Connected Past Videos online!

Two months ago Anna Collar, Fiona Coward and myself organised a conference about networks in archaeology and history, called The Connected Past. The event was great (or at least that is how I experienced it). But if you were not able to be there you will be happy to know that the recorded talks are now available online. The recorded talks are illustrative of the wide range of topics by scholars from an equally diverse range of disciplines. There are videos with a methodological focus, some with a theoretical focus and a number of applied case studies. If these talks taught us anything it would be that ‘Thinking through networks’ might provide innovative and useful approaches to understand the past, but some methods are more promising than others and the theoretical implications deserve our attention. Networks are not everything but they might be useful and we hope that The Connected Past allowed for this idea to emerge and will continue to provide a multi-disciplinary discussion platform.

So you will hear more about The Connected Past in the future!

Social Media at CAA2012 on London School of Economics blog

The London School of Economics blog today features a post titled ‘If you don’t have social media, you are no one: How social media enriches conferences for some but risks isolating others’. It introduces some preliminary findings of the ‘Social Media in Supporting Live Events’ (SMiLE) project by Southampton’s Digital Humanities members Nicole Beale, Lisa Harris and their team… of which I am lucky to be part 🙂 They extracted data from over 13,000 tweets, 430 photos and a number of videos, all derived from the social media strategy the project set up for the Computer Applications and Quantitative techniques in Archaeology (CAA) conference held at the University of Southampton in March. Because the social media strategy was developed in detail before the event the SMiLE team managed to convince a large portion of conference delegates to use social media and collected way more data than they expected.

The blog post reveals some very preliminary results, but this rich dataset promises to provide many more fascinating insights in the use and potential of social media at a Humanities conference. Keep an eye out for SMiLE on the LSE and SotonDH blogs! And of course this one as well 🙂

Leipzig eHumanities on a roll!

I visited Marco Büchler and his colleagues at eHumanities in Leipzig in February (read my report on this visit here) but had no idea of all the exciting developments to emerge there soon after. Their centre of eHumanities is on a roll!

It was recently announced that Professor Greg Crane, pioneer in the Digital Humanities and the person behind the hugely successful (and above all useful) Perseus Digital Library, has been appointed Humboldt Professor in Leipzig. With Professor Crane in such a prestigious and well-funded position I am quite sure we can expect to hear great things from the Leipzig eHumanities team.

In fact, I heard of two new initiatives already: the Leipzig eHumanities seminar and the eHumanities innovation award. The first will take place every Wednesday between October and November. See the call for submissions below. The second aims to recognise “emerging researchers who have developed new automated methods for the analysis of Humanities content”. They emphasise that they are not looking for scholars who applied existing methods to digital data, but instead want to uncover real methodological innovations that are useful for the Humanities. See the call for proposals below.

I am sure that Marco, Greg and everyone at eHumanities in Leipzig have great plans and I cannot think of a better team to bring this to a good end. I am very much looking forward for future news from Leipzig!

eHumanities seminar call for submissions:

The Leipzig eHumanities Seminar establishes a new forum for the discussion of digital methods applied within the Humanities. Topics include text mining, machine learning, network analysis, time series, sentiment analysis, agent-based modelling, or efficient visualization of massive and humanities relevant data.

The seminars take place every Wednesday afternoon (16:30 – 19:00) from October to November at the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science in Leipzig, Germany. All accepted papers will be published in a printed volume. Furthermore, a small budget for travel cost reimbursements is available.

Abstracts of no more than 1000 words should be sent by June, 15th, 2012 to Notifications and program announcements will be sent by the end of July.

If you have any questions please contact at

Seminar board (in alphabetical order):
Marco Büchler (Natural Language Processing),
Elisabeth Burr (Digital Romance Linguistics),
Gregory Crane (Digital Classics, Digital Libraries),
Gerhard Heyer (Natural Language Processing,
Gerik Scheuermann (Visualisation),
Ulrich Johannes Schneider (Cultural Studies, University Library).

eHumanities innovation award:

The eHumanities Innovation Award recognizes emerging researchers who have developed new automated methods for the analysis of Humanities content. We particularly look for research that involves a deep understanding of issues from both the Humanities and from the Information Sciences. Individual researchers may thus be primarily centered in the Humanities or in the Information Sciences but we also invite work that involves collaboration across these boundaries.

Your proposal should clarify the following points:
How does your methodology/technique work? Explain and discuss here in detail not only the technique you propose, but also the distinguishing features of your approach.
Which benefits does your method provide for the humanities? Please explain in detail how your method is used in any field of the humanities? Do not forget to provide good examples.
What are the next steps for your research process?

We are not interested in a combination of digital data with previously available tools or visualization techniques.

Who can apply?
This award focuses on researchers who have received their PhD’s within the previous 5 years or are still working on the PhD.

Send a proposal abstract until July, 31st, 2012.
After reviewing, the participants with the 5 most interesting contributions will be asked to present both data and results of their submissions (early September 2012).
Finally, the winner and two notable mentions will be announced by September 30th, 2012.

The winner will receive a 1000 Euro award and will be invited to the 2012 Leipzig eHumanities Seminar to present the contribution.

Please send an anonymized proposal of no more than 1.500 words by July, 31st, 2012 to

If you have any questions please contact us at

Award board (in alphabetical order):
Marco Büchler (Natural Language Processing),
Elisabeth Burr (Digital Romance Linguistics),
Gregory Crane (Digital Classics, Digital Libraries),
Gerhard Heyer (Natural Language Processing,
Gerik Scheuermann (Visualisation),
Ulrich Johannes Schneider (Cultural Studies, University Library).

NECSI summer and winter school

The New England Complex Systems Institute is hosting a summer school in June on complex system modelling and networks. The programme looks interesting and diverse, focusing on theory, practice and existing applications. You can register via their website.

Location: MIT, Cambridge, MA

Week 1: June 4-8 CX201: Complex Physical, Biological and Social Systems

Lab: June 10 CX102: Computer Programming and Complex Systems

Week 2: June 11-15 CX202: Complex Systems Modeling and Networks

NECSI’s Summer and Winter Schools offer two intensive week-long courses. The courses consist of lecture and supervised group projects. Though the second week builds on material covered in the previous week, CX201 is not a prerequisite for CX202. You may register for either, or both weeks.

The CX102 lab is strongly recommended to prepare students with little computer programming experience for CX202.

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