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Digital Thursday - Christina Williamson, "Connecting the Greeks: Multi-scalar festival networks in the ancient Greek world"

When:Th 28-02-2019 15:00 - 16:30
Where:Exposition room, Harmonie building
Ancient stadion at Messene

The Centre for Digital Humanities' Digital Thursdays are a series of presentations, activities, and debates that showcases interesting research by a broad range of Digital Humanities scholars. On 28 February, Dr Christina Williamson will give a presentation titled "Connecting the Greeks: Multi-scalar festival networks in the ancient Greek world". You are cordially invited to attend.


In the ancient Greek world, religious festivals were used to establish the identity of a community but also to create ties with other communities. Such festivals, their gods, sanctuaries, and rituals, are often seen as part of religious history, or resulting from state formation processes, or are considered for their architectural layout, yet rarely are they considered as a whole in all their complexities. Festivals were multi-vocal, they could operate at multiple scales as contests were held, delegates were exchanged; rulers were often involved, as well as local elites, but also ‘the crowd’ of spectators and worshipers. All of these sought to connect their own identity to that of the festival and its sacred spatial setting, at some level, whether this was through new civic architecture, public decrees, honorific monuments, pious dedications, or graffiti and stories remembered. The project Connecting the Greeks (funded by NWO and conducted by, O.M. van Nijf & C.G. Williamson, Ancient History) aims to understand how these contacts developed overtime by examining these different kinds of data through the lens of network analysis and agent-based modeling. This will expand on the current project Connected Contests, funded by a Digital Humanities grant and resulting in the online tool This session of Digital Thursday will also focus on the technical details of the project and will be hands-on (for those interested) in which you can discover and map a festival network of your choice.

About the speaker

Christina Williamson is an Assistant Professor of Ancient History. She studied history, fine arts, and Mediterranean archaeology, and worked in information technology at a multi-national prior to obtaining her PhD at the University of Groningen in 2012, on the political relevance of rural sanctuaries in Hellenistic Asia Minor. Subsequently she received a NWO Rubicon grant for post-doctoral research at Brown University, using GIS-based visual analyses to interpret the cultural landscape of Pergamon. In 2018 she received, together with O.M. van Nijf, an Open Competition grant from NWO for the project Connecting the Greeks: multi-scalar festival networks in the ancient Greek world.