Networks and the study of religions CFP

The below call for papers will be of interest to readers of this blog. Please note that the deadline is 15 December!

CfP “Network Analysis, Computational Modelling and Simulation in the Study of Religions”

via David Zbíral:

Dear colleagues,

at the EASR 2019 conference, to be held in Tartu, Estonia, 25-29 June 2019 (see https://easr2019.org/), Aleš Chalupa and myself organize an open panel entitled “Network Analysis, Computational Modelling and Simulation in the Study of Religions”, which focuses on demonstrating the potential of these methods and discussing them. In continuation with having hosted, in September 2018, the annual conference on “Historical Network Research” (http://historicalnetworkresearch.org/) at the Department for the Study of Religions, Masaryk University, Brno, we want to help developing these approaches within the European study of religions.

We welcome proposals for papers discussing any historical period and geographical area. Topics might include, but are not limited to:

* Modelling of the social dynamics of religious groups and interactions between religious communities

* Modelling of the spread of religious traditions on networks (transportation, commercial, social, ethnic etc.)

* Agent-based modelling of the transmission of different types of ritual in a diachronic perspective

* Extraction of networks from texts, computer-assisted text mining

* Social network analysis of actors in specific historical events important for the history of religions

* Usability of conceptual and methodological frameworks of complex adaptive system science towards the study of religions

* Inter- and transdisciplinarity in the study of religions concerning computational methods

* Preparing “computational data”; tools and methods for creating and managing datasets and databases aiding research into religions

* Comparison of close and distant reading in the study of religions

We are looking forward to receiving your paper proposals! The submission should be made through the online registration at the official website of the conference as a submission of an individual paper, where you choose “Network Analysis, Computational Modelling and Simulation in the Study of Religions” as the panel in which you propose the paper. General information about the submission of individual papers can be found here: https://easr2019.org/call-for-individual-papers/ . The submission deadline is 15 December 2018. Review results will be announced on 15 January 2019. Abstracts should be no more than 300 words long. If you have any queries concerning the panel, please get in touch with me at david.zbiral@post.cz .

Thanks for considering our panel and/or forwarding it to those who could be interested in participating, and hopefully see many of you in Tartu in June 2019!

With all best wishes,

David Zbíral.

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Visualising networks with The Vistorian. A new tutorial

When I talk to archaeologists and historians about what they want from a network software the following things usually come up:

  • I want to see spatial maps!
  • I want to have a slider to move through time!
  • I want to put as many different types of relationships in there as I can!
  • It has to be easy!

A software that does all that simply does not exist. Mainly because these are pretty demanding features for a piece of software and are not things that have been at the core of research in network science.

Until now that is!

Introducing The Vistorian: Interactive Visualizations for Dynamic and Multivariate Networks. Free, online, and open source.

The tool fills a gap in the market that delivers loads of functionality Humanities scholars crave. In fact, it was developed partly with humanities, history and archaeology scholars in mind. It allows you to deal with space, to explore your nodes and links on an interactive map. It allows you to slide through different time slices of your data. It allows you to add different layers of relationships. It allows you to stay on top of all that complexity and explore it intuitively through a range of different visualisation format: node-link, matrix, combined, map, time curves.

Benjamin Bach and I developed a step-by-step tutorial teaching archaeologists how to use The Vistorian, using a real archaeological dataset of Roman tableware distributions. Try it out! You can find it on the resources tab of this website.

 

 

The Connected Past Oxford: in numbers

Next week we will host the next edition of The Connected Past conference, this time in Oxford. The response to the conference has been overwhelming. 65 abstracts were received but only 30 could be accepted if we wanted to avoid parallel sessions. With 117 expected delegates this will be the largest event in the series. We are expecting colleagues from 17 countries and 66 institutions. Interestingly but perhaps not surprisingly, the gender split among delegates is almost 50/50 but only 32% of named authors of papers are female. This proportion is luckily increasing over the years but it’s clearly something for our community to work on.

Have a look at the infographic below. Can you spot how much wine each delegate will receive? I think it will be sufficient 🙂

blog

FORVM board game available now!

Don’t know what to buy family and friends for Christmas? Get our board game! The perfect combo of awesome ancient history empire building and new academic perspectives. It makes you think AND happy at the same time, imagine that!

Buy FORVM: TRADE EMPIRES OF ROME on the online store.

fig1 copyIf you order now the game should arrive on time for Christmas (see unboxing video below for contents). No profits are made on the game. A note on shipping: our online shop is based in the US and international shipping is expensive. However, up to 5 games fit into a single shipping box, so we recommend you combine your orders to split the shipping costs. For international purchases we also recommend you select priority shipping, because it will allow you to track your package in the likely case customs apply in the delivery country.

boardThis is a board game by archaeologists for everyone. It was made by Iza Romanowska, Shawn Graham and myself. We wanted to do a fun public outreach activity that highlights key aspects of our research: how can we simulate the Roman economy? We find that simulation is very much like playing a board game. The only difference being that a simulation is played by a computer hundreds or thousands of times rather than by you and your family fighting over the rules during the Christmas break. The disagreements and discussions that arise over playing a board game we actually find very similar to the process we go through when making a computer simulation. Why is this rule the way it is? Is it really the best representation of the Roman world? Why don’t we change it and see what happens? This is why we thoughts a board game is the ideal format to share this part of our research.

Mod your game and let us know what you think! Disagree with us, simulate your own Roman economy, publish your findings!

Job: Full-time developer/database manager Tucson

This permanent job will be of interest to members of this list. You will be part of a great project pioneering new computational methods in archaeology, applied to US southwest archaeological research questions:
The cyberSW project is looking to hire a full-time developer/database manager to work on both current NSF supported research project and future projects/data development. The position will be through Archaeology Southwest in Tucson and, though this is tied to the current NSF RIDIR grant, will continue as a regular full-time position after that grant ends in 2020. Please pass this along to anyone you know who might be interested.

Funding for network analysis and art history project workshops

A new call for projects on network analysis and art history, to receive funding to prepare two week-long meetings in summer 2019 and 2020, and monthly virtual meetings. Funding will be provided for successful teams. Apply before 15 October!

Call for Participation

Workshop Schedule
One-week convening, July 29–August 2, 2019
Monthly virtual convenings, Fall–Spring 2019–2020
Two-week convening, June 22–July 3, 2020


The NA+DAH Workshop is a Getty Foundation-supported event that will bring together art historians, network scientists, and digital humanists to advance research at the intersection of these fields.

Directed by Alison Langmead (University of Pittsburgh), Anne Helmreich (Texas Christian University), and Scott B. Weingart (Carnegie Mellon University)—all scholars engaged with digital art history and network analysis—the Network Analysis + Digital Art History Workshop will unfold over a full year and will be framed by two face-to-face convenings held at the University of Pittsburgh, a schedule that will allow participants to learn advanced digital methods and project management skills while fostering a close-knit interdisciplinary community. By the end of the Workshop, participants will have the expertise and support structure needed to conduct sophisticated research and build advanced projects at the intersection of network analysis and art history.

The NA+DAH workshop will welcome up to eight project teams (representing art historical, technical, and analytic expertise) for a series of in-person and video convenings, with the expectation that teams will also be working and collaborating outside the convening framework to develop and advance their research projects. It is expected that this Getty Advanced Topics in Digital Art History Workshop will lead to a significant body of research and we anticipate a potential edited volume or online repository to share its results.

Event Descriptions
Convening 1: The week-long “Digital Art History + Network Science Institute” will take place from Monday, July 29–Friday, August 2, 2019. During this Institute, participating teams will engage with the grand challenges in digital art history and network analysis, and propose and structure a year-long research agenda (guided by expert facilitators) that uses network analysis to advance art historical inquiry. Potential research topics include museum provenance, exhibition histories, stylistic similarities, and the history of the art market. Teams should begin working on their data and approaches in advance of the event, as the convening will focus on aligning data with project research agendas. Up to three members per team will be supported to attend this convening.

Between Summer 2019 and Summer 2020, the teams will continue to advance their research agendas. Each project team will participate in monthly meetings, convened virtually, to check in on progress and identify further resources as needed. These virtual meetings and related support will be facilitated by a research assistant and augmented by the expertise of the leadership team.

Convening 2: The two-week-long “Co-Working Institute in Art History + Network Science” will take place from Monday June 22–Friday, July 3, 2020. This event will include a rigorous daily agenda consisting of continued training opportunities focused on the exact needs of the teams and current problems in the field, ample project work time, and daily keynote lectures by interdisciplinary experts that offer a larger, field-wide picture. Up to four members per team will be supported to attend this convening.

To Apply
We encourage scholars to apply who are either already engaged in digital art history and wish to work with network analytic approaches in more depth, or who are engaged in network science and seek to understand better how their expertise might be applied to art historical problems. Early, mid, and later-career academic scholars are all welcome to apply, as are teams that include art museum professionals, librarians, advanced graduate students, and others. Teams of at least three that are already formed will receive priority consideration, particularly those demonstrating a pre-existing breadth of technical and art historical expertise. Individual scholars with a project in mind, but who are not yet affiliated with a team, are encouraged to contact the workshop organizers (na-dah@pitt.edu) early to seek assistance in finding potential collaborators with whom they can apply.

Members of the project teams (up to three participants for the 2019 Institute and four for the 2020 Co-Working Institute) will receive funding for travel to Pittsburgh, lodging, and a per diem rate for food. Additional team members may attend if self-funded.

To apply, send a 500-word project proposal, including a statement of the goals for the project, with citations as appropriate (word count is exclusive of citations), as well as a brief description of the project team (no more than 300 words per person), their expertise(s), and a CV for each team member (including links to relevant previous or current digital projects) to na-dah@pitt.edu. Applications are due October 15, 2018 and should be sent in PDF format only.

Once all the applications are reviewed, those teams advancing for final consideration will be interviewed over video conferencing between November 5–16, 2018. Acceptances will be sent by December 14, 2018.

CAA networks session (S26) deadline 10 October

Submit your abstract before the 10 October deadline!
We invite abstracts for our session on archaeological network research (S26) at the Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology conference, Kraków 23-27 April 2019.
Deadline 10 October.
Archaeological network research: formal network representation of archaeological theories
Paula Gheorghiade (Department of Art, University of Toronto)
Tom Brughmans (School of Archaeology, University of Oxford)
In this session we aim to discuss and encourage the explicit representation of archaeological theories as network data, and the explicit theoretical motivation of network science method selection.
Formal network science methods are increasingly commonly applied in archaeological research to study diverse aspects of past human behaviour. The vast majority of these applications concern the use of exploratory network analysis techniques to study the structure of a network representation of an archaeological dataset, which often lead to a better insight into the structure of the dataset, help identify issues or missing data, and highlight interesting or surprising data patterning.
Less common is the explicitly formulated theoretical motivation of exploratory network analysis tool selection. What tools are appropriate representations of my theorized assumptions? What tools violate my theoretical framework? Equally uncommon is the formal representation of archaeological theories (rather than archaeological data) as network data. What network data pattern do I expect to see as the outcome of a theorized process? What does a theorized past relational phenomenon look like in network terms?
Taking explicitly formulated theories rather than datasets as the starting point of archaeological network research is useful for a number of reasons. It forces the researcher to specify the theory that will enable its formal representation, and possibly improve or modify it through this process. It allows for understanding the behaviour and data predictions of a theory: in exploring the structure of the theorized relationships, the implications for processes taking place on theorized networks, and the evolution of theorized network structure. It facilitates the selection of appropriate network analytical tools that best express the theory or that are appropriate in light of the assumptions inherent in the theory. Finally, it allows for comparisons of data patterns simulated as the outcome of a theorized network process with archaeological observations, to evaluate the plausibility of the theory.
This session welcomes presentations on the following topics:
• Archaeological network research: applications, methods or theories
• Network representation of archaeological theories
• Testing archaeological theories with network science
• Using network configurations, motifs and graphlets for representing theories
• Exponential random graph modelling
• Agent-based network modelling
• Spatial network modelling

CFP networks session Kiel conference

This session on networks will be of interest to readers of this blog. The call for papers is open now.

More information on the conference website.

Session 7: Mediterranean Connections – how the Sea links people and transforms identities

Session organizers: A. Rutter*, E. Loitzou, O. Nakoinz, F. Fulminante, L. Schmidt*, D. Möhlmann, L. Käppel, H. Klinkott

*corresponding chair, stu213017[at]mail.uni-kiel.de, lschmidt[at]email.uni-kiel.de

Keynote speaker: tba

Long-term research interest in the Mediterranean has produced a substantial body of data and concepts that make it a fascinating testing ground for new approaches on identity, alterity, and connectivity. For the inhabitants of the Mediterranean, the sea evidently influenced their lives and their thinking in a significant way. (Pre-)history, philology, and archaeology alike can trace the emergence of ancient perceptions of distance and connections as well as the movement of material, people, and ideas. Researchers of these professions have long been irritated by a tendency to define political or cultural entities spatially. The identification of collective identities as networked spheres of interest, however, allows us to progress towards an understanding of processes within the Mediterranean as a dynamic area of common cultures and conflicts. Shared mental maps and networks thus help to understand the collapse of powers, systems, and identities, the emergence of new ones, and the role of possibly persisting parts of a network in such processes.

With contributors from all disciplines dealing with connections, networks, and mental maps, whether they be archaeology, (pre-)history, philology, geography, and sociology, and also the natural sciences, we would like to discuss the following:

  • how the contact area of the Mediterranean influences the (self-)representation of peoples and individuals as well as the formation of identity and alterity
  • what role Mediterranean connections play in cultural, political, and ideological developments
  • how ancient writers and artists form and use Mediterranean connections
  • analyses of the emergence and transformations of connections within the Ancient Mediterranean
  • the conditions under which the physical environment determines the presence or absence of connections
  • how the concept of network layers contributes to an understanding of past events around the Mediterranean seascape
  • new theories and interpretations concerning the role of power, conflicts, and different communities that can be connected to the network approach
  • network modelling between simulations and empirical observations

We particularly invite contributions from a wide range of regions to include as many perspectives as possible from around the Mediterranean World.

The network aspects of this session links with the theoretical approaches of Complexity (Schlicht et al., Session 6), while connectivity and emergence of identity relate to Social Space (Grimm et al., Session 1) and Social Resilience (Yang et al., Session 11). They also form a backdrop to considerations of Territoriality (Schaefer-Di Maida et al., Session 8). The concept of mental maps is also reflected in Urban Knowledge (Chiarenza et al., Session 9).

Let’s do networks AND theory!

I sometimes get a bit annoyed that fellow archaeologists assume I don’t do theory because I use calculators. In fact, network science and all archaeological research is completely useless unless it is explicitly theoretically informed, and I have published this argument loads. Yet I notice that it is rather rare for the theories that archaeologists formulate about relationships to be explicitly recorded in their papers alongside their network analysis results.
So let’s try to change this: here’s a call to be explicit about our theoretical frameworks when doing archaeological network research. This is the topic of a session I co-chair with Paula Gheorghiade at the CAA in Krakow 2019.
Submit your abstract before the 10 October deadline!
We invite abstracts for our session on archaeological network research (S26) at the Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology conference, Kraków 23-27 April 2019.
Deadline 10 October.
Archaeological network research: formal network representation of archaeological theories
Paula Gheorghiade (Department of Art, University of Toronto)
Tom Brughmans (School of Archaeology, University of Oxford)
In this session we aim to discuss and encourage the explicit representation of archaeological theories as network data, and the explicit theoretical motivation of network science method selection.
Formal network science methods are increasingly commonly applied in archaeological research to study diverse aspects of past human behaviour. The vast majority of these applications concern the use of exploratory network analysis techniques to study the structure of a network representation of an archaeological dataset, which often lead to a better insight into the structure of the dataset, help identify issues or missing data, and highlight interesting or surprising data patterning.
Less common is the explicitly formulated theoretical motivation of exploratory network analysis tool selection. What tools are appropriate representations of my theorized assumptions? What tools violate my theoretical framework? Equally uncommon is the formal representation of archaeological theories (rather than archaeological data) as network data. What network data pattern do I expect to see as the outcome of a theorized process? What does a theorized past relational phenomenon look like in network terms?
Taking explicitly formulated theories rather than datasets as the starting point of archaeological network research is useful for a number of reasons. It forces the researcher to specify the theory that will enable its formal representation, and possibly improve or modify it through this process. It allows for understanding the behaviour and data predictions of a theory: in exploring the structure of the theorized relationships, the implications for processes taking place on theorized networks, and the evolution of theorized network structure. It facilitates the selection of appropriate network analytical tools that best express the theory or that are appropriate in light of the assumptions inherent in the theory. Finally, it allows for comparisons of data patterns simulated as the outcome of a theorized network process with archaeological observations, to evaluate the plausibility of the theory.
This session welcomes presentations on the following topics:
• Archaeological network research: applications, methods or theories
• Network representation of archaeological theories
• Testing archaeological theories with network science
• Using network configurations, motifs and graphlets for representing theories
• Exponential random graph modelling
• Agent-based network modelling
• Spatial network modelling

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