Extended deadline CfP Historical Networks 2021: 22 January 2021

Dear all,

The deadline to submit an abstract for the Historical Networks – Réseaux Historiques – Historische Netzwerke Conference (HNR2021) has been extended to 22 January, 2021 (23:59 CET).

Please submit abstracts (detailed info below) via Easychair.
To contact the organisers, please email conference@historicalnetworkresearch.org or tweet us at @hnr_org#hnr2021.

Call for Papers Historical Networks – Réseaux Historiques – Historische Netzwerke 2021

The Historical Network Research community and the group Réseaux et Histoire (ResHist) are very pleased to announce the call for papers for the Historical Networks – Réseaux Historiques – Historische Netzwerke conference which will take place at the University of Luxembourg, from Wednesday 30 June until Friday 2 July, 2021. The conference will run over three days opening with a workshop day and two conference days. We hope that the participants will be able to meet in person. Depending on the course of the Covid19 pandemic, the conference will be either realised as a hybrid (on-site + remote attendance and presentation) or a full online event. The decision about the format will be announced on 15 March, 2021.

Note that if your proposal has already been accepted for HNR2020, it is still accepted for the 2021 conference. You may however, if you like, submit an updated version of your abstract which will not have to undergo review a second time. Did you submit a paper or poster for HNR2020? Please let us know whether you would like to stick to your original HNR2020 abstract, or if you would like to participate in this CfP. 

Social network analysis theories and methods have emerged as a persuasive extension of purely metaphorical uses of network concepts in historical research. The HNR and the ResHist conference series explore the challenges and possibilities of network research in historical scholarship and serve as a platform for researchers from various disciplines to meet, present and discuss their latest research findings and to demonstrate tools and projects. 

The Historical Networks – Réseaux Historiques – Historische Netzwerke conference will be the first trilingual event in the field. The presenters will either speak English or offer extended abstract or slides in English, but those who wish to will be able to use French or German in presentations and discussions. The organizers and chairs will facilitate trilingual discussions.

The Historical Network Research community has its roots in the year 2009 when the first in a series of workshops on the application of network analysis in the historical disciplines took place. In 2019, the thirteenth workshop on „Networks Across Time and Space: Methodological Challenges and Theoretical Concerns of Network Research in the Humanities“ was hosted by the Academy of Sciences and Literature in Mainz, Germany. For 2019, the originally planned conference had to be postponed due to Covid-19; instead, Marieke van Erp, Ruth Ahnert, and Petter Holme held their already confirmed keynotes in the form of a virtual keynote event. The presentations can still be viewed on the HNR youtube channel. The year 2017 saw the publication of the inaugural issue of the Open Access Journal of Historical Network Research (www.jhnr.uni.lu). JHNR is devoted to the study of networks (social or otherwise) from a specifically historical perspective and encourages the exchange between different areas of historical research (in the broadest sense), the (digital) humanities at large as well as the social, information and computer sciences. These events and activities are supplemented by the website Historical Network Research (www.historicalnetworkresearch.org), which provides a bibliography, a calendar of events and an email newsletter.

The French-speaking group ResHist (reshist.hypotheses.org) has similarly organized five conferences. In Nice in 2013, historians studying all periods and topics, seasoned practitioners of network analysis as well as (mostly) beginners met for the first time. In Toulouse in 2014, invited speakers came from countries other than France; in Paris in 2015, they came from disciplines other than history. In each case, the general idea was to have them meet historians based in France who considered using or had only begun to use network analysis, be they doctoral students or more experienced researchers. Back in Nice, in 2016, the fourth conference focused on the question of sources – where to find information on past networks, and how to take into account the peculiarities of sources in network research. In Rennes, in 2018, presentations and discussions focused on entities – persons, and others ones (names of Gods, for example). We study networks, yes, but between whom/what exactly? It was also the first ResHist conference accompanied by a two-day workshop for beginners. In Aix-en-Provence in 2021, the main topic will be two-mode networks and a second beginners workshop will be organized.

For our joint 2021 conference, we welcome submissions for individual contributions discussing any historical period and geographical area. Authors may be historians, linguists, librarians, archaeologists, art historians, computer scientists, social scientists as well as scholars from other disciplines working with historical or archaeological data. Topics may include, but are not limited to: 

  • Cultural and intellectual networks
  • Geospatial networks                   
  • Citizen science, crowdsourcing and other forms of public engagement
  • Networks extracted from texts
  • Networks and prosopography
  • Methodological contributions with immediate relevance for Historical Network Research such as missing data, temporality, multilayer networks, ontologies, linked data 
  • Pedagogy, teaching, and digital literacy in Historical Network Research


Two confirmed keynotes will be delivered by Marion Maisonobe (CNRS, Paris) and Matteo Valeriani (MPIWG, Berlin). The third keynote will be confirmed shortly. 


Participants are invited to take part in one or two of four half-day-workshops. Two of the workshops will be aimed at beginners, two at advanced practitioners of network analysis.  Workshop titles will be announced shortly.


For this event we welcome three types of proposals: (1) individual papers; (2) software/tool demonstrations and (3) posters. Abstracts should clearly state the title, name and affiliation of the authors and the presenters; if you have one please include your Twitter username, too. 

1) Individual papers:

abstract (500-1000 words maximum, plus 3 citations) will be required for 30-minute papers (presentation 20 mins + 10 minutes for questions). The content of your abstract should be appropriate for the nature of the paper you intend to present. Your abstract should include:

  • Background – an overview of the topic and the research questions that will be addressed by your paper
  • Methods and data – an overview of the data used and the methods employed in your research
  • Findings – a description of the results of your research

You may also include a single figure that shows the key results or main argument of your paper. Figures should be submitted in a format that can be displayed in a standard web browser and should have a minimum resolution of 300 DPI. Citations should use the Chicago Manual of Style 17th Edition Author Date style. 

2) Software/tool demonstrations:

HNR provides an opportunity for demonstrations of software and tools for historical network analysis. Accepted demonstrations and tools will be presented within a main conference session (presentations 20 minutes + 10 minutes for questions) and at demo booths during the poster presentations. Abstracts (200-500 words maximum) will be required and should include information on the novel contribution it makes, its state of development and licensing.

3) Posters:

Abstracts (200-500 words, plus 3 citations) will be required for posters. Your abstract should include:

  • Background – a brief overview of the topic or research questions addressed by the poster
  • Methods and data – a description of the data used and the methods employed
  • Discussion/findings – a discussion of the wider implications of your research for network analysis in history. 


Please submit your abstract by Friday 22 January, 2021 (23:59 CET) via EasyChair (https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=hnrreshist2021). Papers for presentation will be selected following a double-blind peer review procedure. Notifications of acceptance/rejection will be announced by 15 March 2021. Submissions written in French or German are welcome, but please note that, if your proposal is accepted, you will have to provide a talk, an extended abstract or slides in English.

Selected papers and posters will be invited to prepare a submission  for a peer-reviewed publication in the Journal of Historical Network Research (https://jhnr.uni.lu/).

Please do not hesitate to contact the organising team for any questions you may have at conference@historicalnetworkresearch.org. Additional information on workshops, keynotes, and programme together with further practical information will be available shortly on the conference website.

Key dates

  • 22.01.2021: deadline for submissions via Easychair
  • 15.03.2021: notification of acceptance
  • 01.04.2021: registration opening
  • 25.06.2021: latest possible registration for participants
  • 30.06-02.07.2021: conference (1 day workshops, 2 days sessions)
  • 15.07.2020: invitation of selected articles to JHNR

Further information on the workshops will be provided shortly on the conference website and in the HNR slack channel (invite link: https://join.slack.com/t/hnr-gang/shared_invite/zt-erd4n2wg-OKYZy951_CSN1xrYVGrUXA).

Travel bursaries

If a hybrid conference format is possible, the organisers strive to secure funding for travel bursaries. Scholars without access to sufficient travel funds may apply for a travel bursary in parallel to submitting a paper or poster. A bursary will cover travel and accommodation costs for the duration of the conference. Please email a motivation letter together with a CV to conference@historicalnetworkresearch.org before January 22, 2021 . Only authors of accepted papers are eligible for bursaries.

We look forward to receiving your submissions!

With best wishes,

The Historical Networks – Réseaux Historiques – Historische Netzwerke 2021 Organisers:

Laurent Beauguitte (CNRS | Paris)
Aline Deicke (Academy of Sciences and Literature | Mainz)
Marten Düring (University of Luxembourg)
Claire Lemercier (CNRS | Paris)
Ingeborg van Vugt (University of Utrecht)

Published by Ingeborg van Vugt
January 15, 2021

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