HNR Conference 2013 in Hamburg

For this conference we brought together more than 50 scholars from all historical disciplines as well as computer scientists to discuss the future of our emerging field. Below you will find our concept for the conference as well as the programme.


The concepts and methods of social network analysis in historical research are no longer merely used as metaphors but are increasingly applied in practice. In the last decades several studies proved that formal methods derived from social network analysis can be fruitfully applied to selected bodies of historical data as well. This relational perspective on historical sources has helped historical research to gain an entirely new methodological vantage point. Historical Network Research today is a research method as well as an online and offline training framework and quickly growing research community.

We are grateful for generous support from:

NeDiMAH – Network for Digital Methods in the Arts and Humanities

ESF – European Science Foundation

CGG – Centrum for Globalisation and Governance at the University of Hamburg

When we began to apply network analysis to history, there were no suitable points of reference and hardly any previous work which successfully combined Social Network Analysis methods and source-criticism. Over the years we have developed an infrastructure for historians to engage in research on networks, to exchange ideas and to receive training.
After eight workshops on Historical Network Research at locations in Germany, Austria and Switzerland it is time to look back at what has been achieved in the last years and to explore what might be next. For this first conference we have therefore invited papers which integrate social network analysis methods and theories with historical research interests.

Click here to read the Report



Friday, 13.9.2013

The Future of Historical Network Research Keynote Session

17:00-17:20: Jana Diesner (USA):
Of microscopes and telescopes in the digital humanities and computational social sciences

17:20-17:40: Charles van den Heuvel (Netherlands):
The “Circulation of Knowledge and learned Practices” project

17:40-18:00: Robert Gramsch (Germany):
The empire as a network of princes. Network analytical modeling of political action in the Middle Ages (presentation in German)

18:00-19:00: Discussion: Jana Diesner, Charles van den Heuvel, Robert Gramsch and Lothar Krempel


Saturday, 14.9.2013

Section I: Case Studies “Information Conceptualisation and Visualisation”

9:00-9:30: Christophe Verbruggen/ Hans Blomme (Belgium):
Plotting the dynamics of collective action and social reform, 1855-1865

9:30-10:00: Sebastian Giessmann (Germany):
Network Paradigms: From Textile Objects to Complex Networks

10:00-10:30: Yanan Sun (USA):
Conceptualize History into “Dots and Lines:” Dynamic Network Analysis of the History of Chinoiserie-Architecture in Germany

10:30-11:00: Kimmo Elo (Finland):
Network analysis and the intelligence cycle


Section II: Case Studies “Space and Time”

11:30-12:00 Martin Rheinheimer (Denmark):
Regional networks of Northfrisian sailors at Amsterdam, Hamburg and Copenhagen 1750-1840

12:00-12:30 Anna Mitschele (Germany):
Time and Space in Scottish Witch-hunting 1563-1736

12:30-13:00 Eberhard Crailsheim (Austria):
European Merchant Networks in Seville (1580-1640)

14:30-15:00 Wim Broekaert (Belgium):
Recycling networks. The structure of the Italian business community on Delos

15:00-15:30 Zack Batist (Canada):
Using network analysis to examine obsidian assemblage variability in Anatolia and Southwest Asia from the Epi-Palaeolithic to Chalcolithic periods (14000 – 5700 BP)


Section III: Case Studies “Linked Data and Ontological Methods”

16:00-16:30 Pim van Bree/Geert Kessels (Netherlands):
Trailblazing Meta Data: a diachronic and spatial research platform for object oriented analysis and visualisations

16:30-17:00 Matthis Krischel/Heiner Fangerau (Germany):
A Social and Intellectual Network of 19th-century Scientists

17:00-17:30 Christine Fertig (Germany):
Kinship networks and class building in rural Westphalia


Sunday, 15.9.2013

Section IV: Overlaps between Network Analysis and the Digital Humanities

9:30-10:00 Michael Kronenwett (Germany)
Using different methods of collecting and analyzing social network data with a single software tool

10:00-10:30 Frederik Elwert (Germany):
Social and semantic network analysis – examples from the history of religions

10:30-11:00 Julia Damerow/Erik Peirson (USA):
A research system for network-based digital history of science

11:00-11:30 Maria Bostenaru Dan (Rumania):
Spatial street network and urban traces around the Modernist boulevard in Bucharest

Organization committee:

Florian Kerschbaumer, University of Klagenfurt

Martin Stark, University of Hamburg

Ulrich Eumann, NS Dokumentationszentrum Köln

Marten Düring, Centre virtuel de la conaissance sur l’Europe

Linda von Keyserlingk, Militärhistorisches Museum der Bundeswehr, Dresden