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Posted by: mchu 4 years, 6 months ago

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Team members Hilde De Weerdt, Julius Morche and Ming-kin Chu participated in the “Networks and Interactions” graduate conference at Leiden University (May 9-11, 2014). Hilde served as a discussant for the panel “Social and Economic Networks in Texts”, in which both Julius and Ming-kin as well as Silke Vanbeselaere (KU Leuven) presented papers. In his paper An Economic Model of Political Communication: Informational Networks in Venetian Long-Distance Trade, 1350-1500, Julius showed how economic network theory can be used to evaluate both the commercial links between Venetian patricians and the transmissions of political information enabled through these interconnections, and argued that the extent to which commercial and communication networks were mutually embedded necessitated a new model to capture the dynamics of the transmission of political information in early modern long-distance trade. Ming-kin offered a case study of the relationship between early Southern Song literati and the chief councilor Qin Gui through an analysis of Zheng Gangzhong’s epistolary writings in his presentation “Epistolary network in Middle Period China: the Case of Zheng Gangzhong 鄭剛中 (1088-1154)”. He showed how Zheng Gangzhong attempted to build a good rapport with the people surrounding the councilor Qin Gui in order to maintain the former’s position in Sichuan, discussing in particular the relationship between Zheng’s epistolary network and Qin’s long tenure as chief councilor. In her discussion, Hilde highlighted the panel contribution’s distinct conceptual use of “networks”, namely as a particular kind of interpersonal relationship, a philological tool, and a theory of relationships, flows and interactions.

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