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)


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