30     How Many Networks? Representing Dynamic Social Change Using Archaeological Network Methods (Fiona Coward, Bournemouth University)

An Ivory Diaspora: Digitizing Exchange & Production Networks in the Medieval World (Sara Ann Knutson, University of California, Berkeley)

11:30-11:45     Coffee break

11:45-12:30     Casting a Wide Net: The Distant Reading of Archival Documents from Babylon (Maarja Seire, University of Leiden)

12:30-14:00     Lunch break

14:00-15:30     From Networks to High-dimensional Geometry and Back (Allon Wagner, Tel-Aviv University, University of California, Berkeley)

Representing Credit and Kinship in the 19th Century: Between Exploration and Simulation (Martin Stark, ILS- Research Institute for Regional and Urban Development)

15:30-15:45     Coffee break

15:45-16:30     Representing the Community of Ptolemaic Pathyris as Network Models: Possibilities and Limitations (Lena Tambs, University of Cologne)

16:30-17:00     Closing discussion


Trier SNA summer school

The following summer school will be of interest to readers of this blog:

Via the HNR list:

13. Trierer Summer School on Social Network Analysis

16. – 21. September 2019

Die Trierer Summer School on Social Network Analysis bietet im Rahmen eines einwöchigen Intensivangebots eine umfassende Einführung in die theoretischen Konzepte, Methoden und Anwendungen der Sozialen Netzwerkanalyse. Die Veranstaltung richtet sich an NachwuchswissenschaftlerInnen und Studierende aller geistes-, kultur- und sozialwissenschaftlichen Fächer, die sich mit der Analyse sozialer Strukturen beschäftigen und Einblick in die Methoden der Sozialen Netzwerkanalyse (SNA) nehmen möchten.

Weiterführende Informationen:

Das Angebot auf einem Blick

  • eine Woche intensive Einführung in die SNA durch ExpertInnen
  • individuelle Forschungsberatung durch die DozentInnen
  • einführende Literatur im Online-Apparat sowie Lernmaterialien
  • Einführung in gängige Software zur SNA (R, Pajek, Gephi)
  • Workshop „Mixed Methods“/„Visual Network Research“ (Net-Map, VennMaker)
  • Workshop „Prozessgenerierte Daten und historische Netzwerkanalyse“
  • Verpflegung mit Snacks und Getränken während der Veranstaltung
  • angenehme Lernatmosphäre mit vielen Gelegenheiten für “social networking”
  • abendliches Rahmenprogramm (gemeinsames Abendessen/Stadtrundgang)

Die Summer School wird finanziert mit Mitteln der: Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft und des Ministeriums für Bildung, Wissenschaft, Weiterbildung und Kultur

Contribute to network session for Cambridge Annual Student Archaeology Conference

Amanda Althoff, from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, is preparing a network session proposal for the Cambridge Annual Student Archaeology (CASA) Conference, 13 – 15 September 2019. This year’s theme is ‘New Frontiers in Archaeology’. The conference will be held at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, Cambridge. For more information, see CASA website:
Please find the session abstract below. If you wish to join this session then don’t hesitate to get in touch with Amanda soon, she aims to submit the session proposal in the next weeks and it would be good to have a few confirmed presentations:

Session Proposal: Interconnected – Network Approaches in Archaeology.

As the modern world becomes more and more entangled, archaeologists are increasingly interested in empirical ways to grasp the interconnectedness of things and people in the past. Network approaches in archaeology have shown their potential to quantify and analyse connectedness, and more ambitious and innovative case studies have entered the world of Archaeology in the past decade. Networks of economy and trade, power relations, communication are well established resources for inquiry, but equally, networks of material entanglement, identities and intra-site specific practices have recently shown their potential. This session invites contributors to explore avenues for incorporating network studies of varying natures into archaeological studies, and highlight their ability to offer new insights into existing data. Possible themes range from the practicalities of software or data collection and management, as well as educational possibilities to introduce archaeology students to network studies, to individual case studies incorporating network approaches. Regional or intra-site specific studies, assemblage-focused studies, or relationality of practice or ontology are highly welcome. More theoretical approaches of entanglement and relationality, such as actor-network theory, may offer further inspiration for structural network studies and are explicitly included in the discussion on the interconnectedness of people, past and present.

Networks and the study of the human past, at EUSN (CFP)

History and archaeology at the EUSN conference!!! Our community is rapidly becoming a core part of SNA. We look forward to receiving your abstract and helping us represent history and archaeology in SNA.

CFP deadline: April 12.

Where? Zurich

When? 9-12 September 2019

Call for Papers: Networks and the study of the human past

Organized session at the 4th European Conference on Social Networks (EUSN 2019)

9-12 September 2019, Zurich, Switzerland (

Most network research focuses on contemporary data and is presentist in orientation, overlooking the vast store of interesting data from the past. Over the last decades, a substantial number of empirical studies have shown that both network theories and formal network methods can be productively applied to (selected) bodies of historical and archaeological data. The aim of this interdisciplinary session is to further extend the community of scholars in this field in Europe and beyond by promoting contacts between the various disciplines that aim at making sense of past phenomena through methods and theories derived from network analysis and network science.

We are looking for papers exploring the challenges and potential posed by such network studies of past phenomena. Not exhaustive examples of such challenges and avenues include: incomplete and missing data, usually without the possibility to collect more data; big data analytics and textual/semantic network analysis based on (fragmented) sources; material sources as proxy evidence for social phenomena; ability to explore long-term changes in past systems vs. the analysis of mid-term or short-term processes and the historicity of ties; etc.

The session invites contributions from researchers from various disciplines applying methods of formal network analysis and network science on the human past. We welcome submissions concerning any period, geographical area or topic. The authors may be archaeologists, historians, social scientists as well as scholars from other disciplines working with historical or archaeological data. Topics might include but are not limited to: past revolutions; migration; industrial revolution; diffusion processes; transitions from authoritarianism to democracy and back; trade; kinship; war; religion and science.

To be eligible, the proposals should:

  • Address and clearly formulate research questions concerning past phenomena.
  • Critically address issues related to the sources/materials/construction of data used.
  • Explain why it is substantively interesting to consider their topic in formal network terms.
  • Elaborate what the added value of such a relational view is, and what methodological and theoretical choices it implies.

The paper proposals for the session will be selected by an interdisciplinary committee with expertise in doing network analysis and network science in the fields of archaeology, history, sociology, political science and religious studies.

Abstract submission:

The deadline for submission is April 12. Please submit your abstract of up to 500 words through the link on the conference homepage:

Session organizers:

Tom Brughmans (University of Oxford), Martin Stark (ILS, Aachen), Ivo Veiga (Universidade Nova de Lisboa), Bernd Wurpts (University of Lucerne), David Zbíral (Masaryk University)

Funding: Pelagios small grants

Last year, Pau de Soto and I received a Pelagios small grant to develop Itiner-e . This small support allowed for the creation of a software platform and to explore an experimental idea related to linked open data. It was great, and created a whole new research line for me. I strongly encourage members of this list to propose projects for a small grant, it’s a great initiative. Check out more projects on the Pelagios blog

Via Elton Barker:

We are happy to announce for 2019 a new series of small grants to fund continued development within the scope of Pelagios in the form of:
  • Resource Development (RD) grants, which aim to produce digital resources that are compatible with Pelagios linked data methodologies and that can be shared within the community;
  • Working Groups (WG), which focus on extending Pelagios linked data methodologies into new areas, and/or establishing best practice within the community.
Proposals for both RD and WGs will be judged according to their relevance to and usefulness for the wider Pelagios community. Deadline for all submissions is 1 April 2019.
If you are interested in either of these small grants schemes, please read carefully the following call and the related list of criteria below. Details can also be found on the Pelagios blog.
Please feel free to share widely. Any questions, email us:

Book: Quantitative Methods in the Humanities

There are not a lot of good books out there to help us humanists who also use calculators. Many books have an extremely tight focus on a particular tool or software, or they are uselessly vague. Claire Lemercier and Claire Zalc wrote a book that balances between a comprehensive overview of approaches and practicalities of implementation whilst remaining critical about the potential application in the humanities. In short: useful and necessary!

The book covers many approaches including network science! I can definitely recommend this part of the book, written by world-leading experts on the topic. Moreover, the book is accompanied by a useful blog with loads of resources. In terms of coverage it is also entirely compatible with another recent book on the topic, the Historian’s Macroscope.

An enhanced translation of an earlier version written in French, this book will appeal to Humanities scholars world-wide. But especially to historians and archaeologists who don’t want to compromise their data critique when applying quantitative methods.

This timely and lucid guide is intended for students and scholars working on all historical periods and topics in the humanities and social sciences–especially for those who do not think of themselves as experts in quantification, “big data,” or “digital humanities.”

The authors reveal quantification to be a powerful and versatile tool, applicable to a myriad of materials from the past. Their book, accessible to complete beginners, offers detailed advice and practical tips on how to build a dataset from historical sources and how to categorize it according to specific research questions. Drawing on examples from works in social, political, economic, and cultural history, the book guides readers through a wide range of methods, including sampling, cross-tabulations, statistical tests, regression, factor analysis, network analysis, sequence analysis, event history analysis, geographical information systems, text analysis, and visualization. The requirements, advantages, and pitfalls of these techniques are presented in layperson’s terms, avoiding mathematical terminology.

Conceived primarily for historians, the book will prove invaluable to other humanists, as well as to social scientists looking for a nontechnical introduction to quantitative methods. Covering the most recent techniques, in addition to others not often enough discussed, the book will also have much to offer to the most seasoned practitioners of quantification.



Claire Lemercier and Claire Zalc belong to this rare category of historians who show how quantitative methods can and should be used to build new bridges between history, the social sciences and humanities. At a time when disciplinary entrenchement is as lively as ever, this is refreshing. This book provides a great illustration of their approach. A must-read.
Thomas Piketty, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales and Paris School of Economics, author of Capital in the Twenty-First Century

“There are so many untapped opportunities for historians to use quantitative methods, but very few guides to help them use these methods well. This book meets an urgent need for concise, accessible, and rigorous texts on quantitative history. It is a text that will last—it presents fundamental concepts in such a way that they will not be quickly dated as tools and questions change.”

Caitlin C. Rosenthal, University of California, Berkeley, author of Accounting for Slavery: Masters and Management

Lemercier and Zalc have crafted a wonderfully luminous and congenial primer to quantitative methods construed, not as the Grail, but as a pragmatic, supple and enriching approach to interpretation as well as to the administration of proof. It presents possible solutions to a multiplicity of very different questions that stimulate thinking about how to capture and fathom the past and to probe issues in myriad disciplines in the humanities and the social sciences.

Steven Laurence Kaplan, Cornell University
About the Author:

Claire Lemercier is Research Professor of History at the Center for the Sociology of Organizations, Paris.

Claire Zalc is Research Professor of History at the Institute for Early Modern and Modern History and at the School of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences, Paris.

Arthur Goldhammer is an affiliate of the Center for European Studies at Harvard University.

POLNET + network models and culture

The following events might be of particular interest to historians and archaeologists reading this blog.

via Martin Stark and the HNR list:

Dear Colleagues and Students,

This year´s summer school on advanced social network analysis will be dedicated to network models of culture and discourse. The nexus between words and networks offers new possibilities to understand the impact of culture and language use in social networks and vice versa. Scholars use a variety of different approaches, qualitative content based (e.g. QSA qualitative structural analysis, content analysis), quantitative analysis (e.g. automated content analysis, text mining), or a combination of both (e.g. DNA discourse network analysis). In this advanced seminar, we introduce some of these methods in lectures combined with hands-on-tutorials.

Network models of culture and discourse from sociological and political science perspectives will be the focus of the upcoming summer school Polnet Plus, which will be organized by Boris Holzer (Department of Sociology) and Volker Schneider (Department of Politics and Public Administration) at the University of Konstanz at May 24 and 25, 2019.

Various sessions will introduce the participants into the topic of the collection and analysis of network models of culture and discourse. The summer school includes a keynote speech by Prof. Alexander Mehler from the Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, where he is a professor for Computational Humanities / Text Technology and heads the Text Technology Lab as part of the Institute of Informatics.

In addition, we offer a pre-summer school refresher Network Analysis with R, starting from Wednesday, May 22 until Thursday, May 23 (see timetable for newcomers and participants with-out basic knowledge in R and Social Network Analysis.

This year’s POLNET + faculty team includes Felix Bossner1, Achim Edelmann2, Boris Holzer1, Ines Imbert 5, Lukáš Lehotský3, Jürgen Lerner1, Melanie Nagel1, Petr Ocelík3, Adrian Rinscheid4, Keiichi Satoh1 and Volker Schneider1.

[ 1 University of Konstanz; 2 University of Bern; 3 Masaryk University; 4 University of St. Gallen; 5 EIfER European Institute for Energy Research EDF-KIT, Karlsruhe]

Please do not hesitate to contact Christiane Richter ( with any further questions or to register your interest in attending the summer school until April 30.

You can also access additional information on

We are looking forward to welcoming you to Konstanz in May 2019.

Yours sincerely,

Boris Holzer Volker Schneider

Jobs: digital humanities research associates Florence

The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies seeks two Digital
Humanities Research Associates to join a research group working on semantically
enriched digital publications and historical spatio-temporal data.  Applicants
should have a background in Cultural Heritage Informatics and have experience in
semantic web technologies and standards (RDF, SPARQL, OWL), including data
modeling and transformation, preferably with the CIDOC-CRM and related
ontologies. Software development experience in Java and web application
development (Javascript, HTML5 etc.) highly preferred. Research Associates will
collaborate with humanities scholars and other Digital Humanities researchers to
implement a wide range of digital projects, including 3D reconstructions,
geospatial mapping of historical data, and the building of knowledge graphs from
scholarly publications and archival documents.

The appointment is for one year, renewable up to three. The stipend is $5,000
per month, plus a one-time supplement (maximum, $1,500) towards relocation
expenses. DH Research Associates are also offered lunch five days a week, the
computer hardware of their choice, as well as reimbursement for travel to
conferences where they represent institutional projects.

Applicants must be fluent in English. A PhD or Master’s degree in computer
science, library science, data science or other fields relevant to Digital
Humanities research is preferred.

Applicants should upload their CV and a cover letter outlining their research
interests and past experience. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis
and the positions will remain open until they are filled.

Click here to apply (

Roman studies does simulation now! Finding the limits of the limes

To say simulation is not a big thing in Roman studies is an understatement. Although the approach has become more popular in archaeology as a whole, the uptake in classical archaeology has been minimal. I’ve recently started collecting Roman formal modelling and simulation studies in an open Zotero bibliography, and could only find about 15.

All of this has changed now with the final open access publication of the project ‘Finding the limits of the Limes‘, edited by Philip Verhagen, Jamie Joyce and Mark Groenhuijzen. The 15 chapters in this book precisely double the number of Roman simulation studies! (in fact, quite a few of the original 15 were also by the hands of the editors)

Finding the limits of the limes was a pioneering project for Roman Studies. It used a tiny part of the Roman Empire, the Dutch Roman border region, as a testbed for a wealth of formal modelling and simulation approaches. The project bombarded the archaeology of the region with demographic models, network science, least-cost path modelling, predictive modelling, agricultural modelling, foraging models and much more formal goodness. The results are twofold: tested and refined hypotheses for a wide range of past social-natural phenomena in the study area, and examples of how modelling approaches that are commonly used in other disciplines can make constructive contributions to a wide range of phenomena in Roman Studies as well.

I am hopeful that this open access publication will reveal to students and early career researchers in Roman Studies that simulation is just one of those things they do now, alongside text criticism and ceramic analysis. I hope it will inspire them to explore other useful applications of the approaches showcased in this book. Roman Studies is blessed with a wealth of data that allows us to ask highly complex and important questions about the centuries-long history of a world power. Simulation and formal modelling has an important role to play in this. It allows us to specify our theories, to explore how well they are supported by data, to develop new theories and to focus our limited research resources on those theories that are most promising. I look forward to reading the contributions in this book more closely.

Access the entire book here for free.

This open access book demonstrates the application of simulation modelling and network analysis techniques in the field of Roman studies. It summarizes and discusses the results of a 5-year research project carried out by the editors that aimed to apply spatial dynamical modelling to reconstruct and understand the socio-economic development of the Dutch part of the Roman frontier (limes) zone, in particular the agrarian economy and the related development of settlement patterns and transport networks in the area. The project papers are accompanied by invited chapters presenting case studies and reflections from other parts of the Roman Empire focusing on the themes of subsistence economy, demography, transport and mobility, and socio-economic networks in the Roman period.

The book shows the added value of state-of-the-art computer modelling techniques and bridges computational and conventional approaches. Topics that will be of particular interest to archaeologists are the question of (forced) surplus production, the demographic and economic effects of the Roman occupation on the local population, and the structuring of transport networks and settlement patterns. For modellers, issues of sensitivity analysis and validation of modelling results are specifically addressed. This book will appeal to students and researchers working in the computational humanities and social sciences, in particular, archaeology and ancient history.

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