Historical Network Research Lunch Lectures (re-starting October 7)
Figure of a multimodal sample network of 88 court proceedings, featuring 201 defendants in 204 cases with verdicts, 55 judges and 27 prosecutors. An edge equals a conviction. On the right: Figure focusing on one defendant in a random single case’s court trial interpreted as a network. The suspect shown here was a twenty year old metal worker and member of the Socialist Youth, who was – individually charged alongside fifteen others – accused of forbidden gathering, discrimination against the administration and general societal values, and of spreading rumors. The suspect was sentenced in June 1935 due to the discrimination charges, and was imprisoned until June 1936. Layout algorithm used: Fruchterman-Rheingold in R::igraph.

Dear all,

The HNR Lunch Lectures Series is back! From October 2021 onwards, these online lectures will shed a spotlight on recent research and ideas from the field of historical network analysis to promote discussion among the HNR community.

The first lecture will take place on October 7, 2021. Our speaker will be Cindarella Petz, research associate in the field of Digital Humanities at the Professorship of Computational Social Science and Big Data at the TUM School of Governance. Cindarella’s research focuses on Computational History at the interface of Historical Studies and Computer Science. She is particularly interested in how to fruitfully integrate interdisciplinary Computational Methods in the Humanities. Currently, she is working on the application of Historical Network Research on the History of Political Extremism, as well as on Intellectual History.

Cindarella will be speaking on “Network models and configurations for conviction” (see abstract below). The lecture will start at 12:00 pm CET and ends one hour later. If you would like to participate, please register via Eventbrite before October 5, 2021. You will receive a Zoom link by email prior to the lunch lecture. 

For November 18, our speaker will be Mehwish Alam, a Post-Doctoral Researcher/Senior Researcher at FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz Institute for Information Infrastructure and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Institute of Applied Informatics and Formal Description Methods (AIFB). The focus of her research is to apply or develop Data Mining, Machine Learning/Deep Learning techniques for Semantic Web and Text Processing. After this talk, we will move towards a bimonthly rhythm, so watch out for the next lecture in January 2022!

We look forward to seeing you in our next lunch lecture!

Best wishes, 

Aline Deicke (Academy of Sciences and Literature | Mainz)
Ingeborg van Vugt (Utrecht University)

Network models and configurations for conviction

In the case study* presented in this talk, we evaluate the extend of political judiciary during the Corporate State of Austria based on a dataset of over 1,800 court cases tried at the provincial courts of Vienna I an II in 1935. This dataset was originally curated in the process of a project on political repression by the University of Vienna (Wenniger/Mesner/Ardelt 2015–17).

We propose to model these court trials as networks, thus utilizing networks as epistemic tools for structural analysis.

We show how a quantitative-based approach combined with a qualitative evaluation and contextualisation can further historical insights on the judicial practice and structural forms of political judiciary in these courts. Additionally, we point out to chances and pitfalls of the proposed mixed methods approach to provide a critical perspective to modeling big data in digital legal history, and address limitations of working with judicial records.

*Based on our paper: Petz, Cindarella & Pfeffer, Jürgen (2021). Configuration to Conviction. Network Structures of Political Judiciary in the Austrian Corporate State. Social Networks, vol. 66, July 2021, pp. 185–201. DOI= 10.1016/j.socnet.2021.03.001.

Published by Ingeborg van Vugt
September 20, 2021

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