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Katja Mayer
Dept. of Social Studies of Science
University of Vienna, Austria


Call for Papers
International Workshop

Networking the Past: Historical Network Analysis, Eugenics and  
Biopolitics in the 20th Century

Date: 14-16 April 2010

Location: The Department for the History of Medicine at the Medical  
University of Vienna; and the University of Vienna’s Institute for  
Contemporary History.

Organisers: The Working Group on the History of Race and Eugenics  
(HRE) at Oxford Brookes University; the Department for the History of  
Medicine at the Medical University of Vienna; and the University of  
Vienna’s Institute for Contemporary History.

The workshop is organised with generous financial support from the  
Magistrate of Vienna, “Kulturabteilung der Stadt Wien”, MA 7.


Network approaches and methods of analyzing networks become more and  
more popular in the social sciences. Network analysis, as for example  
the social network analysis (SNA), does not focus on actors solely,  
but on the relations between them. SNA reveals social structures that  
are based on individual choices of possible and active connections as  
well as the positions of actors within the network thus indicating  
their control of information, knowledge, political support and power.

What is largely missing from current scholarship is the discussion of  
how the visualization of networks, and the methods of appropriately  
analyzing these, can yield different or divergent conclusions on  
historical and scientific debates during the twentieth century.

This workshop’s organisers are particularly interested in applying  
the method of network analysis to the international proliferation and  
local adaption of eugenic and biopolitical ideologies and means. We  
welcome the submission of paper proposals that focus on scientific  
and popular scientific discourses and practices that were meant to  
improve, reorganize and manage a certain population, social group or  
race - such as eugenics, population science, the anthropological and  
racial sciences, human genetics, reproductive medicine, public health  
and welfare administration, or genetic counselling throughout the  
20th century. Contributions focusing on gender studies are especially  

Scholars are invited to engage with the following questions:

A) Methodology: conceptual and empirical methods of analysing  
national and trans-national networks and their internal dynamics
1.) Epistemology: visualization, synchronicity of views, training of  
views, interpretation of network presentations, network borders,  
2.) Data issues: data selection, collection, processing, sources,  
missing data, reduction: “from words to numbers”, content analysis

B) Empirical studies on eugenics and biopolitics using network  
Applying concepts of networks and/or social network analysis to  
historical studies of eugenics and biopolitics considering  
professionalization, correspondence networks, scientific communities,  
affiliation networks (e.g. institutional ties), co-authorship,  
scientific discourses and semantic networks.

We invite proposals that include abstracts of no more than 400 words  
and a brief CV.

Deadline for submission is 30 August 2009.
Successful applicants will be informed by 15 September 2009.

Submission and draft papers should be sent to following e-mail address:
[log in to unmask]

We intend to publish the contributions to the workshop in an edited  

For further information please visit our websites at:

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