Data models and their implementation in the humanities: methods and case studies on nodegoat (hybrid conference)
No registration is required for attendance in presence. Just drop by.
9:30 Welcome by Prof. Dr. Tobias Hodel (Digital Humanitites, University of Bern)
9:45 – 10:15 Kaspar Gubler (Institute of History, University of Bern)
Nodegoat as a tool for open research data (ORD) in the digital humanities: methodology, use cases, perspectives
In the digital humanities (as in research in general), it can be observed that funding organisations have “rediscovered” the topic of open research data (ORD). For example, we read on the ETH Zurich website:
“Open Research Data (ORD) are data that can be accessed publicly and may be used, reused and redistributed by others, according to clearly defined licenses. ORD contributes to the advancement of science by improving transparency and reproducibility of results, promoting collaboration and knowledge sharing and making research processes more effective.”
This new focus on ORD certainly does not come too soon in the age of digitization. Funding organizations are therefore trying to build a sustainable digital research infrastructure. In many countries, this infrastructure is still a patchwork, based on the particular interests of individual educational institutions. This situation creates two opportunities for the Digital Humanities. First, to put the topic of research data (collection and analysis) at the top of the teaching agenda, and second, to simultaneously create the necessary data infrastructure. Nodegoat is already making an important contribution to both challenges (open research data and infrastructure). Students can use Nodegoat to learn how to systematically collect and analyze research data and make it available to the research community for further use as CSV data or in JSON format. Other features of Nodegoat as a tool for ORD will be presented in the presentation.
For more information on ORD strategies in Switzerland, see for example:
Swiss National Science Foundation: https://www.snf.ch/en/dMILj9t4LNk8NwyR/topic/open-research-data
ETH Zurich: https://ethz.ch/en/research/open-science/open-data.html
Kaspar Gubler, medievalist at University of Bern. Co-director and head of digital development of the research project REPAC (http://repac.ch). REPAC unites several digital history projects, such as the large data project RAG (http://rag-online.org). PI of the SNSF SPARK Project on dynamic data ingestion ((2020-2021), (http://p3.snf.ch/project-190161). PI of ‘nodegoat templates – database templates for research and teaching’, funded by strategic funds of the dean of the faculty of humanities, University of Bern (2022-2024) (https://histdata.hypotheses.org/nodegoat-templates). Secretary and member of the advisory committee of Atelier Héloïse, an European Network on Digital Academic History (https://heloise.hypotheses.org). Creator of various nodegoat tutorials on the nodegoat focused blog https://histdata.hypotheses.org.
10:15 – 10:45 Max Beck, Nicholas Coomann (Department of Theoretical Philosophy, University of Jena) and Roman Yos (Lehrstuhl für Philosophische Anthropologie und Philosophie des Geistes, University of Potsdam)
Exile during the era of National Socialism marks a caesura in the history of German and Austrian philosophy. During the 1930s, numerous philosophers lost their (academic) positions and were forced to flee. But it was not only on the individual level that National Socialism left drastic traces. Also many well-known philosophical schools would have taken a different development without the forced migration to another country. It is therefore no exaggeration to consider exile as one of the most formative events in the history of 20th century European philosophy. All the more astonishing research of philosophical migration has remained so far a niche subject in exile studies. Even in the history of philosophy, there is hardly any interest in the significance of exile between 1933 and 1945. The “Digital Database Exile Philosophy” (DDEP) aims to document for the first time in a publicly accessible database all philosophers who emigrated from Germany and Austria during National Socialism. It is technically based on Nodegoat. The database contributes to interdisciplinary exile research as well as to the history of philosophy. The project is located at the University of Jena, Germany, and currently in the early stages. For phase 1 (programming, adaptation of Nodegoat), funding could be obtained in the fall of 2022. We are currently developing the database structure and programming process. More information about the project: https://www.philosophie.uni-jena.de/datenbank-exilphilosophie
Max Beck and Nicholas Coomann are both Research Associates at the Department of Theoretical Philosophy, University of Jena, Germany. Last joint publication: “Historische Erfahrung und begriffliche Transformation. Deutschsprachige Philosophie im Exil in den USA 1933–1945 (= Emigration – Exil – Kontinuität. Schriften zur zeitgeschichtlichen Kultur- und Wissenschaftsforschung, Bd. 16), LIT: Berlin/Münster/Wien 2018.”
Roman Yos is a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Potsdam, Germany. Last monograph: „Der junge Habermas. Eine ideengeschichtliche Untersuchung seines frühen Denkens 1952-1962, Suhrkamp: Berlin 2019“.
11:00 – 11:30: Tomasz Panecki, Melchior Jakubowski (Tadeusz Manteuffel Institute of History of the Polish Academy of Sciences)
The project entitled “Jesuits of the East? Artistic network of the Basilian order in Eighteenth-Century Poland-Lithuania” is to reassemble the artistic network of the Basilian order using GIS (Geographic Information System) and SNA (Social Network Analysis) to discover the connections within and around the order between people, ideas, objects, and places. In the presentation we would like to briefly describe the data model designed in Nodegoat and the possibilities of its exploitation in QGIS and Gephi for spatial and graph visualizations. In brief, the model includes separate feature types for concrete objects (artifacts, monasteries), actors (people), places (monasteries, settlements) and events (actions). Events are designed to link objects, actors and places. Data collected with Nodegoat are then visualized in QGIS (maps) and Gephi (networks).
Tomasz Panecki, PhD – researcher at the Tadeusz Manteuffel Institute of History Polish Academy of Sciences (IH PAN) and a lecturer at the Faculty of Geography and Regional Studies, University of Warsaw. He holds a master’s degree in history (2012) and geography (2013), and a doctoral degree in geography (2018) with a specialization in cartography and geoinformatics. Since 2020 he has been a Chair of the Historical Atlas Department at IH PAN. His scientific interests concern mostly cartographic representations of historical phenomena with a strong connection to spatio-temporal ontologies and databases, place and space conceptualization in diachronic context, and historic maps digital editions & historical mapping.
Melchior Jakubowski, PhD – studied history and art history at the University of Warsaw. In 2020, he defended his dissertation entitled “Religious and Ethnic Landscape of the Bukovina, Latgale, and the Suwałki Region at the Turn of the Eighteenth Century: State and Church Institutions Facing Local Communities.” From 2021 he works at the Institute of History of the Polish Academy of Sciences, conducting a research project “Jesuits of the East? Artistic network of the Basilian order in eighteenth-century Poland-Lithuania.” His scientific interests include landscape history, religious and ethnic relations in early modern Central-Eastern Europe, and art of the Rococo period.
11:30 – 12:00 Vojtěch Kessler (Institute of History of the Czech Academy of Sciences)
The Database of the History of Everyday Life represents an international scientific research project aimed to form a collection of sources on the history of “everyday life”, being a valuable testimony of the lives people used to have in the past. Among the participants of the project is the Institute of History of the Czech Academy of Sciences, as well as the Institute of Czech History of the Faculty of Arts (Charles University) and the Collection of Biographical Records (University of Vienna), with the latter being the initiator of the creation of the database in the early 1990s. The goal of the project is a formation and publication of a systematic collection of documents in Czech and German languages: memoirs, family chronicles, diaries and other biographical documents connected with the history of Czech lands, which could potentially help historians to research the topics of modern and contemporary history. At the same time, the database presents a thorough thematic register, selectively allowing access to the hundreds of documents to the students and researchers. The aim of the collection is also to create a platform for mutual discussion and a common research space for scholars who work in an interdisciplinary focus on topics in the history of everyday life and memory studies as well. The database, administered by an employee of the Department of 19th Century History (Institute of History of the CAS) – Vojtěch Kessler – is nowadays an integral part of the Czech Academy of Sciences. The Database of Everyday Life is an invaluable project with great public and media impact, as it makes a large volume of archive documents accessible to people and provides them with another historical perspective, which was not shaped only by “great history” – leaders, elites, generals, crises or battles. More information about the project in the online information brochure: https://www.academia.cz/uploads/media/preview/0001/07/69a2e5cd97d0fa60f9...
PhDr. Vojtěch Kessler, Ph.D. – researcher at the Institute of History (Czech Academy of Sciences), who is focused on the Czech history between 1850-1950, mainly on collective memory, memorial culture and collective identities. He has been administrator of the Database of Everyday Life since 2016.
Mgr. Jan Bouška – Ph.D. student at the Institute of Czech History (Charles University, Prague), who is focused on the late history of the Habsburg Empire, more precisely on the strategies of Bohemian aristocrats in the process of preserving their power at the turn of 19th and 20th century.
12:00 – 13:00 Lunch Break
13:00 – 13:30 Jyothy Karat (Institute of Social Anthropology, University of Bern)
Jyothy Karat is working on her Master thesis within the CREOLE framework (Cultural Differences and Transnational Processes).. CREOLE is the first Joint European Master Degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Bern. CREOLE is a research master designed for students wishing to specialize in topical areas of anthropology such as transnationalism, new identities, material culture and visual culture. Jyothy Karats master’s thesis is on mapping the ‘trans-local and transnational institutions and processes that affect human-elephant interactions in Bannerghatta (an urban forest) in Bangalore (Silicon Valley of India) and exploring filmmaking as a decolonial collaborative practice for knowledge production. Planned Outcomes – Data analysis (mapping), paper/article on commons ( to be presented at
IASC 2023), a collaborative film-making project with activists and villagers of Bannerghatta [10 short ‘TikTok’ videos (ethno fiction) on human-elephant relations] to be freely circulated on social media, article/paper reflecting on film-making as a decolonial collaborative practice and as a methodological tool for research and to articulate local knowledge. The project is in an early phase and it is now a question of exploring the extent to which the project can be implemented with a research environment such as Nodegoat.
Jyothy Karat is a documentary filmmaker and photographer, based out of Bangalore with over a decade of experience in the field. She is the recipient of the prestigious 2020 Explorer Grant for Storytelling from the National Geographic Society for Research and Exploration. Jyothy is also the Head of Media & Communication for PREVENT Study, led by Imperial College, London. The PREVENT Study is the world’s largest study on babies with brain injuries. In her work, she covers subjects related to ecological justice. Her documentary work includes stories about forest conservation, human-animal conflict, displacement of indigenous communities, water and air pollution in India. One of her most recent projects explores the human-elephant interactions in Kerala, India, and the concerns that arise from the complexities of the management of captive elephants in the state. Her film, “When the Ice Melts” explores the impact of climate change on indigenous communities in the Himalayas released early this year.
13:30 – 14:00 Sophia Marxer (Institut für Archäologische Wissenschaften Universität Bern / Archäologisches Seminar Marburg)
Network Analysis as an Opportunity for Archaeology. Typologising ceramics with the help of Nodegoat
In almost all archaeological excavations pottery is one of the most common types of finds. For this reason, the dating of certain finds often depends on the pottery found there and its integration into a ceramic typology. In my project, I am investigating pottery from the LCI 1 / Hellenistic period (330 to 50 BC) from the excavations (2012 to 2021) in Sirkeli Höyük, Cilicia, Turkey. Until now we added 8’709 ceramic fragments to the Project Database, of which 2’856 pieces have been studied in more detail by me. The aim is now to visualize through digital networks with the help of the program Nodegoat how the different pottery forms develop, in order to generate a form typology.
Sophia Marxer has been working on her PhD at the University of Bern in Near Eastern Archaeology since October 2021 and at the University of Marburg in Classical Archaeology since October 2022 as part of a cotutelle (binational doctorate). The project presented is the processing of ceramic data from her PhD thesis “Material Culture on the Move. The Transition from the Late Iron Age to the Hellenistic Period on basis of the domestic pottery in Cilicia”.
14:15 – 14:45 Sebastian Borkowski (Walter Benjamin Kolleg, Digital Humanities, University of Bern) and Silvana Hunger (Institute of Archaeological Sciences, Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology, University of Bern)
Nodegoat @ Uni Bern: The Current State of Affairs
The talk provides an overview on recent developments around nodegoat at the University of Bern and outlines the support by the Digital Humanities. The latest additions to the DH infrastructure will be introduced, namely the nexus database on nodegoat projects and a map tile server for hosting background maps.
Sebastian Borkowski is leading the Nodegoat Support at the University of Bern. He is a PhD student in Mesopotamian Studies at the University of Geneva, working on scribal education in the Old Babylonian period (c. 19th–16th century BC). At the University of Bern, he directs the project “Edubba’a” and collaborates in the project “Rivers of Mesopotamia” at the Institute of Archaeological Sciences as well as in the SNF project “Forced Academic Migration” at the Institute of History.
Silvana Hunger is a PhD student at the Institute of Near Eastern Archaeology (University of Bern). She is working on the small finds from Sirkeli Höyük (Türkiye) and analysing their distribution in the site and their interregional connection.
14:45 – 15:15 Pierluigi Terenzi (Università degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Storia, Archeologia, Geografia, Arte e Spettacolo (SAGAS)
LASI – Labour, accountability and social impact of public buildings in premodern times
The project activities started in January 2022 with the detailed planning of the research work by coordinators Pierluigi Terenzi and Marco Bellucci. This made it possible to set up the web database – realized with the platform nodegoat – to accommodate the data resulting from the systematic perusal of the historical sources stored in the Historical Archive of the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore. The perusal by post-doc Alessandro Caprilli under the guidance of Pierluigi Terenzi is in progress. In a month of work, after the first function tests and some fine-tuning, more than 400 salaried workers were entered. Project website: https://www.lasi.unifi.it/
Piereluigi Terenzi was the technical and scientific coordinator of the ‘Bo2022’ Project, a prosopographical database of students and lecturers at the University of Padua (1222- 20th century). Now he and Marco Bellucci are the coordinators of the project LASI at University of Florence. LASI is a project focusing on the construction and use of public buildings in premodern times, which are digitally investigated with a multilevel approach.
15:15 – 15:45 Final round
New and planned features in nodegoat (Text-tagging – templates for database structure and / or data – nodegoat for editions – nodegoat as an infrastructure for Open Research Data) Discussions, Exchange, Networking etc.