As I feared, I didn’t manage to write any posts during my day of DH. But I’ll try to catch up now and during the next few days. I spent my day of DH, as well as the past 6 days, in sunny Southampton — below is a picture from my morning walk through Southampton Commons. There I attended over the week-end the Connected Past conference, and right after that the CAA 2012 conference.
Connected Past — organized by Tom Brughmans, Anna Collar and Fiona Coward — went, honestly, way beyond my expectations. I thought I was going to attend a rather small and informal workshop — don’t ask me why, though — and I found myself in a great conference, with some 145 delegates, keynote spekers of the likes of Alexander Bentley (the author of Complex Systems in Archaeology), Irad Malkin and Carl Knappett (author of An archaeology of interaction : network perspectives on material culture and society) – I also won A Small Greek World, the last book by Iran Malkin, in a final raffle of OUP books!
I’m quite a newbie to the field of network analysis, and this was the main reason for me to attend. I’ll be looking into it some time soon as one of the output of my PhD project will be a citation network consisting of journal papers in Classics and the ancient texts they refer to.
I learned so much about networks that it’ll take me a while to process and digest all of that. One of he things that I took home from this event — beside a whole bunch of technical notions such as the network metrics of betweeness and centrality etc. — is that is not necessary to draw beautiful and messy spaghetti-monster-like network diagrams in order to do network analysis, as some of the papers convigly showed. And as a complement to this, that there are quite a few people around who are applying in an innovative and convincing way network theory to the study of the past.
These were some thoughts that were still echoing in my mind during my day of DH! More on what I acutally did on that day in the next posts…