Historical Network Research
Matthias Bixler (University of Bremen, Germany), Florian Kerschbaumer (Alpen-Adria University of Klagenfurt, Germany) & Martin Stark (University of Hamburg, Germany)
Social Network Analysis (SNA) is making its way in historical research. Over the last decades a substantial number of studies has shown that both theories and methods derived from social network analysis can be fruitfully applied to selected bodies of historical data. Most of this research has long been done by social scientists from their specific point of view, regarding e.g. research interest or acquisition and processing of historical data. Among historians, network terms have been used mainly metaphorically for a long time. It was only recently that this has changed. After running eight workshops on Historical Network Research (HNR) at locations in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, two sessions on network analysis in the historical disciplines at Sunbelt 2013 in Hamburg and one successful international conference on “The Future of Historical Network Research” in September 2013 in Hamburg, the aim of this organized session is to further develop international cooperation between researchers in the field of HNR. Therefore we invite papers with an interdisciplinary background which apply methods of SNA on historical data and reflect on the added value of their methodological account in their field of research. Topics could cover (but are not limited to) network analyses of correspondences, social movements, kinship or economic systems in any historical period.