Graphs and Networks in the Humanities 2022

Technologies, Models, Analyses, and Visualizations

6th International Conference, 3. – 5. February 2022, Amsterdam

The 6th international conference on Graphs and Networks in the Humanities will take place from Thursday 3. February to Saturday 5. February 2022 in Amsterdam at the Huygens Institute. The conference is co-organized by scholars from the Huygens Institute (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences), the Academy of Sciences and Literature | Mainz, Vienna University, University of Leipzig, and the University Ca’ Foscari Venice.

As graph technologies (such as graph databases, graph querying languages, graph models, and graph editing environments) become more widely available, we are seeing an increase in humanities research that relies on them. Graphs and Network in the Humanities is a conference series meant to provide a platform to exchange methodological and technical knowledge about graphs and their application in the humanities.

Call for Papers

Conference Theme

Knowledge Graphs and Reasoning – Promises, Potentials, and Pitfalls

As the subtitle suggests, the conference is open to a broad range of methodological aspects related to graph technologies. However, just as in previous years, this year’s conference has a particular thematic focus. Often the ultimate aim of graph data work and graph models is to facilitate analysis, but the topic of how to analyze graph data is hardly ever treated beyond perfunctory query formulation or the application of basic network measures. It is therefore rather unclear what is or should be understood when we talk about “reasoning over a graph” or “inferring knowledge from a graph”. We therefore invite all those active within the world’s humanities communities who are working with graph technologies to frame their paper with regard to the conference theme “Knowledge Graphs and Reasoning: Promises, Potentials, and Pitfalls”.

Key topics for this year’s conference include:

  1. Graphs as sources of knowledge in the scholarly analysis
    Notwithstanding the popularity of the concept of “knowledge graph”, knowledge and graphs are not identical. What is the difference between knowledge and graph data structures? How do we get from one to the other? What can a graph tell us that we could not have known otherwise? What counts as “valid reasoning” when carried out with the use of graph analytical methods?
  2. Messy data, real world historical information, and imperfect inference
    In the interest of categorization, data structures, and analytic processing, humanities data are often shoehorned into a digital harness for analysis. How do we account for information that cannot be (perfectly) represented in graph data structures? What are the limits of graph data structures? How do we evaluate and validate information gained from graphs, and in what sense may this information be reductive or non-reductive? 
  3. Graph- and network-based algorithms
    It is often said that “knowledge is a function of data”. If so, what should humanities scholars understand about how algorithms (functions) reason? How do the details of algorithmic processing constitute and affect knowledge gained from a graph? In what ways are  graph algorithms implicitly deterministic or not? What are the logics of the graph and network inference algorithms in use today? 

We welcome proposals for theoretical papers that engage substantially with any of these key topics, as well as proposals for practice-based papers that describe the practical application of graph technologies to humanities research work on these topics and/or argue for practical engineering solutions and approaches to these key questions. In addition proposals are welcome on a broad range of graph related topics and subjects.

  • Applications of graph technologies in the humanities
  • The concept of “Knowledge Graphs” in humanities research
  • Graph-based reasoning on humanities subjects
  • Graphs of facts, beliefs, and/or assertions as humanities method
  • Reasoning over graphs for humanities analysis
  • Reasoning with heterogeneous and real world historical data in graphs
  • Best practices in graph induction
  • Granularity in graphs/networks
  • Identity resolution in networks and graphs
  • Engineering solutions for analysis, traversal, querying graph structure data in specific humanities research contexts
  • Comparison and interpretation of graphs, subgraphs, and traversals
  • Preparing data for a graph, responsible data preparation and shaping
  • Handling large graph data for historic and textual research
  • Scaling graphs, networks, and related algorithms
  • Variance in (medieval) texts and stemmatological analysis
  • Text as graph and graph based digital editions
  • Mapping historical descriptions of itineraries/places
  • Network analysis for humanities research
  • Bias and unintended side effects of graph and network technologies (JZ)
  • Failures of graphs and their application
  • Limits of “everything is a graph”
  • Technologies to make sense of hairball graphs and networks
  • Solutions for querying and comparing different graph models
  • Strategies for, or demonstration of, various kinds of (computational) access to humanities data and information represented as graphs
  • Visual analytics of historically cultural, prosopographical, or geographical networks
  • Graph-based data models, theoretical and practical explorations
  • Graph representation of specific networks of persons, objects, and information relating to humanities research questions
  • Interacting with graphs and graph interaction design
  • Graphs as a solution for information and data annotation in the humanities
  • Graphs as models for representation of provenance and transmission of information
  • Graphs as models for historical data and information, above and beyond social network analysis

Proposals (between 300 and 500 words, not counting the bibliographic references) should be submitted through EasyChair at https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=graphum2022 by 6 September 2021. For any questions related to the conference or submission procedure please refer to graphentechnologien@adwmainz.de. Abstracts may be submitted in English or German. Notification of acceptance or rejection will be sent out by 18 October 2021.

Format of the Conference

This conference will have a hybrid physical and online format. The aim of the partly online format is to maximize participation, on general principle but also to account for the continuing uncertainty around travel possibilities with regard to Covid-19. Presenters will be requested to choose the type of their presentation (physical or online) at time of acceptance (18 October 2021); physical presence of presenters is preferred but not required. The conference venue, the Huygens Institute for the History and Culture of the Netherlands in Amsterdam, will comply with social distancing rules as established by Dutch authorities and in effect at the time of the conference.

Peer Review and Publication Process

All submitted proposals will undergo anonymous peer review by three independent peers. Upon acceptance authors will be requested to prepare an extended abstract (up to 2,000 words, not counting bibliographic references) to be pre-published online by 29 November 2021. The intention of pre-publication is to allow all participants to view and comment on the papers submitted, with the aim of generating useful and constructive feedback, and with the aim to maximize informed discussion during the actual conference. Authors will be invited post-conference to revise their extended abstracts to be submitted as full articles (4,000-7,000 words, not counting bibliographic references) to the proceedings which will be published on CEUR Workshop Proceedings (CEUR-WS.org).

Important Dates

  • 6 September 2021: Submission of proposals
  • 18 October 2021: Notification of acceptance/rejection
  • 22 November 2021: Submission of camera ready extended abstracts
  • 29 November 2021: Pre-publication of extended abstracts
  • 30 November 2021 – 24 January 2022: Commenting on extended abstract active
  • 4–5 February 2022: Conference
  • April 2022: Submission of camera ready final paper

Program Committee

  • Prof. Dr. Tara Andrews (University of Vienna)
  • Elisa Cugliana (University Ca’ Foscari, Venice)
  • Dr. Aline Deicke (Academy of Sciences and Literature | Mainz)
  • Franziska Diehr (Freie Universität Berlin) 
  • Dr. Thomas Efer (University of Leipzig)
  • Julian Jarosch (Academy of Sciences and Literature | Mainz)
  • Prof. Dr. Andreas Kuczera (Academy of Sciences and Literature | Mainz / Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen)
  • Drs. Joris van Zundert (Huygens Institute, Amsterdam)