History as an argument in conflicts webinar 25.06

Justyna Wubs-Mrozewicz

What happens in a conflict when you use history as a powerful argument to reach your goal?...
On 25th of June, a group of medievalists will discuss captivating examples from their own sources and research. Jackson Armstrong, Flavio Miranda, Justine Firnhaber-Baker, Patrick Lantschner, Hans Jacob Orning, Jenny Benham, jembenham, Justyna Wubs-Mrozewicz, Dan Smail, Piotr Górecki.

If you want to join in, DM: spots are limited here! We will be, however, tweeting summaries of the presentations and discussions in the week of 28th of June, and longer posts on our website. And: we invite both #twitterstorians and #conflict scholars to comment.

Continue reading

Save the dates: Nodegoat webinars (17.09 + 8.10 + 29.10)

Ester Zoomer


On 17 September and 8 October, our VIDI project (premodern conflict management) is organizing two Digital Humanities webinars, based on the data management program Nodegoat.

Nodegoat is a program for data management for humanists and especially historians. It allows to build source databases for individual projects as well as cooperative ones, and to run network analysis and all kinds of visualizations directly from this database.

The webinar setup is the following:

17 September 10:00-12:30: Nodegoat creators (Pim van Bree & Geert Kessels) will give a general introduction of the features and possibilities, and our project team will show some examples on the basis of our work, and we will talk about our experience so far.

8 October 10:00-12:30: During the second webinar you can work with the program yourself – with online advice and feedback from the creators and the chat. You can try using the program by making the first steps towards setting up a database if you have never done it; if you have, you can adapt your current data model to see how it would work in Nodegoat, or you can simply use an existing database/data model and play with a case study etc. We will be there to help.[....]

Continue reading

Covid-19 spring

Justyna Wubs-Mrozewicz

We have switched to online project meetings, article writing and very much appreciating the sources we have already gathered! Now they can be entered in our new nodegoat database. We have been developing the data model for our project in the last months.

Continue reading

Masterclass with Sheilagh Ogilvie

Ester Zoomer

To understand a past society, historians have to unravel the norms that steer human behavior and interaction, but they also have to consider how people defy those norms in their everyday practice. On 20th November 2019, Sheilagh Ogilvie (University of  Cambridge) was invited to follow up a lecture on her new book The European Guilds: an Economic Analysis with a masterclass for PhD candidates and postdocs from three research projects at the Amsterdam School of Historical Studies. (This project, https://www.freedomofthestreets.org/ as well as http://www.inventionoftherefugee.com/).

In The European Guilds, as in so much of  her work, Ogilvie investigated why guilds dominated European markets for centuries, despite systematically causing economic and social harm. For the subject of this masterclass, she chose to focus on the interplay between norm and practice. That interplay often takes center stage in her own analysis, explaining how guilds failed in practice to live up to their admirable stated goals such as providing training, quality control, and innovation.

The masterclass’ participants work on projects ranging from gender relations in urban space to the construction of territory in medieval Brabant, and from Jewish transnational advocacy to conflict management and decision making in Hanseatic cities. When confronted by such a variety of subjects it can be a tricky undertaking to find a common theme for discussion without lapsing into catch-all buzzwords. Norm and practice, however, turned out to be an excellent vantage point from which to discuss these heterogeneous projects, tackle shared obstacles, and broaden our conceptual horizons. Ogilvie did an excellent job at leading and steering the conversation; uncovering unexpected links between each of the research topics.

One of the prime questions tackled was how gender norms shape and restrict access to urban spaces, and what it means if such norms are breached in everyday behavior. If, for instance, washerwomen structurally take in laundry in places where the law forbids it, should we consider it a practice in defiance of a norm, or should we argue that it was the norm to go against this law? In other words, are norms defied by practices or by other, conflicting norms?[....]

Continue reading