13th Historical Network Research workshop

Where? Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur, Mainz
When? 27.-28.05.2019

If you want to attend this workshop, send the information mentioned below to contact-nats@protonmail.com before 28 February.

Networks Across Time and Space

Methodological Challenges and Theoretical Concerns of Network Research in the Humanities

From the trade networks of the bronze age to the kinship ties of medieval ruling houses, from the exchange of scientific knowledge through letters to the prevention of the spread of infectious diseases, people throughout the ages have been acutely aware of how their integration or exclusion from networks could impact their lives. Yet only with the invention of digital tools has it become possible to reconstruct, visualize, and analyse these relational structures on an unprecedented scale. They have transformed the way we think about groups and societies, space and culture. Not only economists, political scientists or researchers in literary and cultural studies but also historians and archaeologists have adopted the concept of “networks” to study certain forms of information as part of a broader whole. Rather than looking at data in isolation, the focus is shifting to the links that unite different entities, and to the structures that emerge from their connections. Especially for archaeologists and historians, who are often dealing with large amounts of data that stand in a complex relation to each other – be it objects, sites or people – network theory and formal network analysis can be very powerful tools for study.

Particular constraints, however, surround the use of network-theoretic methods in the historical sciences. The analysis usually deals with fragmentary datasets, examines data of different types (sites, objects, landscapes, institutions), or unites data from different regions or periods of time within one study. Finding a common denominator that unites disparate and sometimes problematic datasets within one network that sustains a valid historical hypothesis can be a challenge. It is not always clear which analytical tools, e.g., different centrality measures, can be applied to gain a deeper understanding of a dataset and what exactly their use implies for the conceptional framework of the research in question. To which kind of historical questions can we find answers through a formal network analysis? Is a more fluid approach dealing with metaphorical networks more useful? Which new perspectives on existing data can network research open up to different disciplines?

In order to provide prospective and more advanced network scholars and students in the historical sciences with a sound background and solid arguments for structuring a network-related hypothesis, a two-day workshop is organized to:

• provide basic training (day 1)

• provide in-depth discussion on the application of network theory for specific datasets and research questions (day 2)

The first day of the workshop aims at novices and prospective students in network analysis in the historical sciences and archaeology (no previous knowledge required). Participants can bring own research ideas to the workshop to receive feedback, but this is not obligatory.

The second day of the workshop is devoted to in-depth theoretical discussion for advanced scholars, who already have an understanding of network concepts and are applying it to their own case studies. A general discussion will conclude the exchange within small groups focusing on specific case studies and central issues in historical and archaeological network research. Students participating in the first day are welcome to attend the second day of the workshop to broaden their understanding.

There are three points of focus for discussion on the second workshop day:

1. Objects as Actors

2. Fragmentary data – fragmentary networks? Implications of source criticism for archaeological and historical network analysis

3. One theory fits them all? Critical reflections on theorizing about social networks across time and space

Participation in the workshop is free of charge; however, participants are required to provide for their accommodation and travel.

The number of available places in the workshop is limited. To be considered for participation, prospective participants should send an abstract of their project or a statement concerning their motivation of participation (about 300 words) to the workshop email address:


Submissions are due February 28th. As the aim of this workshop is to initiate a critical discourse across disciplines, we encourage all participants to contact us if you would like to propose further topics for discussion on the second workshop day.



Historical Network Research conference 2018 Brno

The HNR conference series is in its fifth edition now. It’s a great event and a perfect venue for presenting archaeological network research as well.

CFP Deadline 31 March

More info on the conference website and below.

Historical Network Research Conference 2018

Masaryk University, Brno, the Czech Republic

10th September 2018 (pre-conference tutorials and workshops)

11th-13th September 2018 (conference)

Organizing institutions

• Historical Network Research ( http://www.historicalnetworkresearch.org)

• Department for the Study of Religions ( http://religionistika.phil.muni.cz/en/)

• Czech Association for the Study of Religions ( http://www.casr.cz/indexen.php)

Program Committee

• Dr. Aleš Chalupa (Masaryk University)

• Dr. Kimmo Elo (University of Helsinki)

• Dr. Ivo Veiga (New University of Lisbon)

• Dr. Martin Stark (ILS – Research Institute for Regional and Urban Development)

• Dr. David Zbíral (Masaryk University)

Call For Papers

The Historical Network Research group is pleased to announce its 5th annual conference. After the previous conferences that which took place in Hamburg in 2013, Ghent in 2014, Lisbon in 2015, and Turku in 2017, the 5th conference will be hosted by Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic, on 10th-13th September 2018. The 5th Historical Network Research Conference seeks to foster historians’ awareness of the possibilities of network research and create opportunities for sharing cross- and multidisciplinary approaches to the networked past by bringing together historians, social scientists and computer scientists. The organizers welcome proposals for papers discussing any historical period and geographical area. Topics might include, but are not limited to:

• Social network analysis in historical research

• Network analysis in archaeology

• Network analysis and text mining in historical research

• Modeling diffusion on historical networks

• Modeling and simulation in historical research

• Religious networks

• Cultural and intellectual networks

• Networks in economic and business history

• Technological and research networks, scientific networks and collaborations

• Social movements and political mobilization

• Social networks in war, conflict, and peacemaking

• Methodological and theoretical issues of the network analysis in historical research

The language of the conference is English. There is no conference fee. Those who wish to participate in the optional social event on 12th September 2018 will be asked for a contribution of 25 € (625 CZK) collected at the registration desk during the conference.

The deadline for submissions of abstracts is 31st March 2018. All abstracts are to be submitted through the form in the Registration section. We kindly ask prospective participants without papers to register as well.

The presentations for the conference will be selected, after a peer review process, on the basis of abstracts. Notifications of acceptance/rejection will be announced in the second half of April 2018.

The list of pre-conference tutorials and workshops will be announced in the second half of April 2018. After the announcement, the registration for participation in these tutorials and workshops will be opened.

Types of presentations

• Regular papers (20 minutes + 10 minutes discussion). Regular papers should present a) results of a completed research; b) innovative research methods and their application; or c) a discussion concerning theoretical questions. An abstract should be 300-500 words long.

• Short papers (10 minutes + 5 minutes discussion). Short papers should present ideas, approaches and projects that have started only recently or are currently being prepared (e.g. grant projects, research initiatives etc.). A short paper should be audience-friendly and generate conference participants’ interest in the presented topic and/or attract potential partners for future collaboration. An abstract should be 200-400 words long.

• Posters should inform about completed research, research in progress or present new methods and/or research tools. Posters (format A0 portrait orientation) will be displayed throughout the conference at the venue site and introduced during the poster session. A poster abstract should be 200-400 words long.

• We welcome proposals for pre-conference tutorials and workshops which are to take place on Monday, 10th September 2018 (a day before the conference) in two time slots: 9-12 am and 2-5 pm. Proposals should include the workshop/tutorial title and a short description of its topic + contact information of the lecturer. An abstract should also include the information about a minimum and maximum number of participants, the type of audience (beginners, intermediate, advanced etc.), length and the type of necessary technical equipment participants should have (the organizers can provide only basic infrastructural support, e.g. suitable classrooms with a projector, whiteboard etc., not technical equipment such as laptops, specialized software etc.). The lecturer will be responsible for communicating necessary information to the registered participants. An abstract should be 200-400 long words.

Historical network research conference: registration and program

The fourth HNR conference will take place in Turku, Finland, from 17 to 20 October 2017. Registration is open now and it’s FREE! Have a look at the programme here: plenty of interesting papers and a number of really useful workshops. I really like this conference series because of its friendly and exciting atmosphere, so I will definitely recommend you to attend if you can.

We are pleased to announce that the registration to the “4th Historical Network Research Conference” is now OPEN. Please go to the following page and proceed according the guidelines:


Please note: there is no conference fee, but if you want to participate in the conference dinner on 19 October 2017 it will cost 50,00 euro. In this case you will be forwarded to the online payment portal.

The preliminary programme is also published and online:


We will update the programme with information on seminar rooms within the next couple of weeks.

Should you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact us by sending an e-mail to: hnr2017@utu.fi.

We look forward to seeing you in Turku in October.

Best regards,

Members of the organising committee

Archaeology and history at the EU SNA conference

There’s a huge surge in archaeological and historical networks papers presented at the main networks conferences. This is a trend that has been going strong for a few years now. This year’s EU social network analysis conference will feature no less than three sessions on the topic! Virtually a satellite conference in its own right, the sessions cover a huge chronological and methodological range. I strongly recommend attending the conference to see these papers. But also because I always find it hugely inspiring myself to attend these inter-disciplinary conferences. You never know which paper is going to trigger new exciting ideas: Vietnamese trade networks in the late 20th century? Networks of gameboy musicians? That paper with all the scary maths in it? I always find 90% of the papers I see totally uninteresting or incomprehensible, but there’s always one that fundamentally changes my direction of research and that I refer back to for years afterwards.

What? EUSNA conference

Where? Mainz, Germany

When? 26-29 September 2017

Here’s the announcement of the archaeological and historical programme, via the HNR list:

This year’s European Conference on Social Networks (EUSN2017) comes with 3 sessions on network analysis in Archaeology and History, for details see the full programme here:


See an overview below:

Networks in Archaeology and History (OS_4.1)
Room: P205 (02 445P205)

Networks in Archaeology and History

Aline Deicke (Academy of Sciences and Literature | Mainz)

Martin Stark
Marten Düring (University of Luxembourg)

09:05 am
A formal network approach to ancient Mediterranean urbanisation process
Lieve Donnellan | VU University Amsterdam | Netherlands

09:25 am
Agent Based Modeling and Archeological Networks – Refining the Material Based Approach
Lennart Linde | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main | Germany

09:45 am
Modeling innovation spread in archaeological networks
Natasa Conrad | Zuse Institute Berlin | Germany

Networks in Archaeology and History (OS_4.2)
Room: P205 (02 445P205)

Networks in Archaeology and History

Aline Deicke (Academy of Sciences and Literature | Mainz)
Marten Düring (University of Luxembourg)

Martin Stark

The social dimension of credit relations: an application of SNA to an early modern merchant firm
Cinzia Lorandini | University of Trento | Italy

Mass genealogy: Top 1% of 19-th century Polish society as a single family network (PageRank-like analysis)
Marek Jerzy Minakowski | Dr Minakowski Publikacje Elektroniczne | Poland

Embeddedness of Periodicals in Illustrated Fashion Press in the Nineteenth Century
Julie Birkholz | Ghent University | Belgium

The Network of zemstvo’ deputies in the Perm province in the second half of the 19th century: Dynamics and features of the formation
Nadezhda Povroznik | Perm State National Research University | Russian Federation

Networks in Archaeology and History (OS_4.3)
Room: P205 (02 445P205)

Networks in Archaeology and History

Aline Deicke (Academy of Sciences and Literature | Mainz)
Martin Stark

Marten Düring (University of Luxembourg)

01:35 pm
: ‘O Rus! Elite networks and gentry politics in pre-revolutionary Russia: The blacksoil nobles, 1861-1905’
George Regkoukos | King’s College London | United Kingdom

01:55 pm
Hidden Archives and Lavish Libraries: Promises of Social Network Analysis for Research on Twentieth-Century China
Henrike Rudolph | Germany

02:15 pm
Building a Scientific Field in the Post-World War II Era: A Network Analysis of the Renaissance of General Relativity
Roberto Lalli | Max Planck Institute for the History of Science | Germany
Dirk Wintergrün | Max Planck Institute for the History of Science

02:35 pm
The elephant in the room of political parties: how patronage networks influenced leadership. A historical approach
Isabelle Borucki | University of Trier | Germany

CFP 4th Historical Network Research Conference

turkuDelighted this amazing series of conferences will have its fourth edition already. It’s a cornerstone of those of us archaeologists and historians mad about networks. The call for papers is out now and I strongly recommend presenting and attending the event. It is an inspiring conference series with a friendly and constructive atmosphere.

Where? Turku, Finland

Deadline CFP: March 31 2017

We are very happy to announce the 4th international HNR conference, this year in Turku, Finland together with the annual conference of Finnish historians.

We are particularly grateful to Kimmo Elo for the conceptualisation and organisation of the conference.



4th Historical Network Research Conference

University of Turku, Finland

17-18 October 2017 (pre-conference workshops)
19-20 October 2017 (conference)

The Historical Network Research group is pleased to announce its 4th annual conference. Following conferences in Hamburg in 2013, Ghent in 2014, and in Lisbon in 2015, the 4th conference will be held at the University of Turku in Turku, Finland, on 17-20 October 2017 (see http://historicalnetworkresearch.org/hnr-conferences/).

The 4th Historical Network Research Conference seeks to further strengthen and foster the awareness of historians for the possibilities of network research and create possibilities for cross- and multidisciplinary approaches to the networked past by bringing together historians, social scientists and computer scientists.

The organisers welcome proposals for individual contributions discussing any historical period and geographical area. Topics might include, but are not limited to: historical social netwoks, policy networks, kinship and community, geospatial networks, cultural and intellectual networks, and methodological innovations.

The deadline for submissions of proposals is March 31, 2017.

For more information, please visit www.utu.fi/hnr2017

Historical networks session at Sunbelt

Sunbelt is the anual social network analysis conference, and for a few years now it’s been host to history and archaeology sessions. Do consider contributing to this year’s session, I was told by the organisers that archaeology talks are very welcome.

What? History session at Sunbelt

Where? Beijing

When? 30 May – 4 June 2017

Deadline 10 January

Session on “Historical Network Research” at Sunbelt 2017 in Beijing, 30 May – 4 June 2017

The XXXVII Sunbelt conference of the International Network for Social Network Analysis, held in Beijing from 30 May to 4 June 2017 (http://insna.org/sunbelt2017/), will host a panel dedicated to Historical Network Research. All scholars interested in presenting a paper or poster within this session are cordially invited to submit an abstract by 10 January 2017 8 p.m. EST = 11 January 2017 1 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time through the conference website. Guidelines for the abstract, travel & accommodation information, FAQ, and the submission form are available at http://insna.org/sunbelt2017/ and the abstract submission is now open. The conference does not require submitting the text of the paper at any stage, only the abstract is needed. The abstract should be 200-500 words long (the limit of the relevant field in the form is about 1,400 characters), and should not contain bibliographic references. When submitting your abstract, please select “Historical Network Research” as the session title in the relevant drop-down menu.


Historical Network Research: Session Abstract

The methods of Social Network Analysis (SNA) have recently started to find their place in the historians’ toolkit, thus giving birth to the burgeoning discipline of Historical Network Research (HNR). After a successful series of smaller workshops devoted to HNR, an international conference explicitly focused on HNR was held in Hamburg (2013), followed by conferences in Ghent (2014), Lisbon (2015), and Turku (upcoming 2017). In addition, sessions devoted to the application of SNA to historical research have been organized at Sunbelt since 2013, and at EUSN since 2014. In 2016, the institutionalisation of HNR was marked by the creation of a new academic journal, the Journal of Historical Network Research (http://historicalnetworkresearch.org/journal/), whose first issue will be published in the summer of 2017.

The aim of this session is to contribute to this emerging field by bringing together historians and other scholars applying SNA to their respective research areas, and by enhancing international and interdisciplinary exchange. We invite papers that explore the application of the formal methods of SNA to historical research and/or delve into the added value of this approach. Topics may include, but are not limited to, network analyses of historical data (from any period) on social, political, and religious groups, movements, cliques, and organizations; communication; economic and intellectual exchange; kinship; social and political upheavals, conflicts, wars, and peace-making; the diffusion of representations, practices, and artefacts through social networks; the reconstruction of past social networks through material culture; etc.


Session organizer:

David Zbíral, Masaryk University, david.zbiral@mail.muni.cz


Session chairs:

Delfi I. Nieto-Isabel, University of Barcelona, delfinieto@ub.edu

David Zbíral, Masaryk University, david.zbiral@mail.muni.cz

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.

Historical Network Research vol. 3 in Lisbon

hnr2It’s been three years since the first edition of the international Historical Network Research conference, in Hamburg. The success of the first edition sparked an awesome second edition in Ghent, set in an amazing restored abbey complex. Now it’s time for episode III in Lisbon. The call for papers is open, please note the submission deadline of 30 June, details below. The Historical Network Research community is going strong and growing, along these conferences they promised to keep on organizing the smaller workshops they’ve been hosting in Germany for years now, so keep an eye out for that. I can definitely recommend attending the conference, I found the Ghent edition I attended a great experience.

CFP deadline: June 30 2015


Call for papers

The Historical Network Research is pleased to announce its 3rd Annual conference. Having been held in Hamburg in 2013 and Ghent in 2014, this year it will be held in Lisbon, on 15-18 September 2015.
This will be an opportunity to present historical research embedded in the field of social network analysis, as well as a chance to benefit from workshops designed to acquire analytic and visual tools.
Naturally, the Conference will be open not only to arts and humanities researchers, but also to social, formal, applied and natural scientists, who are interested in historical research and processes.
We welcome proposals for individual papers discussing any historical period and geographical area. Some of the topics include but are not limited to: Economic and business history; Scientific networks and collaborations; Technological and research networks; Social movements and political mobilization; Social network theory and historical research; Policy networks; Social network analysis, war and conflict; Kinship and community; Social networks and health; The geographical scope of networks; Cultural and intellectual networks; Methodological explorations


Papers for presentation will be selected, after peer review, on the basis of abstracts (up to 500 words). To apply please also include the title, 3 keywords, institutional affiliation, contact details and a brief CV or bio.
Each presentation will last no more than 15 minutes. The default language is English.

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