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Gain greater insights into our diverse range of publications by delving deeper into their content and features.

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"Introduction to historical (social) network analysis"
 Demival Vasques Filho

  • ​Discussed landmark papers in the evolution of network research.

  • Historical network analysis is a discipline in which network analysis is used for studying history, but there are no new methods or concepts that distinguish it from traditional social network analysis.

  • Leonhard Euler's theorem in 1736 laid the foundations of graph theory in mathematics by identifying two conditions for a walk across a graph.

  • In 1934, Jacob Moreno and Helen Jennings used nodes and edges to create a sociogram to represent social ties, which is considered the birth of social network analysis.

  • Paul Erdős, Alfréd Rényi, and Edgar Gilbert made essential developments on random graphs in the 1950s that gave the basis for researchers to explore phase transitions and expected properties in the structure of these random graphs.

  • In the 1970s and 1980s, several seminal papers on social networks were published, including Mark Granovetter's "The strength of weak ties," which drew attention to the fact that weak ties, like acquaintanceships, can be better for accessing information than strong ties.

  • Weak ties facilitate the diffusion of things on social networks, connecting communities and allowing these things to spread further.

Networks from archives: Reconstructing networks of official correspondence in the early modern Portuguese empire
Agata Błoch, Demival Vasques Filho, Michał Bojanowski

  • ​The study focuses on a large corpus of administrative correspondence from the Portuguese Empire, spanning over 220 years and comprising almost 170,000 documents.

  • Traditional archival work can be time-consuming and limit the scope of network studies. To overcome this, the study proposes a modern natural language processing approach for extracting network data from unstructured textual information.

  • The resulting dataset includes additional information such as the occupation, administrative affiliation, and geographical location of senders and recipients, making it a valuable resource for historians and social network researchers.

  • Preliminary network analysis of the dataset reveals its potential for investigating the political and social evolution of the Portuguese Empire during the reign of seven Portuguese monarchs.

  • The study's proposed approach is not only applicable to this dataset but also adaptable to other contexts, languages, and types of historical archives, making it a valuable contribution to the field of historical network studies.


The “Miserable Vassals” of the Empire: The Androgynous Codes of Behaviour of Black and Indigenous Peoples in Late Colonial Brazil (1775–1808)
Agata Błoch

  • Combined linguistic coding and androgyny category to analyze discursive patterns in negotiations between Indigenous and Black individuals and colonial authority in Brazil (1755-1808).

  • Examined language of identity and codes of behavior to understand how Black and Indigenous subjects perceived freedom, social condition, slavery, and colonial power.

  • Used intersection of gender, social status, and race/ethnic group to measure androgyny.

  • Examined culturally expected feminine and masculine attributes reflected in individuals' self-description.

  • Discussed "miserable vassals" and functional aspects of androgynous codes of behavior.

Slaves, Freedmen, Mulattos, Pardos, and Indigenous Peoples. The Early Modern Social Networks of the Population of Color in the Atlantic Portuguese Empire
Agata Błoch, Demival Vasques Filho, Michał Bojanowski 

To create and visualize social networks of people of color and understand their position in a colonial structure, there are three possible approaches:

quantitative research focusing on specific social actors, analyzing colonial official correspondence mentioning people of color, and qualitative research examining personal narratives and relationships mentioned in petitions sent to the colonial administration. Each approach provides valuable insights into the historical context and position of people of color in the colonial system.

“The Free and the Enslaved. Voices of the Subalterns in the History of Portuguese Empire” 
Agata Błoch

  • Network perspective of network is a way of looking at human relationships, aimed at building a network of contacts.

  • Individuals with similar characteristics occupy the same position in the network structure, but their influence on its co-creation may differ.

  • Applying this perspective to the analysis of the Portuguese colonial society, it can be viewed as a network society, where the elements define each other.

  • The structure of the network impacted the behavior of subaltern groups, cultural, social, and identity changes, leading to a sense of attachment to Portuguese colonial structures.

  • The Portuguese administrative correspondence and selected petitions of African and indigenous people were analyzed using an egodocumental approach, grouped thematically, not by ethnic, racial, or geographical criteria.

  • The social networks of these groups reflected their awareness of their existence and the need to build diverse relationships.

  • Freedom can only be obtained through interactions with others.

  • The agency of the subalterns dependent on the contact they could establish and maintain with the white colonizers, who could be their masters, soldiers, clergymen, colonial officials, and others belonging to the elite.

  • Indigenous and African slaves had similar awareness of their surroundings and the people forming the network, regardless of whether they were newly arrived in Brazil or their descendants.

  • Defining their position through the network was crucial to these groups.

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