Reminder: CfP Historical Network Research Conference 2020 in Luxembourg

Dear all,

this is a gentle reminder that the submission deadline is fast approaching: 20.2.2020

Please submit abstracts (detailed info below) via:
To contact the organisers, please email and see below for details about the submissions process.

In addition to the previous CfP we are happy to confirm the full lineup of keynote presenters and workshop leaders and to provide additional information about our pre-conference workshops.


Keynote lecturers

Marieke van Erp is a researcher and team leader of the Digital Humanities Lab at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences Humanities Cluster in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.








Petter Holme is a specially appointed professor of the Institute of Innovative Research at Tokyo Institute of Technology.








Ruth Ahnert is Professor of Literary History & Digital Humanities at Queen Mary University of London









Pre-conference Workshops

Participants are invited to take part in one or two of three half-day-workshops furing the first day of the conference (June 17 2020):

  1. Introduction to Social Network Analysis (Matthias Bixler, Independent Researcher)
  2. Exponential Random Graph Models for Historical Networks with R (Antonio Fiscarelli, University of Luxemburg)
  3. Analysis of Two-Mode Networks with Python (Demival Vasques Filho, Leibniz Institute of European History Mainz)

The workshop programme is supported by the Digital History & Hermeneutics Doctoral Training Unit (DTU) of the C2DH, funded by the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR).


1. Introduction to Social Network Analysis

Instructor: Matthias Bixler, Independent Researcher

The workshop provides a hands-on introduction to social network analysis for historians and other humanists with little or no prior experience in quantitative methods or SNA. It will consist of three parts. The first part will give a theoretical overview over social network analysis and how it has been adapted to historical research. The second part will cover how to gather social network data and prepare them for analysis. In the third part we will follow a hands-on approach to visualizing and analyzing social network data. While the first part is more theoretical in nature, the second and third parts will contain lab exercises where participants will be able to practice with example data.

In particular, the following topics will be covered:

  • data collection from historical sources
  • structure and management of social network data
  • import and export of data to/from Visone
  • visualizing social network data
  • computing and interpreting important network descriptives

Tools and Skills

We will use Visone to visualize and analyze network data. Visone is a free software package for social network analysis ( with an intuitive graphical user interface. Experience in data analysis or programming is not required.

Participants should bring their own laptop with the latest version of Visone installed. Example data and workshop slides will be made available over the conference website shortly before the workshop.



2. Exponential Random Graph Models for Historical Networks with R

Antonio Fiscarelli, University of Luxemburg

This tutorial will provide an introduction to Exponential Random Graph Models followed by some example applications on historical networks.

Exponential Random Graph Models (ERGMs) are a family of statistical models that help discover and understand the processes underlying network formation [1–3]. They have been used extensively in social network analysis and are popular in various fields such as sociology [4, 5], archaeology [6], and history [7]. ERGMs provide a model for a network that includes covariates – variables that relate to two or more nodes – which cannot be addressed using traditional methods. They can represent features such as:

  • homophily: the tendency of similar nodes to form relationships.
  • mutuality: the tendency of node B to form a relationship with node A, if node A is connected to node B.
  • triadic closure: the tendency of node C to form a relationship with node A, if node A is connected to node B and node B is connected to node C.

ERGMs also provide maximum-likelihood estimates for the parameters gov-erning these effects, as well as a goodness-of-fit test for the model. Furthermore, it can simulate networks that match the probability distributions estimated bythe model.

Tools and Skills

The following tools are required:

A basic knowledge of the programming language R is required. For an introduction to R, you can use this tutorial: An understanding of basic concepts of network analysis and its terminology is required as well.


3. Analysis of Two-Mode Networks with Python

Demival Vasques Filho, Leibniz Institute of European History Mainz

Many systems represented by networks are one-mode projections of more complicated structures. Often, the original network has a bipartite architecture comprised of two differenttypes of nodes. Examples are relations based on membership, affiliation, collaboration, employment, ownership, and others.

We use projections of two-mode networks mainly for two reasons. First, we are often more interested in only one of the types of nodes, those representing agency. Second, because there is a myriad of metrics for studying one-mode networks, while there exist fewer well-established metrics to characterize the properties of a two-mode network.

In this workshop, we will learn about the metrics that we employ to directly analyze two-mode networks as, for instance, the degree distribution of both sets of nodes, redundancy, clustering coefficients, and the presence of motifs (small-cycles). Also, we will discuss projections, and how and when to use the different methods for creating one-mode projected networks, such as simple, multi, and weighted graph projections.

Tools and Skills

We highly suggest that all attendees have the Anaconda Distribution already installed ontheir computers. Anaconda provides Python, Jupyter Notebook, and all the Python libraries that we will use during the workshop.

Participants do not need to have previous knowledge of two-mode networks or Python. Nevertheless, it is helpful to have some familiarity with networks in general, and with the programming language, before attending the workshop.


Call for Papers


The Historical Network Research community is very pleased to announce the call for papers for the next Historical Network Research conference which will take place at the University of Luxembourg, from Wednesday 17 until Friday 19 June 2020. The conference will run over three days opening with a workshop day and two conference days.

Social network analysis theories and methods have emerged as a persuasive extension of purely metaphorical uses of network concepts in historical research. The HNR conference series explores the challenges and possibilities of network research in historical scholarship and serves 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 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. In 2013, the European Digital Humanities research network Nedimah enabled us to organize the first international conference on Historical Network Research in Hamburg. This was followed by conferences in Ghent 2014, Lisbon 2015, Turku 2017, and Brno 2018. From 2013 onwards, we organised sessions on historical networks at the International Sunbelt Conferences of the International Network for Social Network Analysis (INSNA), and from 2014 on at the corresponding European Regional Conferences (EUSN). The year 2017 saw the publication of the inaugural issue of the Open Access Journal of Historical Network Research ( 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 (, which provides a bibliography, a calendar of events and an email newsletter.

For our 2020 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



For HNR 2020 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 20-minute papers (presentation 15 mins + 5 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 15 mins + 5 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 Thursday 20 February, 2020 (23:59 CET) via EasyChair ( Papers for presentation will be selected following a double-blind peer review procedure. Notifications of acceptance/rejection will be announced by 15 March 2020. The conference language is English.

Selected papers and posters will be invited to prepare a submission  for a peer-reviewed publication in the Journal of Historical Network Research (

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

Key dates

  • 20.02.2020: deadline for submissions via Easychair
  • 15.03.2020: notification of acceptance
  • 01.04.2020: registration opening
  • 15.06.2020: latest possible registration for participants
  • 17-19.06.2020: conference (1 day workshops, 2 days sessions)
  • 15.07.2020: invitation of selected articles to JHNR


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 Only authors of accepted papers are eligible for bursaries.

We look forward to receiving your submissions!

With best wishes,

The HNR 2020 Organisers:

Tom Brughmans (Aarhus University)

Aline Deicke (Academy of Sciences and Literature | Mainz)

Marten Düring (University of Luxembourg)

Antonio Fiscarelli (University of Luxembourg)

Ingeborg van Vugt (University of Utrecht)

contact details:


Published by Marten Düring
February 5, 2020

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