30.09. until 01.10.2019 in Marburg, Germany

Why (Not)? Thinking Eastern Europe Digitally: Network Analysis, Data Modeling, Visualization, and Sharing in Historical Research

Link to this post: https://www.pol-int.org/en/node/7430

The Herder-Institute Research Academy is announcing its 2019 bi-annual conference.

The aim of the conference is, firstly, to consider digital tools and technologies appropriate to the historical research of Central and Eastern Europe, and, secondly, to reflect critically on their applicability to the different fields of humanities research, including history, art history, social and cultural anthropology.

Digital History is a rapidly developing field, which has essential integrative effects but also produces certain risks. We look at Digital History as a bridge that connects different projects thematically as well as infrastructurally, while also offering a common ground for discussion on East Central Europe. Simultaneously, it can take different national cultures of knowledge into account, leading us to question the oppositions of local and global, of cultural center and peripheries, and multiplying the ways of "knowing about the past." Perhaps more than other historical disciplines, it is project-driven and thus stimulates collaboration across the humanities, its methodological-theoretical achievements taking their starting point in most cases from concrete research problems. It also allows us to work with a large amount of data not easily operable by individual historians before.

At the same time, Digital History projects yield many e-resources related to cultural heritage as well as research by-products (such as metadata, texts, pictures, models, and authority files in addition to a number of digital tools and features). The long-term management of these resources and tools, as well as their preservation and interoperability, remain a challenge. As a result, the research questions and documented methods endure as the only trace of a project, yet – incidentally – they may be different from those put forward and used before the digital revolution. Furthermore, there is a risk that we may misperceive digital methods, seeing them as a way to provide better evidence and more precise results, or that we may omit the sources problematic for computational analysis.

Our question is how to use the methodological implications of Digital History in a sensible and skillful way in order to examine the global linkages of Eastern Europe that are generated in the various research fields: e.g., in the studies of cultural exchange, political integration processes, migration and economic connections. Both the regional and the global dimension should be emphasized. The latter acquires a particular attribute and character in the digital environment. At a time when Digital History is establishing itself as an academic discipline in its own right in Germany and across the world, we think this is a good point to reflect on the mistakes that can be made, the lessons we can learn, and the pitfalls that await the digital (art)historians of Central and Eastern Europe.

We would like to start with a close consideration of the capacities of specific (and popular) methods of digital analysis: historical network analysis, data modeling, data sharing, and visualization and to conclude with the more general question of their applicability to the historical, art-historical, cultural and anthropological research of Eastern and Central Europe.


30 September 2019

9:15 a.m. Registration

9:45 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Welcome, Peter Haslinger, Director of the Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe Marburg
10:00 a.m. – 10:20 a.m. – Introduction: Digital Age and Challenges of Doing History of Central and Eastern Europe, Tatsiana Astrouskaya, Svetlana Boltovska, Ksenia Stanicka-Brzezicka, Herder Institute Research Academy

10:20 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Panel 1, Part 1
Knowledge as a Network, Approaches to Network Visualization
Chair: Aleksandra Lipińska (Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich)

Florian Kräutli (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science Berlin): Visualising Knowledge Evolution: Models and Methods

Julian Jarosch, Andreas Kuczera, Hilke Wagner (The Academy of Sciences and Literature Mainz): Modellierung transnationaler Ideengeschichte – die Sozinianischen Briefwechsel

11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Coffee and Discussion

11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. Panel 1, Part 2
Knowledge as a Network, Approaches to Network Visualization
Chair: Aleksandra Lipińska (Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich)

Stefan Trajković Filipović (Justus Liebig University Giessen): Infrastructures of Interpretation. Network Analysis of the Reception of the Annals of the Priest of Dioclea since the 19th Century

Ingo Frank (Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies Regensburg): Mapping Post-Soviet Conflict Histories. Diagrammatic Representation for Historical Understanding and Knowledge Transfer


12:45 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. Lunch

1:45 p.m. – 2:55 p.m. Panel 2.
Imagining the Past: Digital and Visual in History of Central Eastern Europe
Chair: Dietmar Popp (Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe Marburg)

Silvia Barutcieff, Ștefan Barutcieff (University of Bucharest, Bosch Innovation Hub): Transgressing Boundaries, capturing the Past. Digitally enhanced Historical Research in Eastern Europe

Bettina Schröder-Bronkampf (Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich): Die Online-Edition der Rechnungsbücher der Stettin-Danziger Kaufmannbankiersfamilie Loitz als Quelle für die Wirtschafts- und Kulturgeschichte in Nord- und Ostmitteleuropa des 16. Jahrhunderts


2:55 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Coffee break

3:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Panel 3.
From Methodology to Techniques: Data Collection and Analysis
Chair: Barbara Fichtl (Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe Marburg)

Johannes Bracht, Erdal Ayan (Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe Marburg): Regional business cycles and economic diversity in Germany, 1850-1913. A research design combining methods of 'Natural Language Processing' and time series analysis

Ivo Furman, Erdal Ayan (İstanbul Bilgi Üniversitesi, Instanbul): Mapping Artistic Networks in Post-Socialist Biennials


5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Keynote (public)
Speaker: Jessie Labov (Central European University Budapest)
Can Digital History Finally Re-Invent Eastern Europe?
Moderation: Tatsiana Astrouskaya

6:45 p.m. Dinner

1 October 2019

9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Warm-Up

9:30 a.m. – 10:10 a.m. Panel 4.
Products of Digital History in and from Transnational Perspective
Chair: Anna Veronika Wendland (Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe, Marburg)

Sándor Horváth (Institute of History, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest): COURAGE: a transnational research on the collections of cultural opposition in Eastern Europe

Agnes Laba, Matthias Bremm (University of Wuppertal): Digital Source Editions as a Tool for Developing an Integrated History of Europe. Data Modelling and the Development of a Digital System for the International Research and Editorial Project "Societies Under German Occupation – Everyday Life and experiences in World War II"

10:10 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Coffee and Discussion

10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Panel 5.
Products of Digital History in and from Local Perspective
Chair: Ksenia Stanicka-Brzezicka (Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe, Marburg)

Tamás Székely (Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe, Marburg): How to Utilize Technology in Research of 19th-Century Parliamentarism – A Hungarian Example

Miroslav Michela, Karel Šima (Institute of Czech History / Institute of Ethnology, Charles University, Prague): Mapping a digitalizing the heritage of Czech and Slovak subcultures


11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Panel 6.
How to Link Different Data: Mapping the Objects, Actors, and Activities.
Chair: Elke Bauer (Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe, Marburg)

Taras Nazaruk (Center for Urban History of East Central Europe, Lviv): Lviv Interactive: Digital Mapping of the City and Its History
Elżbieta Herden, Agnieszka Seidel-Grzesińska (University of Wroclaw): Wie kann man die Forschungsdaten einer Universität vernetzen. Eine Fallstudie
12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Closing Fishbowl Discussion: Tatsiana Astrouskaya, Jessy Labov, Alexandra Lipińska, Christian Lotz, Anna Veronika Wendland; moderation: Svetlana Boltovska

1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Buffet and Departure