2012: Cultures of Networks in the Ancient Mediterranean
The first CRASIS Annual Meeting (9-10 February 2012) successfully brought together scholars from various disciplines to discuss the theme 'Cultures of Networks in the ancient Mediterranean'. In recent years, concepts such as Social Network Analysis and connectivity have made their way into the Humanities. Ten speakers explored the potential of network thinking in cases taken from the fields of Ancient History, Religious Studies, Roman Law, Classics and Archaeology (programme).
The varied background of the participants resulted in diverse applications of network analysis: using literary, archaeological and epigraphical material, networks were approached qualitatively as heuristic tools and quantitatively, working with advanced computional models. The perspective of cultural networks turned out to be widely applicable and productive, although the speakers did not shy from noting limitations related to the nature of our historical sources. Some of the papers can be accessed here.
CRASIS Annual Lecture 2012: Professor Greg Woolf (St. Andrews)
The keynote lecture of this conference day was also the first CRASIS Annual Lecture. Professor Greg Woolf (St. Andrews) spoke about 'The Origins of Religious Pluralism in the Roman World and Beyond', reflecting on the contribution of network analysis to understanding complex cultural developments in the ancient world such as social change, religious innovation, and the change from religious diversity to religious pluralism in the Roman world (key note lecture available here).
The following day, the theme of cultural networks was further explored at a Masterclass, for which MA and PhD students from various Dutch universities had prepared papers (available here). Under the inspiring guidance of prof. Greg Woolf they were challenged to use concepts and tools of network analysis for their own research. Various potential applications were passed in review and were intensively discussed by the participants
On both occasions, the papers and ensuing discussions clearly showed the potential of network analysis for the study of cultures, religions and societies of Antiquity. The wide applicability and transferability of network thinking offers a fruitful stimulation of the kind of interdisciplinary research promoted by CRASIS .Hopefully the next Annual Meeting will again offer an opportunity for scholars across the fields dealing with Graeco-Roman antiquity to engage in productive conversation!
|Last modified:||March 19, 2013 09:30|