The Workshop

Screen Shot 2013-06-03 at 12.12.12 PM

(scroll down for the recorded sessions!)

Organized by Arie Dubnov from Haifa University and Sinai Rusinek, from the Polonsky Academy at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, the workshop took place between 6-9 October 2013 as the second workshop in the series “Innovative Technologies in the Humanities” of the National Library of Israel, and in collaboration with the DigIn Incubator project for Digital Humanities at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. Five leading international scholars were invited from overseas to present digital humanities projects that combine intellectual history and network technologies, and to teach about some of the new software, tools and that have been developed for them. The 25 participants in the workshop doctoral and postdoctoral students, alongside junior and senior faculty Israel and abroad, coming from Haifa, Tel-Aviv, Ben-Gurion and the Hebrew University, the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Ghent University and Vienna.

The workshop opened with a keynote address by Howard Hotson of Oxford University, who directs the collaborative research project, ‘Cultures of Knowledge: the Republic of Letters, 1550-1750′. Prof. Hoston drew the connection between the early modern international republic of letters, created by the revolution in epistolary communication, and contemporary methods of reconstruction of these world by a new international scholarly community facilitated by the ongoing revolution in digital communications. Hands-on sessions were led by Scott Weingart (Indiana University), Marten Duering (Centre virtuel de la connaissance sur l’Europe in Luxembourg) and Hannah Marcus (Stanford Univeristy) who taught the participants how to use tools and software most historians are not familiar with such as Gephi, Google Refine, Sci2, VennMaker, Tableau and more. The combination of these hands-on sessions with showcases of various projects and introductory lectures that provided an introduction to Digital Networks Analysis (DNA) in the humanities, allowed the presenters and participants alike to discuss the advantages as well as the obstacles of applying similar tools for their own fields of study. Alongside presentation of existing, already established online projects and repositories such as ePistolarium, Electronic Enlightenment, Communities of Knowledge, Mapping the Republic of Letters and more, participants were also exposed to ongoing projects such as Arie Dubnov’s Émigrés lab, aiming to provide a spatio-temporal map of Jewish refugee scholars operating in the twentieth century, Hannah Marcus’s Mapping Galileo, tracing the network of the leading early modern mathematician through an incomplete, fragmentary epistolary dataset, Marten Duering’s project, tracing and analyzing support networks for Jewish Refugees in the Third Reich and more.

Glen Worthey, Stanford University’s Digital Humanities Librarian, closed the workshop reflecting on the similarity between contemporary attempts to use Digital Humanities to gain a “Macroanalysis” or “distance reading” with similar, “proto-digital” attempts made by the Russian Formalists during the early years of the twentieth century.

To Howard Hotson’s Keynote lecture

Please note: you can only hear the talks below in stereo (stereo system or earphones).
Apologies for the inconvenience!

Scott Weingart, Indiana University:
Introduction to Networks and Network
Analysis for Humanists


 Marten Duering, Radboud University Nijmegen:
The Emergence and Future of Historical Network Research between Social/ Quantitative History, Social Network Analysis and the Digital Humanities


Arie Dubnov, Haifa University and Hannah Marcus, Stanford University:
Mapping the Republic of Letters

Hannah Marcus:
Mapping Galileo

Arie Dubnov: The Émigrés Lab

Scott Weingart: Analysis of Two Large Corpora
of Early Modern Letter Networks

Marten Duering:
Analysis of Support Networks for
Refugees in the Third Reich