Medieval SNA

Social Network Analysis Researchers of the Middle Ages (SNARMA)




International Medieval Congress,

University of Leeds,

4-7 July 2022

Social Network Analysis Researchers of the Middle Ages (SNARMA) is looking for proposals for a strand entitled ‘Network Analysis for Medieval Studies’ at the International Medieval Congress at Leeds in 2022. The precise number of sessions and themes of each session will be decided based on the submissions. We would like to encourage the submissions to be as interdisciplinary as possible: the strand is very much open to those working on networks in language, literature, archaeology, etc., as well as history. We would also like to encourage submissions spanning the whole breadth of the Middle Ages chronologically. Papers may be focussed on particular case studies or on methodological questions such as the challenges proposed by fragmentary sources. We hope to present sessions which showcase a variety of different historical source types, such as charters, letters, chronicles, literary sources, and so forth. Papers should engage with either mathematical social network analysis or the theory of social network analysis.

Please email with a title and abstract up to 250 words, as well as you name, position, affiliation, and contact details, by 1 Sept. 2021

Topics may include but are not confined to:

  • Using SNA to define borders within datasets
  • Temporal, dynamic, or stochastic networks
  • Geographical networks
  • Diffusion models of disease spread
  • Diffusion models of religious beliefs
  • Data modelling with historical sources
  • Opportunities and challenges of assigning motivations to historical actors using social network theory
  • Digital prosopography and SNA
  • Advantages and disadvantages of particular software packages
  • SNA as a visualization tool
  • SNA as an heuristic tool
  • ‘Learning curve’ issues in the Humanities
  • Networks of:
    • Objects or artefacts
    • Manuscripts or texts
    • Political elites
    • Kinship and marriage
    • Trade and commerce
    • Block modelling with medieval communities
    • Religious dissent or pilgrimage/ cults of saints
    • Literary worlds; eg. Norse sagas or French chansons de  geste

International Medieval Congress, Leeds, 1-4 July 2019

Network Analysis for Medieval Studies Strand

The techniques and the conceptual framework of network analysis have recently found their way into historical scholarship. Several important endeavours, such as the establishment of the ‘Journal of Historical Network Research’, testify to the growing interest of historians in network analysis and more generally in structured relational data. This panel, part of a series recurring annually at the IMC, aims at gathering some of the otherwise rather dispersed papers building on network analysis, applying this methodology to medieval material, bringing palpable results of interest to scholars from the respective fields of expertise, and promoting comparison and debate. This year’s sessions pay special attention to processes of governance accessed through networks extracted from diplomatic sources, to networks involving bishops and other churchmen in various capacities, and to medieval learning and intertextuality accessed through networks of manuscripts, authors, references, concepts, and motifs.

Session 116: Network Analysis for Medieval Studies, I: Network Analysis of Medieval Charters

Matthew Hammond, ‘Dynamic Networks of Scottish Charter Witnesses, continued’

Hervin Fernández-Aceves, ‘Reading, Connecting, and Visualising the Condaghes: The Networks of Medieval Sardinia’

Joe Chick, ‘Dealing with Data Loss: Network Analysis with Incomplete Datasets’

Session 216: Network Analysis for Medieval Studies, II. Episcopal Networks

Catherine Healy, ‘The Networks of Bishop Gilbert Foliot of London and Master David of London’

Nicolas Ruffini-Ronzani, ‘Networks in the Gregorian Era: The ‘Register’ of Bishop Lambert of Arras’

Benjamin Torn, ‘Clerics as Messengers and Envoys in the Networks of Frederick II’

Session 316: Network Analysis for Medieval Studies, III. Networked Texts

David Zbíral, ‘Historian versus Machine: Testing the Validity of Automated Network Extraction from Inquisitorial Records’

Alaric Hall, ‘Establishing Scribal Networks from Stemmas: The Case of Njáls Saga

Zdenko Vozár, ‘Networks of Alchemical Symbols: Selected Early Prints from Bohemia’

Durham, 2 May 2019

An Introduction to Historical Social Network Analysis, Department of History, University of Durham, 2 May 2019.


Leeds, 29 March 2019

An Introduction to Historical Social Network Analysis, Institute of Medieval Studies, University of Leeds, 29 March 2019.


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