Social Networks 1450-1850

 University of Sheffield, 16-17 July 2015

The term ‘social network’ has become a prominent part of modern day discourse, and in recent years there has been rapid growth in the field of social network studies. Yet a world in which individuals are connected to one another in multifarious ways—spanning time, place, institutional affiliation, and other social boundaries—is not just a modern phenomenon. In the early modern period, neighbourhoods, villages, cities and continents were criss-crossed with relationships and ties of obligation, through which passed friendship, as well as animosity; money, ideas, information, material goods, and more. The concepts and methodologies of social network analysis, together with new digital technologies, provide the tools to uncover the nature of these communities in the past.

At stake is the very nature of society: how did people connect to one another, to what ends, and with what results? These are questions with relevance to disciplines across the humanities and social sciences. As such, this conference brings together historically minded scholars with an interest in social networks from a range of perspectives and disciplinary backgrounds.

For further details including the call for papers (deadline 31 January), keynote speakers and programme, please visit the Social Networks conference site, or contact Kate Davison (

Sponsored by the Wolfson Foundation and Sheffield Centre for Early Modern Studies.

British Group of Early American Historians, 2015 conference

University of Sheffield, 3-6 September

Can early American history provide new/original perspectives or responses to recent events in Ferguson, capitalism and the global financial crisis, and contextualizing acts of individual and state terrorism? Are there methodological innovations in fields such as digital humanities or conceptual controversies post “linguistic turn” of which we need to take account?

The British Group of Early American Historians invites original and ground-breaking work on any aspect of early American history before 1820. In addition to standard sessions, the conference will feature variations on the customary format and welcomes proposals for pre-circulated papers/panels or papers/panels featuring roundtables or lightning talks. The deadline for proposals is 20 March 2015.  More details.