CFP: archaeology-history session at EU SNA conference in Paris.

eusnaIt’s with great pleasure that we can announce the first ever conference session which is organized by the Res-Hist, The Connected Past and the Historical Network Research group:

Historical and Archaeological Network Research

Submission deadline 16 February 2016.

Submissions via the conference website.

Network analysis, be it inspired by sociology or physics, is making its way in historical and archaeological research on all periods and topics. Over the last decades, a substantial number of studies has shown that both network theories and network methods derived from other disciplines can be fruitfully applied to selected bodies of historical and archaeological data and go beyond the metaphorical use of network-related metaphors. However, most of this work has paid little attention to the specific challenges skills of historical and archaeological research, e.g. concerns with sources, missing data, data standardization, as well as the situation of networks in time and space.

In recent years, a burgeoning community of historians and archaeologists have taken on these challenges and begun to adapt and develop formal network techniques to address the substantive questions and challenges key to their disciplines. This has been made possible thanks to collaboration and interaction with scholars from other disciplines.

The aim of this session is to further develop this community by promoting contacts between the various disciplines that aim at making sense of past phenomena through methods derived from network analysis; and between the various geographic and language-based communities in Europe.

We welcome papers on any period, geographical area, and substantive topic, using any network research method. The authors may by historians, archaeologists, as well as scholars from other disciplines. 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 (i.e. as ties between nodes), what the added value of such a view is, and what methodological choices it implies.

Paper which address questions related to time or space in networks are encouraged but not a requirement.

This call for papers is jointly issued by The Connected Past, Historical Network Research, and Res-Hist – but feel free to submit if you don’t know any of these groups! It will be an opportunity to meet them.

The working language for the conference will be English, but the organizers will be happy to help those who do not feel confident with their English during the discussions. Please note that the oral presentation will be short (ca. 15 minutes, as there will be at least 4 papers per 2-hour time slot, and we want to keep some time for discussion). The papers are not intended to be published together. Feel free to present either work in progress, so as to receive useful suggestions, or work that has already been published, but not in English or not widely circulated: the EUSN will allow a wider audience to discover your research.

The proposals will be selected by: Tom Brughmans (University of Konstanz); Marten Düring (CVCE, Luxembourg); Pierre Gervais (University Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3, Paris); Claire Lemercier (CNRS, Sciences Po, Paris).
Proposals can be submitted via the conference website.

Réseaux et Histoire: because it will do you good to network in Foreign

executive-511706_640It’s necessary to frequently remind ourselves that Academia does not just happen in English. It sounds like a silly thing to write, but having worked in the UK for a while I know it is rare to attend events that are not in English and it is common to ignore scientific communities and publications in other languages. This attitude is certainly encouraged by the Institute of Scientific Information (creators of our beloved Impact Factor) who rarely incorporate non-English language publications in their index. This is an assumption supported by some generalizing statistics: the majority of scientific publications are in English, the vast majority of citations are to publications written in English.

There is nothing wrong with one language emerging as the dominant one to facilitate academic communication. But this trend is inevitably accompanied by other language communities producing, debating, and evaluating work in English and their own language. This is necessary and facilitates non-English speakers to evaluate and contribute to international debates. Such communities enable those who are engaged in both international and national debates to cross-fertilize academic communities. Most importantly however, these will be the communities that take care of one of our most crucial duties as academics: to communicate our findings in a critical and understandable way to the general public, regardless of their language.

All of this is of course beside the point 🙂 I want to encourage everyone to attend the third French-speaking historical network science community conference. It’s a great and active community, with some genuinely nice and interesting people. This will not be a disappointment. I have engaged with this community before and came out with fresh ideas and approaches I could not have possibly gained within my English-speaking cocoon.

When? 29-31 October

Where? Paris

Information? Website

The third conference of the French-speaking group Res-Hist (réseaux et histoire – historical network analysis) will take place in Paris on the 29-31 October. The format mostly offers discussions of work in progress by historians, as well as presentations by specialists of other disciplines (geography, geomatics, sociology, law, anthropology,  computer science) who have dealt with social networks in time, or social networks reconstructed from written sources. All those among you who understand French are welcome! Extended abstracts are put online when we  receive them: feel free to comment on our website, that also gives details on the conference program.

It’s that conference season again!

This month is just raining interesting conferences again! If you’re into the kind of research I like that is: social simulation, The Connected Past, and Historical Networks Research … Ooooooh Yeeeeaaah! 🙂

Two weeks ago I was in Barcelona for the Social Simulation Conference and the Simulating the Past satellite conference. Reports of this event on my blog did not get beyond part 1. That’s just because Barcelona is so much fun and it would be a shame to sit in a hotel room writing blog posts any longer than I already did. The conference was great overall. There was a surprising number of talks presenting a project outline rather than results. Although conferences are good places to recruit people on such projects, these talks are not always as engaging as others.

Ulrik Brandes giving a keynote presentation at TCP London
Ulrik Brandes giving a keynote presentation at TCP London

Last week I co-organised The Connected Past with Tim Evans and Ray Rivers at Imperial College London, and the rest of the Connected Past team. It strikes me as a wonderful thing how every time we organise an event we attract a truly multi-disciplinary, young, and curious audience. Interestingly there is also always a slight majority of female scholars at The Connected Past events, which is very welcome given that in academia often the opposite is true. Our audience is always a particularly studious bunch. Humanities scholars looking to learn more about what that network thing is all about, and scholars from the hard sciences who want to know if they can jump on a research topic/problem/dataset that is slightly more sexy than gravity. The keynote talks by Alan Wilson, Ulrik Brandes and Joaquim Fort were brilliant! Each drew from their personal experiences of applying a different computation modelling approach to archaeological research: agent-based modelling, network modelling, and statistical modelling. In particular, I can recommend Brandes’co-authored paper entitled ‘what is network science?’, which is definitely required reading for anyone following this blog. I am sure this is not gonna be the last Connected Past event. In fact, I’ll be able to announce some cool TCP news very soon I hope.

This week it’s time for Historical Networks Research, an initiative that already received loads of blogspace here. No need to break the trend: expect reports from the keynotes and talks as the conference progresses over the coming days. I am particularly looking forward to the keynote by Claire Lemercier, who organised a fantastic TCP in Paris in April. Claire is a real pioneer in applying network science in history, and her review article on the subject is a must-read for any historians interested in networks. Stay tuned for more on Historical Networks Research soon!

Archaeological and historical network analysts unite!

315px-I_Need_You_on_the_Job_Every_Day_-_NARA_-_534704Network science is becoming more commonly applied in both archaeology and history. But this is not happening without difficulties. Pioneers in both disciplines are now trying to overcome the numerous challenges that still surround their use of network techniques: how to deal with fragmentary data, performing analyses over extremely long time spans, using material data in network science to understand past human behaviour, …. I believe archaeologists and historians should face these challenges together! Through collaboration we might come to a better understanding of the use of network science in our disciplines much faster. In a recently published article in Nouvelles de l’Archéologie, Anna Collar, Fiona Coward, Claire Lemercier and myself show how many of the challenges that archaeologists and historians have identified are actually not discipline-specific: we CAN collaborate to tackle them together. Since this article is in French I wanted to provide an English summary of our argumentation here (written with my co-authors). The full article can be downloaded on Academia or through my bibliography page.


One of the key aspects of historical sources, compared to archaeological sources, is that the former often allow for the identification of past individuals, by name, and by role. This richness of data at the individual level means that network analytical methods can be very powerful in the illumination of past social networks and the details of particular places and times – offering, where the data are good enough, a window onto past social lives and interactions, and allowing the synchronic analysis of social networks at a particular moment in time.

However, the issues most commonly mentioned by historical network analysts also concern problematic and incomplete data. These issues are undeniably more significant for archaeology and history than for contemporary social sciences such as sociology. But we should not overestimate their potential impact. Even sociological research in contemporary populations face similar issues where full data may not be available for a variety of reasons, and although the problems are clearly more fundamental in history and archaeology, this also means that researchers in both disciplines have long been accustomed to dealing with, and developing methods at least partially compensating for, partial and biased datasets. As a result, this may be one important area where archaeology and history can contribute its expertise to other disciplines working with imperfect network data.


In contrast to history, archaeology is much less frequently furnished with such focused evidence. In archaeology, individuals are typically identified indirectly through the material remains they leave behind, and even where they can be identified, they often remain without names or specified roles.  Not only is archaeological data typically not ‘individualized’, but it can also rarely be attributed an exact date. Most archaeological data typically has date ranges with differing probabilities attached to them, making the establishment of contemporaneity between entities/potential nodes in networks (e.g. individuals; events; settlements) highly problematic. Because of this, archaeologists have tended to focus on the synchronic study of human behavioural change over the long-term, rather than on the diachronic examination of behaviour and interaction. A further characteristic of archaeological data is that it is also likely to be more strongly geographically grounded. Indeed, the geographical location of archaeological data is often among the few pieces of information archaeologists possess. Finally, network analytical methods in archaeology tend to focus most closely on long-term changes in the everyday lives of past peoples.

Common challenges in archaeology and history

Alongside these differences, there are also a number of common challenges facing archaeology and history, as ultimately both disciplines aim to achieve similar goals relating to understanding past interactions and processes.

The most significant of these common challenges are the fragmentary datasets that often characterize both disciplines; we typically deal with bad samples drawn from populations of unknown size and/or with unknown boundaries, snapshots of the past that are heavily biased by differential preservation and/or observation effects. However we argue that this does not exclude the use network techniques in our disciplines, nor does it limit us to only those research contexts for which high quality datasets are available.

A second issue facing our disciplines is that many methodological and theoretical network approaches have been developed in other disciplines to address particular research themes. As a result, they therefore function according to certain rules and/or have certain specific data requirements that might prevent straightforward applications in our disciplines.

Furthermore,  using a network approach to study a past phenomenon necessarily requires a researcher to make a series of decisions about how the parameters of that phenomenon should be represented – for example, what entities to use as nodes and what forms of relationship to model as vertices. Archaeologists and historians familiar with the analytical and visualization techniques used by researchers studying modern phenomena may find many analytical approaches and visualization techniques that are not appropriate or achievable. The past phenomena we are interested in, the kinds of questions our data allows us to ask, and the often very specific parameters of human behaviour assumed by archaeologists and historians for investigating the past, are likely to mean we will ultimately need to develop purpose-made visualization and analysis techniques. At the least we will need to acquire a critical understanding of the various methods available if we are to represent archaeological and historical network  data in appropriate ways – and indeed, to ‘read’ such visualizations and analysis results correctly.

Finally, the poor chronological control characteristic to a certain extent of historical and to a much greater extent of archaeological datasets, limits our knowledge regarding the order in which nodes and links in networks became salient and also the degree of contemporaneity between nodes. This is likely to have significant ramifications for the ways in which archaeologists and historians visualize and analyse networks, driving a need to consider ‘fuzzy’ networks, margins of error and probabilistic models, as well as the consideration of complex processes of network change and evolution over time.

Unite! Meeting the challenges together

In the recent surge of network applications in archaeology and history, it would seem that the two disciplines have thus far focused their efforts on the more obvious potential applications which mirror those most common in other disciplines, such as the identification and interpretation of ‘small-world’ network structure or the choice of datasets that are readily envisaged as or translated into network data (e.g. road and river networks). Such analyses have demonstrated the potential of the methods for archaeological and historical datasets; however, we believe that potential applications go far beyond this, and that network approaches hold a wealth of untapped potential for the study of the past. To achieve this potential, we will need to become more critical and more creative in our applications, and explore not simply what network science can offer the study of the past, but also what our disciplines offer in terms of developing that science – firstly to tackle specifically archaeological and historical questions, but ultimately to broaden the scope of the science itself as methodologies specifically developed for use in archaeological and historical contexts are taken up for use in tackling similar questions in other disciplines.

TCP (2013_05_12 19_17_14 UTC)Initiatives like The Connected Past and Historical Network Research offer a platform that would allow for exactly this kind of interaction between network scientists and those applying network science to the study of the past. The challenges individual members were encountering in our own research across archaeology and history encouraged us to consider developing a mutually supportive space in which to share concerns and problems, and to discuss ideas and approaches for moving beyond these.

We suggest that simply bringing people together through conferences, workshops, conference sessions and more informal groupings is key to fostering the dialogue between the disciplines that is so important to move forward applications of network analysis to the study of the past. Talking to each other across traditional disciplinary boundaries is vital in the ongoing development of network perspectives on the past. However, as noted above, at the same time we also need to be more sensitive to the specific demands of our disciplinary goals and our datasets and develop new network methods that suit our disciplines better. The sociological roots of most social network analysis software packages means that these are often designed and engineered to address discipline-specific research concepts that may not be appropriate for archaeology and history. SNA software has generally been created to deal with interactions between people in a modern setting – where the individual answers to questions about interactions can be documented with a degree of accuracy. As such, this software and network methodologies in general will need to be applied with care and ideally even developed from scratch for use with networks comprised of nodes which are words, texts, places or artefacts, for the characteristically fragmentary and poorly chronologically controlled datasets of archaeology and history, and for research that aims to go beyond the structuring of individual networks of contemporary nodes to investigate questions of network evolution and change. While interdisciplinary dialogue is crucial, we will need to be sensitive to the discipline-specific idiosyncracies of our data and to critique rather than adopt wholesale practices used in other fields. In this way, rather than apologizing for the ‘deficiencies’ of our datasets in comparison with those characteristic of other disciplines, we will also be able to make novel contributions to the wider field based on the new questions and challenges the study of the past offers network science.

First Connected Past publication!

coverphotoAnna Collar, Fiona Coward and I started The Connected Past in 2011. Since then we have been enjoying organising a number of conferences, workshops and sessions together with our many friends in the TCP steering committee. Many collaborations and other fun things have followed on from these events but no publications yet, until now! Anna, Fiona, Claire and I recently published a paper in Nouvelles de l’archéologie. It was part of a special issue on network perspectives in archaeology edited by Carl Knappett.

Our paper’s aims are very similar to those of TCP in general: to communicate across communities of archaeologists and historians, to identify the challenges we face when using network perspectives, and to overcome them together. The paper first lists a number of challenges historians are confronted with, then a number of archaeological challenges. It argues how some of these challenges are similar and that it’s worth our while to collaborate. At the end of the paper we suggest a few ways of doing this. And it will be no surprise that one of the ways is to attend our future TCP events 🙂

You can download the full paper on Academia or via my bibliography page. You can read the abstract below.

The Connected Past will also publish a special issue of the Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory (first issue of 2015) and an edited volume (Oxford University Press, 2015). More about that later!

The last decade has seen a significant increase in the use of network studies in archaeology, as archaeologists have turned to formal network methods to make sense of large and complex datasets and to explore hypotheses of past interactions. A similar pattern can be seen in history and related disciplines, where work has focused on exploring the structure of textual sources and analysing historically attested social networks. Despite this shared interest in network approaches and their common general goal (to understand human behaviour in the past), there has been little cross-fertilisation of archaeological and historical network approaches. The Connected Past, a multidisciplinary conference held in Southampton in March 2012, provided a rare platform for such cross-disciplinary communication. This article will discuss the shared concerns of and seemingly unique challenges facing archaeologists and historians using network analysis techniques, and will suggest new ways in which research in both disciplines can be enhanced by drawing on the experiences of different research traditions.

The conference brought some common themes and shared concerns to the fore. Most prominent among these are possible methods for dealing with the fragmentary nature of our sources, techniques for visualising and analysing past networks – especially when they include both spatial and temporal dimensions – and interpretation of network analysis results in order to enhance our understanding of past social interactions. This multi-disciplinary discussion also raised some fundamental differences between disciplines: in archaeology, individuals are typically identified indirectly through the material remains they leave behind, providing an insight into long-term changes in the everyday lives of past peoples; in contrast, historical sources often allow the identification of past individuals by name and role, allowing synchronic analysis of social networks at a particular moment in time.

The conference also demonstrated clearly that a major concern for advancing the use of network analysis in both the archaeological and historical disciplines will be the consideration of how to translate sociological concepts that have been created to deal with interaction between people when the nodes in our networks are in fact words, texts, places or artefacts. Means of textual and material critique will thus be central to future work in this field.

CFP Historical Network Research Conference 2014

hnrThe Historical Network Research team has been organising workshops for years. In September 2013 they hosted a great conference in Hamburg, and now it’s time for the sequel in September 2014 in Ghent. The team follows its usual recipe of hands-on workshops, keynotes and talks. The keynotes include Claire Lemercier (Paris Sciences-Po) and Emily Erikson (Yale University). I can only recommend sending in an abstract and/or attending. More info below or on the website.

Abstract submission deadline 10 May 2014

Historical Network Research Conference 2014

Ghent University, Belgium, 15-19 September.
This conference follows up the Future of Historical Network Research (HNR) Conference 2013 and aims to bring together scholars from all historical disciplines, sociologists, other social scientists, geographers and computer scientists to discuss the emerging field of historical Social Network Analysis. The concepts and methods of social network analysis in historical research are no longer merely used as metaphors but are increasingly applied in practice. With the increasing availability of both structured and unstructured digital data, we should be able to analyze complex phenomena. Historical SNA can help us to cope with the organization of this information and the reduction of complexity.
We invite papers from ancient to contemporary history, which integrate social network analysis methods and historical research methods and reflect on the added value of their methodologies. Since most historical data is unstructured, we seek innovative ways to derive, mine or prepare this kind of data (historical and literary texts, images, …) for SNA. Social scientists or computer scientists working with historical sources or longitudinal perspectives are also welcome. Topics could cover (but are not limited to) the following strands:
The spatial dimensions of networks; the role of transport in social interaction, on spatial distance and compensation by alternative proximities, and on the use of spatial analytical techniques in quantitative network analysis.
Relational approaches towards collective action; for instance transnational or global (social) movements, dynamics of contention, etc.
The history of science and knowledge circulation; including the dynamics of citation networks, policy networks, discipline formation and relational approaches towards scientific and intellectual movements
History of elites; for instance the meaning of kinship, political elites and policy networks, (trans)national elite formation, global elites, cultural elites and consumption, etc.
The role and organization of historical economic networks established by economic actors in the broadest sense, including networks of individual entrepreneurs, business elites, cities and states. We invite case studies of domestic networks, long-distance trade networks, networks created by migration, patronage networks etc.
Use and abuse of distant reading practices and the promises of ‘big data’ in literary and cultural history
Historical networks and theory: assessments of the theoretical and historiographical foundations of social network analysis in historical and sociological research: a relational turn, paradigm or a method?

Confirmed keynotes: Claire Lemercier (Sciences Po, Paris) and Emily Erikson (Yale University)

To propose a paper, panel, or poster, please email by May 10, 2014. Proposals should take the form of a 250-words abstract accompanied by a short CV; in the case of complete panels, proposals should consist of an abstract and short CV for every panelist together with a short CV for the chair (if different). The conference is free for presenters. The admission fee for other participants is 35 Euro/day without dinner.

Pre-conference workshops:
A general introduction in SNA: the main concepts and the basic techniques of social network analysis
NodeXL (Marten Düring, UNC Chapel Hill)
How to prepare or extract data for a network analysis: a general introduction (Mark Depauw with Yanne Broux or Silke Van Beselaere, Leuven University)
Cleaning up messy data and a practical introduction to Named-Entity Recognition for historical research using Open Refine (Seth Van Hooland and Simon Hengchen)
Data modeling and network visualizations in Gephi (Clement Levallois, EMLYON Business School)
Social network analysis using UCINET (Bruce Cronin, University of Greenwich and Elisa Belotti, University of Manchester)
The Science of Science (Sci2) Tool (tbc)

The workshops will seek to provide as much practical skills and knowledge as possible. The fee for participation in the workshops is 75 EUR/day. We take registrations on a first come first serve basis, so if you are planning to (or thinking about) attending, it is best to register early. As from April 15 you can find more information regarding the workshops and registration details on our website (LINK). More info:
Conference locations: Ghent University (workshops) and Ghent City Museum (, conference).

Provisional Programme:

Monday 15 Tuesday 16 -Workshops Wednesday 17 – Workshops Thursday 18 – Workshops Friday 19 – Workshops
– Data preparation- SNA – Node XL – Gephi 2- UCINET 2- Sci2 1 Conference Conference
– Gephi 1- UCINET 1- Open Refine / NER – Gephi 3- UCINET 3- Sci2 2 Conference Conference
Evening Registration
Public lecture reception Conference dinner

Organizing committee
Hans Blomme (Department of History, Ghent University)
Dr. Wim Broeckaert (Department of History, Ghent University)
Fien Danniau (Department of History, Ghent University)
Dr. Karen De Coene (Department of Geography, Ghent University)
Dr. Marloes Deene (Department of History, Ghent University)
Prof. dr. Mark Depauw (Department of Ancient History, University of Leuven)
Dr. Thorsten Ries (Ghent Center for Digital Humanities)
Prof. dr. Seth Van Hooland (Information and Communication Science department, Université Libre de Bruxelles)
Prof. dr. Ronan Van Rossem (Department of Sociology, Ghent University)
Prof. dr. Christophe Verbruggen (Department of History, Ghent University)

Scientific committee; organizing committee +
Prof. dr. Philippe De Maeyer (Department of Geography Ghent University)
Dr. Tom De Smedt (Clips, University of Antwerp)
Dr. Marten Düring (UNC Chapel Hill)
Dr. Ulrich Eumann (Center for the Documentation of National Socialism, Cologne)
Prof. dr. Claire Lemercier (SciencesPo, CNRS, Paris)
Linda Keyserlingk (Militärhistorisches Museum der Bundeswehr Dresden)
Florian Kerschbaumer (Universität Klagenfurt, Österreich)
Dr. Martin Stark (University of Hamburg)
Dr. Lieve Van Hoof (Department of History, Ghent University)
Prof. dr. Raf Vanderstraeten (Department of Sociology, Ghent University)

Registration open The Connected Past in Paris

TCPWe would like to invite you to The Connected Past conference on network analysis in archaeology and history, held 26 April in Paris (just after the Computer Applications and Quantitative methods in Archaeology conference in Paris). More info and a programme can be found below or on our website. Registration is free but since places are limited tickets will be allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

The Connected Past
A satellite conference at CAA 2014, Paris

Held Saturday April 26th 2014 in Sciences Po, rooms Albert Sorel and Anatole Leroy-Beaulieu, 27 rue Saint-Guillaume, 75007 Paris (metro Saint-Germain-des-Prés or Rue du Bac). Building A on this map.

With the Support of Sciences Po, the DYREM research program, Médialab, the CAA committee, and the French network of historical network analysis.

Organisers: Claire Lemercier (CNRS, Sciences Po, Paris), Tom Brughmans (University of Southampton), The Connected Past steering committee.

The conference aims to:

  • Provide a forum for the presentation of network-based research applied to archaeological or historical questions
  • Discuss the practicalities and implications of applying network perspectives and methodologies to archaeological and historical data in particular
  • Strengthen the group of researchers interested in the potential of network approaches for archaeology and history
  • Foster cross-disciplinary dialogue and collaborative work towards integrated analytical frameworks for understanding complex networks
  • Stimulate debate about the application of network theory and analysis within archaeology and history in particular, but also more widely, and highlight the relevance of this work for the continued development of network theory in other disciplines

Read the complete call for papers

The conference will be held immediately after the CAA conference (Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology), also happening in Paris, allowing participants to easily attend both – but participants from other disciplines, especially history, are also most welcome. A “The Connected Past” practical workshop, “Introduction to network analysis for archaeologists” will also be organized during CAA2014 in Paris (see the CAA programme).

Oral presentations will be limited to 15 minutes so as to leave room for discussion. Most talk will be given in English, but some might be given in French and accompanied by English abstracts and presentations. French questions or answers will be welcome and translated during the debates. Posters will also be displayed and, in addition to specific conversations taking place during the pauses, their authors will be given 2 minutes each for a very short oral presentation.

There are no attendance fees. Although this event is free of charge, registration is required and the number of places is limited. Places will be allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis.

The Connected Past is a community led by a multi-disciplinary international steering committee. It aims to provide discussion platforms for the development of original and critical applications of network and complexity approaches to archaeology and history. To this purpose The Connected Past organises international conferences, focused seminars and practical didactic workshops.

All the presentations and posters have been confirmed, but the exact programme is still subject to minor changes
Saturday 26 April
9-9.45 Welcome coffee and introduction
9.45-11 First session: Mobility through networks
Eivind Heldaas Seland: Tracing trade routes as networks: From Palmyra to the Persian Gulf in the first three centuries CE
Henrik Gerding and Per Östborn: Network analyses of the diffusion of Hellenistic fired bricks
Marie Lezowski: Cohesion through mobility : the networks of relics in 17th-century Lombardy
11-11.15 Coffee break
11.15-12.30 Second session: Dynamics and cross-period comparisons
Habiba, Jan C. Athenstädt and Ulrik Brandes: Inferring Social Dynamics from Spatio-Temporal Network Data in the US Southwest
Ana Sofia Ribeiro: Resilience in times of Early Modern financial crises: the case study of Simon Ruiz network, 1553-1606
Marion Beetschen: Social Network Analysis as a Complementary Methodological Tool in History
12.30-13.45 Lunch break
13.45-15 Third session: Cross-cultural networks
Angus A. A. Mol and Floris W. M. Keehnen: Tying up Columbus: A historical and material culture study of the networks that resulted from the first European voyages into the Caribbean (AD 1492-1504)
Francisco Apellaniz: Cooperating in Complex Environments: Cross-cultural Trade, Commercial Networks and Notarial Culture in Alexandria (Egypt) : 1350-1500
Florencia Del Castillo and Joan Anton Barceló: Inferring the intensity of Social Network from radiocarbon dated Bronze Age archaeological contexts
15-15.15 Coffee break
15-15.50 Fourth session: Political interactions
Stanley Théry: Social network analysis between Tours notables and Louis XI (1461-1483)
Laurent Beauguitte: Models of historical networks: A methodological proposal
15.50-16.45 Final session, including a very short (2 minutes) oral presentation for each poster, discussion of the posters and final general discussion
Posters by:
Zeynep Aktüre: The Ancient Theatre Network in the Mediterranean: A Structuralist Interpretation Inspired from Fernand Braudel’s Three Planes of Historical Time
Thibault Clérice and Anthony Glaise: Network analysis and distant reading: The Cicero’s Network
Damian Koniarek, Renata Madziara and Piotr Szymański: Towards a study of the structure of the business & science social network of the 2nd Polish Republic
Susana Marcos: Familial alliances, social links et geographical network. The example of the province of Lusitania in the Roman Empire (to be confirmed)
Stefania Merlo Perring: The ChartEx Project. Reconstructing spatial relationships from medieval charters: a collaboration between Data Mining and Historical Topography
Sébastien Plutniak: Archaeology as practical mereology: an attempt to analyze a set of ceramic refits using network analysis tools
Grégoire van Havre: Interactions and network analysis of a rock art site in Morro do Chapéu, Bahia, Brazil
Beatrice Zucca Micheletto: Network analysis and gender’s studies: some issues from the Italian case (Turin, 17th-18th centuries)
16.45 Drinks and informal discussion

—- French version —–

The Connected Past
Dans le cadre du congrès CAA 2014 (informatique et méthodes quantitatives en archéologie) à Paris

Un événement organisé par le réseau “The Connected Past”

Avec le soutien de Sciences Po Paris, du programme de recherche DYREM, du Médialab, the CAA committee, et du groupe Res-Hist, Réseaux et Histoire

Samedi 26 avril 2014 à Sciences Po, amphithéâtres Albert Sorel et Anatole Leroy-Beaulieu, 27 rue Saint-Guillaume, 75007 Paris (métro Saint-Germain-des-Prés ou Rue du Bac)

Organisation : Claire Lemercier (CNRS, Sciences Po, Paris), Tom Brughmans (University of Southampton), le comité scientifique de The Connected Past

“The Connected Past” est un groupe de chercheurs doté d’un comité scientifique international et interdisciplinaire. Son objectif est d’offrir des lieux de discussion autour du développement d’applications originales des approches en termes de réseaux et de complexité en archéologie et en histoire. Pour cela, il organise depuis 2011 des colloques, séminaires et ateliers de formation.

Les objectifs de la journée sont de :

  • Proposer un lieu commun de présentation pour des recherches appliquant des approches des réseaux à des questions archéologiques ou historiques
  • Discuter les spécificités et les implications de ces approches pour ces questions et types de données particuliers
  • Contribuer à la constitution d’un groupe de intéressé.e.s par le potentiel de ces approches en archéologie et en histoire
  • Encourager le dialogue interdisciplinaire et la recherche collective dans le domaine des réseaux complexes
  • Faire vivre les débats sur l’application des théories et méthodes sur les réseaux, en histoire, archéologie, et en retour dans d’autres disciplines.

Lire l’appel à comunications complet en versions anglaise et française.
La journée de Paris se tiendra dans la foulée du congrès d’archéologie CAA, afin de permettre à ses participants d’être présents s’ils le souhaitent ; mais les propositions pour la journée émanant d’autres disciplines et notamment de l’histoire sont tout à fait bienvenues, indépendamment de toute participation au congrès CAA.

Les présentations orales seront limitées à 15 minutes, de manière à laisser un temps important aux discussions. La plupart des communications orales seront présentées en anglais, mais certaines seront en français avec des résumés et supports visuels en anglais. Il sera possible d’intervenir en français dans les discussions. Des posters seront également affichés et, en plus des discussions auxquelles ils pourront donner lieu pendant les pauses, une session sera dédiée à leur présentation orale très rapide (2 minutes) et à une discussion générale à leur sujet.

Il n’y a pas de frais d’inscription, mais, du fait de la taille des amphithéâtres, il est nécessaire de s’inscrire au préalable (en cas d’inscriptions trop nombreuses, seuls les premiers pourront entrer !).

Notez enfin deux autres événements connexes auxquels nous vous encourageons également à participer

  • Un atelier pratique “The Connected Past” dans le cadre de la CAA : introduction aux réseaux sociaux pour archéologues (en anglais), voir CAA.
  • Les 9-11 avril 2014 à Toulouse, les secondes rencontres Res-Hist sur l’analyse de réseaux en histoire, avec des invités étrangers, des présentations de recherches en cours et des ateliers pratiques de formation.

(certains détails d’organisation interne peuvent changer)
Samedi 16 avril
9h-9h45 Accueil, café, introduction

9h45-11h Première session : Réseaux et mobilités
Eivind Heldaas Seland : Tracing trade routes as networks: From Palmyra to the Persian Gulf in the first three centuries CE
Henrik Gerding et Per Östborn : Network analyses of the diffusion of Hellenistic fired bricks
Marie Lezowski : Cohesion through mobility : the networks of relics in 17th-century Lombardy
11h-11h15 Pause café
11h15-12h30 Deuxième session : Dynamique des réseaux et comparaisons entre périodes
Habiba, Jan C. Athenstädt et Ulrik Brandes : Inferring Social Dynamics from Spatio-Temporal Network Data in the US Southwest
Ana Sofia Ribeiro : Resilience in times of Early Modern financial crises: the case study of Simon Ruiz network, 1553-1606
Marion Beetschen : Social Network Analysis as a Complementary Methodological Tool in History
12h30-13h45 Pause déjeuner
13h45-15h Troisième session : Echanges inter-culturels
Angus A. A. Mol etFloris W. M. Keehnen : Tying up Columbus: A historical and material culture study of the networks that resulted from the first European voyages into the Caribbean (AD 1492-1504)
Francisco Apellaniz : Cooperating in Complex Environments: Cross-cultural Trade, Commercial Networks and Notarial Culture in Alexandria (Egypt) : 1350-1500
Florencia Del Castillo etJoan Anton Barceló : Inferring the intensity of Social Network from radiocarbon dated Bronze Age archaeological contexts
15h-15h15 Pause café
15h-15h50 Quatrième session : Interactions politiques
Stanley Théry : Social network analysis between Tours notables and Louis XI (1461-1483)
Laurent Beauguitte : Models of historical networks: A methodological proposal
15h50-16h45 Dernière session. Courtes présentations orales (2 mn) des posters, discussions des posters et discussion générale
Posters de :
Zeynep Aktüre : The Ancient Theatre Network in the Mediterranean: A Structuralist Interpretation Inspired from Fernand Braudel’s Three Planes of Historical Time
Thibault Clérice et Anthony Glaise : Network analysis and distant reading: The Cicero’s Network
Damian Koniarek, Renata Madziara et Piotr Szymański : Towards a study of the structure of the business & science social network of the 2nd Polish Republic
Susana Marcos : Familial alliances, social links et geographical network. The example of the province of Lusitania in the Roman Empire (to be confirmed)
Stefania Merlo Perring : The ChartEx Project. Reconstructing spatial relationships from medieval charters: a collaboration between Data Mining and Historical Topography
Sébastien Plutniak : Archaeology as practical mereology: an attempt to analyze a set of ceramic refits using network analysis tools
Grégoire van Havre : Interactions and network analysis of a rock art site in Morro do Chapéu, Bahia, Brazil
Beatrice Zucca Micheletto : Network analysis and gender’s studies: some issues from the Italian case (Turin, 17th-18th centuries)
16h45 Pot de clôture et discussions informelles

Networks and regulation seminar programme Paris

Construction_tour_eiffel5A fascinating set of papers is announced for this year’s “Networks and regulation” seminar series held in Paris and organised by Claire Lemercier, Emmanuel Lazega and Julien Brailly. If you are in Paris during any one of these dates then do attend these talks, some great speakers in there:

Mercredi 20 Novembre : Johannes Glueckler, Universität Heidelberg (16h-18h)
“Organized Networks and the Creation of Network Goods”

Lundi 25 Novembre : Mark Mizruchi, University of Michigan (16h-18h)
“Political Economy and Network Analysis: Further Thoughts on Their Connections”

Lundi 9 Décembre : Ulrik Brandes, Universität Konstanz (16h-18h)
“Centrality in Networks: Measurement and Social Theory”

Lundi 20 janvier : Pierre Gervais, Université Paris-3, Guillaume Daudin, Université Paris-Dauphine (16h-18h)
“Est-ce que tout compte? Essai de mesure statistique de l’effort relatif d’enregistrement dans quelques comptabilités marchandes du 18e siècle”

Lundi 3 février : Gabriel Garrote,
Université Lumière-Lyon 2 (16h-18h)
“Une relation triangulaire : familles – territoire – institutions (sagas notabiliaires dans le Rhône du premier 19e siècle)”

Lundi 10 mars : Valery Yakubovitch, ESSEC (16h-18h)
“Formal Foci and Informal Ties in Organizations: the Problem of Disembeddedness”

Lundi 12 mai : Laura Prota et Maria P. Vitale
, Università degli Studi di Salerno (16h-18h)
“A network perspective to explore dynamic cooperative behaviors in Italian technological clusters”

Lundi 16 juin : Bernie Hogan, Oxford Internet Institute (16h-18h)
“The emergence of interactive social networks: Implications for users, designers and researchers”

Center for the Sociology of Organizations, 19 rue Amélie, 75007 Paris (metro La Tour-Maubourg – ring the bell in the street, then first room on the left)

Programme first French Historical Networks group

A group of French Historians recently set up Res-Hist, a project to bring together the community of french-speaking researchers working with networks in history. The programme of their first meeting is just out and it looks really impressive. Make sure you put this one in your schedule!

You will find below the program of the first meeting of the Res-Hist group, which aims at fostering discussion among French-speaking historians interested in network analysis. The group also has a blog at, including texts or abstracts of the presentations for the Nice meeting.
One of the next meetings (they will be held in Paris and Toulouse in 2014-5), will include close disciplines (archaeology, geography, sociology, political science, etc.) and the other will be used to establish ties with historians from other countries/using other languages -> you’ll hear more about them in time!

Réseaux et Histoire

Premières rencontres scientifiques du groupe Res-Hist

organisées par le Centre de la Méditerranée Moderne et Contemporaine, en partenariat avec l’Institut Universitaire de France
et la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme et de la Société Sud-Est


Nice, 26-28 septembre 2013

Jeudi 26 septembre 2013

De l’utilisation des réseaux en histoire : retours d’expériences

9h15 : Accueil

9h30 : Introduction par Pierre-Yves Beaurepaire et Silvia Marzagalli (CMMC, Université Nice Sophia Antipolis et Institut Universitaire de France)

9h45-10h30 : Nicolas Verdier (CNRS, Géographie-cités, Paris), Passer par les évolutions du réseau d’un réseau technique pour comprendre les évolutions de l’espace : La poste aux chevaux en France au XVIIIe siècle.

10h30-11h15 : Stéphane Frioux (UMR 5190 LARHRA, Université Lyon 2), Les réseaux de la modernité : circulation des savoirs et diffusion de l’innovation en hygiène urbaine (France, fin XIXe siècle-années 1930).

11h15-11h30 : Pause-café

11h30-12h15 : Florent Hautefeuille (Université de Toulouse II), Des sources fiscales médiévales à la reconstruction des systèmes relationnels : étude d’une communauté paysanne.

12h15-13h : Jérôme  Lamy (LabEx Structuration des Mondes Sociaux, Université de Toulouse), Les astronomes toulousains et la République des Lettres au 18e siècle : modes de communication et structure des réseaux

13h-14h15 : Pause repas

14h15-15h : Isabelle Rosé (Université Rennes II), Comment utiliser, transposer et adapter l’analyse de réseaux égocentrés aux sociétés du haut Moyen Âge? Quelques propositions de méthode autour de deux études de cas.

15h-15h45 : Andoni Artola (Université du Pays Basque), La notion de réseau dans l´étude du developpement idéologique. Le cas de l´épiscopat espagnol (1760-1839).

15h45-16h15 : Pause-café

16h15-17h00 : Pierre Gervais (Université Paris III), L’analyse de réseau en autodidacte: critique et illustration. Le cas de la base de données ANR Marprof sur la comptabilité marchande du XVIIIe siècle et de son usage.

17h00-17h45 : Vincent Gourdon (CNRS, Centre Roland Mousnier, Université Paris IV), Les témoins de mariage civil dans les villes européennes du XIXe siècle : quel intérêt pour l’analyse des réseaux familiaux et sociaux ?

17h45-18h30 : Elisa Grandi (Université Paris Diderot), Politiques locales et experts internationaux: Les réseaux de la Banque Mondiale en Colombie (1949-1970).


Vendredi 27 septembre


Atelier de doctorants et jeunes chercheurs I 

9h00-9h30 : Andurand Anthony (PLH-ERASME, Université Toulouse-Le Mirail), L’analyse des réseaux sociaux comme outil d’analyse textuelle : le cas des Propos de table de Plutarque.

9h30-10h00 : Deschanel Boris (IDHE, université Paris I), L’analyse de réseau appliquée aux trajectoires sociales des négociants dauphinois, de la Révolution à la Restauration.

10h00-10h30 : Gonzalez-Quijano Lola (LaDéHiS, EHESS), Le demi-monde : prostitution et réseaux sociaux dans le Paris du XIXe siècle.

10h30–11h00 : Pause café

11h00-11h30 : Elise Lehoux (EHESS), Entre France et Allemagne, réflexions autour du réseau de sociabilité et des traditions savantes de l’archéologue Aubin-Louis Millin.

11h30-12h30 : Alvaro Chaparro (CMMC, Université Nice Sophia Antipolis), Bases de données et application de l’analyse des réseaux. L’expérience de Fichoz et de Navigocorpus

12h30-13h30 : Pause buffet

13h30-14h00 : Bertoncello Frédérique et Marie-Jeanne Ouriachi (CEPAM, Université Nice Sophia Antipolis), Des lieux et des hommes : réseaux de peuplement et réseaux familiaux dans l’Antiquité.

14h00-14h30 : Smyrnelis Marie-Carmen (Institut Catholique de Paris / EHESS), Identités, réseaux, espaces en Méditerranée et en Europe au XIXe siècle. L’exemple de familles grecques.

14h30-15h00 : Pallini-Martin Agnès (EHESS, ANR ENPrESA), Réseaux commerciaux et politiques des Florentins à Lyon autour de 1500.

15h00-15h30 : Viera Rebolledo-Dhuin (CHCSC, Université Versailles-Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines), Dynamiques des réseaux de crédit à Paris au XIXe siècle.

15h30-16h00 Pause-café

16h00-17h00 : Beauguitte Laurent (groupe fmr – flux, matrices, réseaux), Régionalisation politique et gouvernance mondiale : l’ONU au prisme des réseaux.

17h00-18h00 : Gasperoni Michaël (EHESS), Histoire et réseaux de parenté : concepts, outils, méthodes

Samedi 28 septembre

Atelier de doctorants et jeunes chercheurs II 

9h00-9h30 : Nabias Laurent (CHSCO, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre), Etude prosopographique et analyse des réseaux de l’ancienne noblesse francilienne de Philippe Auguste à Charles VII (1180-1430).

09h30-10h00 : Marylou Nguyen Hoang Phong (Université Paris-Est), Pouvoir et réseaux égocentrés à l’époque moderne. Présentation d’une tension conceptuelle et méthodologique.

10h00-10h30 : Pierre-Marie Delpu (Centre d’histoire du XIXe siècle, Université Paris I), Les réseaux libéraux napolitains (premier XIXe siècle) : insertion transnationale et modernisation locale.

10h30-11h00 : Vivien Faraut (CMMC, Université Nice Sophia Antipolis), Les réseaux libéraux sous la Restauration.

11h00-11h20 : Pause-café

11h20-13h00 : Discussions et conclusions

Comité scientifique :

Pierre-Yves Beaurepaire (Université Nice Sophia Antipolis – Institut Universitaire de France)

Michel Bertrand (Université de Toulouse – Institut Universitaire de France)

Claire Lemercier (CNRS-Sciences Po Paris)

Silvia Marzagalli (Université Nice Sophia Antipolis – Institut Universitaire de France)

Zacarias Moutoukias (Université Paris Diderot-Paris VII)

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