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CFP: Big Data on Human and Social Sciences. History, issues and challenges. International Conference

Submission deadline: September 10, 2017

Conference date(s):
November 6, 2017 - November 7, 2017

Go to the conference's page

Conference Venue:

Institute of Contemporary History, FCSH-UNL and History Lab (Columbia University)
Lisbon, Portugal

Topic areas


The Institute of Contemporary History (IHC, FCSH-NOVA) and the History Lab (Columbia University) will be hosting an international conference to examine the challenges and impact of Big Data in the human and social sciences, which opens up new connections and collaborations within the research community and with the civil society. The conference will be held on November 6-7, 2017, in Lisbon and it is open to all scientific areas.

Humanists and social scientists have at their disposal an unprecedented amount of data today. For sure, the wide variety of data available, including the massively growing public archival data, creates many opportunities. For instance, it allows to extend the geographical and longitudinal scope of analysis on a new scale. But nor the data existent in social and historical processes is neutral nor the ways to store, retrieve and analyse such amount of data is based upon simplistic decisions.

With their capacity to historically situate the objects of analysis, discuss meanings and vast textual corpora, as well as their strength on contextual knowledge, historians, sociologists, political scientists, economists, philosophers and anthropologists are in strong position to contribute to this revolution. Grounded on the presence of academic experts from such fields of knowledge, this Congress will cover a wide range of topics aiming to build bridges with formal, applied and natural scientists and to open windows into the public domain. What can we learn from the rise and fall of cliometrics, and how will humanists receive new research using computational methods? What are the biggest challenges, opportunities, and pitfalls in applying computational methods to historical data? If these new methods actually lead to new discoveries, will that change standards of evidence, and challenge claims based on purely qualitative research?

We welcome proposals for individual papers to address these but also other questions.

Some of the topics include but are not limited to: - History of Big Data; - Big Data and modes of knowledge production; - Big Data. Pitfalls and errors; - Development of complex datasets; - Big Data and networks; - Digital Humanities and historical research - Archives, libraries and Big Data; - Historical Big Data and statistical tools; - Text mining and historical sources; - Big Data management for researchers and research institutions; - Big Data infrastructures.

Paper proposals should be submitted until September 10 ,2017 and should include the name, affiliation, title, abstract (minimum 150 words, maximum 300 words), five keywords, up to five bibliographical references, and a brief biographical note (200 words maximum). The results will be communicated by October 1, 2017. Communications may be held in Portuguese, Spanish and English and should not last for more than 15 minutes. The organization will publish, after approval of the Scientific Committee, a selection of articles from the papers presented at our Conference.

Keynote Speakers (confirmed): Matthew Connelly (Columbia University)

Scientific Committee: Ana Paula Pires, IHC-FCSH/UNL; Angela Salgueiro, IHC-FCSH/UNL; Celso Castro, FGV, Brasil; Daniel Alves, IHC-FCSH/UNL; Daniel Gomes, FCCN-FCT; David Bodenhamer, Polis Center/Indiana University; Dominique Vinck, Universite de Lausanne; Ines Queiroz, IHC-FCSH/UNL; Joana Mendonca, IN+, IST-UL; Ivo Veiga, IHC-FCSH/UNL; Kimmo Elo, University of Turku; Marten During, University of Luxembourg; Martin Stark, University of Trier; Matthew Connelly, Columbia University; Noela Invernizzi, Universidade Federal do Parana; Pedro Moura Ferreira, ICS-UL; Tiago Brandao, IHC-FCSH/UNL. 

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