eHg Workshop Complexity in the Digital Humanities


November 7, 2013

Workshop of the e-Humanities Group at the Meertens Instituut, Amsterdam
Supported by the KNOWeSCAPE COST action (


Complexity pervades all sciences, and will play a pivotal role in twenty first century science. The fundamental idea is that we cannot understand a subject through its microscopic constituents, but only through their interactions. In recent times, this approach has been ascending in the humanities because of the increasing availability of large amounts of digitised data. These range from large corpora of digitised texts, such as the Google Books corpus to online services such as Twitter and Facebook. Moreover, historical archives are being opened up through digitisation, drawing historians into the world of complexity. These developments offer many new possibilities, but also many computational and conceptional challenges. This workshop will reflect on the role of complexity in the digital humanities, and it will cover a broad range of subjects.

Keynote Speakers

Marcel Ausloos is professor emeritus in statistical physics from the University of Liège (Belgium). He has authored over 350 papers in various fields of statistical physics. Over the years, Ausloos applied methods from physics to fields of the social sciences and humanities, ranging from language evolution to financial market crashes.

Diego Garlaschelli completed his PhD in physics at the University of Siena (Italy) in 2005, after which he held various positions in Siena (Italy), Oxford (UK) and Pisa (Italy). Since 2011 Garlaschelli is assistant professor at the Lorentz Institute for Theoretical Physics in Leiden (NL) and an associate fellow at the CABDyN Complexity Center in Oxford (UK). His research focuses on complex networks, human behaviour and economics.

Stefan Dormans studied Human Geography at the University of Nijmegen. He obtained his PhD at the Radboud University Nijmegen in 2007, which entailed a narrative analysis of urban tales from two medium-sized Dutch cities. After this, Dormans worked at the Virtual Knowledge Studio for the Humanities and Social Sciences (VKS) and as an Assistant Professor at the Radboud University Nijmegen. Currently, he works as Programme Development Officer at the ICR department of the Nijmegen School of Management.

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