Job Vacancy: Social Network Analysis for the Transmission of Ideas in the Ancient World on the NIKAW Project

Within the context of the ID-N project NIKAW (Networks of Ideas and Knowledge in the Ancient World), funded by the Special Research Fund (BOF) of KU Leuven, applications are invited for a PhD position on the subject of social network analysis for the transmission of ideas in the ancient world. The NIKAW project aims to exploit textual information from the ancient world to reconstruct the transmission of knowledge across multilingual, geographically and chronologically extended communities.

The PhD candidate will focus on the study of the relations emerging from the mentions of names in Greek and Latin texts. Part of the tasks will be carried out in collaboration with another PhD student and one Postdoc. Using a large set of automatically retrieved passages, gathered by the other PhD scholar, the candidate will reconstruct and exploit the network of intellectual relations over a large span of time. A particular test-case on the first stages of the advent of Christianity is foreseen. Research will be carried out along two tracks:

  • Firstly, the candidate will develop a graph database model to properly represent the mentions of people in ancient texts. To this end, the candidate will work closely with the PhD scholar working on the extraction and disambiguation of names in ancient texts.
  • Secondly, the candidate will use the graph database to reconstruct and analyze the network of mentions in ancient texts, applying tools of Social Network Analysis. In collaboration with the Postdoctoral scholar, the candidate will also investigate the application of more advanced techniques such as learning relevant structural features with the use of network embeddings. In particular, the PhD student will analyze the changes in the network in the first four centuries of the Common Era, observing how the integration of Christian authors impacts relevant network features.

The deadline to submit an application for this PhD position is 8 September 2022. The candidate is expected to start in November 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter. The position is a full-time position for one year and can be extended to four years pending initial positive evaluation.

For more information on the desired profile and how to apply, see the full job listing on the KU Leuven job portal.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email