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The Journal of Historical Network Research

To start this post properly, please picture the opening scene of The Lion King in your head. Not just the video; the audio as well, please. Actually, the audio in itself is enough. It starts with an enthralling ‘AAAAAAAA!’, making your tummy feel all funny and getting you to bounce on the edge of the couch in hyper-drive over-eager anticipation because the movie’s starting!! Ok, now pause your inner iPod at that nanosecond right before the song starts.

Lion KingWe realize it’s been ages since we’ve posted anything even remotely interesting or useful. I could start making excuses, but frankly, my dear, do you give a damn? No, of course not. You just wanted educationally entertaining literature, and we failed to deliver. So I’m going to make up for that with a fantastic opening. Hence the Lion King soundtrack. This post is also about the birth of something legendary, so the theme is actually quite appropriate. Ok, ready? Hit play!


Before you start leaving congratulatory comments, let me be clear: by ‘we’, I don’t mean Silke and I. I use this pronoun in a majestically plural sense to denote the entire community of historians who have devoted their precious lives to the dangerous en generally unsurpassed attempts to spread the spaghettilicious word among our peers, overlords, frenemies and loved ones.
Those days filled with agony deciding which journal to submit to are finally over. We are masters of our own fate now. To celebrate Earth’s 5010th anniversary*, the Journal of Historical Network Research was created, and we have high expectations that it will bring world peace and an end to starvation and suffering.
The first issue will appear sometime this spring, but the editors are already desperately looking for contributions for subsequent volumes. Here’s the official call for papers:

Introducing the Journal of Historical Network Research

We are pleased to announce the launch of the Journal of Historical Network Research, a new publication dedicated to historical research by means of theories and methodologies developed in social network analysis and network science.

Why we need a Journal of Historical Network Research

While interdisciplinary research into the relational paradigm has pro- duced an impressive body of work across the social and political sciences and also, increasingly, among historians, there is as yet no international medium of publication devoted to the study of networks in their histori- cal contexts. This has put scholars with an interest in historical network research—both historians and historical sociologists—at a great disad- vantage, and has meant that they have long been accustomed to publish- ing research papers in non-historical journals. The situation for historians interested in network research is further complicated by academic and cultural idiosyncrasies, since much of the groundbreaking and recent research into historical networks in the English-speaking world has been carried out by historical sociologists, rather than social historians, and has thus remained mostly outside the sphere of traditional academic history departments. This has naturally also influenced the means of publication for research in this area; preferred journals such as Social Networks and the American Journal of Sociology focus heavily on methodological and theoretical aspects. In short, there are no international publications de- voted to the study of networks (social and otherwise) from a specifically historical perspective.
This is the gap that the Journal of Historical Network Research is keen to fill. Its aim is to publish outstanding and original contributions which apply the theories and methodologies of social network analysis to historical research, to help advance the epistemological and theoretical understanding of social network analysis in the historical, social and political sciences, and to promote empirical research on historical social interactions. The journal aims to promote the interplay between different areas of historical research (in the broadest sense), social and political sciences, and different research traditions and disciplines, while strengthening the dialogue between network research and “traditional” historical research. The journal will serve as a meeting place for the traditional hermeneutics of historical research and its concomitant emphasis on contextualisation and historical source criticism (as present in tra- ditional academic historical journals) on the one hand, and the theory-heavy and/or sometimes overly technical discussion of methodological and technological issues (which predominates in publications focused on “pure” or sociological network research) on the other.

Editorial and advisory board

The Editorial and Advisory Boards of the Journal of Historical Network Research are composed of scholars who have previously published in the field of historical network research, covering all of the main historical periods, from antiquity and the mediaeval period to (early) modern and contemporary history. The Advisory Board consists of noted scholars and internationally renowned experts from both the historical sciences and neighbouring disciplines (e.g. archaeology, social, political and economic sciences, digital humanities and computer science), whose task will be to ensure the academic quality of publications.
The journal is committed to excellence in research and scholarship and will adhere to the highest measures of quality control. Papers will be peer reviewed by experts in relevant fields. The journal will be an open access online publication hosted by the University of Luxembourg. As a digital medium the journal will emphasise the wide range of possibilities for publishing online. For network research in particular, this mode of publication holds a number of advantages. Unlike traditional print publications, no size or viewability limit is placed on network graphs. Data collections and databases may be published alongside research papers, and visual representations of networks are not limited to static figures but may also include dynamic/animated graphs and/or timelines, as well as three-dimensional network views. This encourages the development and application of digital resources alongside more traditional journals, with the aim of supporting relational science and historical network research.


We are seeking proposals for papers to be published in the Journal of Historical Network Research. The Editorial Board welcomes proposals for papers centred on historical network research into any period of the recorded human past, from Bronze Age civilisation to contemporary history.
While English is the language of choice, articles can also be submitted in German, French and Italian (please include your contact details). All articles (but especially those articles written in a language other than English) should be accompanied by an abstract of no more than 300 words in American English which gives the salient points and arguments, and should also be indexed by no more than 5 keywords. Please follow the Author Guidelines and use this Word template to ensure that your paper is formatted correctly. Articles should be submitted to You will be notified of acceptance as soon as possible.
For further information on historical network research in general, we would advise you to visit If you have any additional queries, please do not hesitate to contact the editors at

Editorial board

Christian Rollinger
University of Trier
Editor Ancient History

Robert Gramsch-Stehfest
Friedrich Schiller University Jena
Editor Medieval History

Martin Stark
ILS Research Institute for Regional and Urban Development, Aachen
Editor Modern History

Marten Düring
University of Luxembourg
Editor Contemporary History

Advisory board

Wim Broekaert, University of Ghent
Frederik Elwert, Ruhr University Bochum
Luca de Benedictis, Università di Macerata
Paul McLean, Rutgers University
Tobias Winnerling, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf
Emily Erikson, Yale University
Henning Hillmann, University of Mannheim
Nick Crossley, University of Manchester
Lothar Krempel, Max-Planck-Institute for the Study of Societies (ret.) Malte Rehbein, University of Passau
Antske Fokkens, University of Amsterdam (VU)
Kimmo Elo, Åbo Akademi
Diane Cline, The George Washington University
Anna Collar, Aarhus University
Tom Brughmans, University of Konstanz
Johannes Preiser-Kapeller, Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) Charles van den Heuvel, University of Amsterdam
Claire Lemercier, Sciences Po
Christophe Verbruggen, University of Ghent
Linda von Keyserlingk, Militärhistorisches Museum der Bundeswehr Matthias Bixler, University of Bremen
Susie J. Pak, St. John’s University

Now go go go! Write write write! Make this journal great! Your auntie would be proud.

*For those of you who never really liked math: according to The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, the Flying Spaghetti Monster created Earth five thousand years ago. Since the gospel was written in 2006, this brings us to year 5011 today.

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