About the webinar series

This webinar series focuses on the application of social network analysis to understand human cultural evolution, with a special focus on hunter-gatherer societies.

Over the past decade, a major debate has taken place on the drivers of cultural complexity in human societies. An increasing body of evidence has shown that social connectivity among populations, and within them, affects and is affected by culture. However, the mechanisms underlying this relationship have not yet been fully explored. Addressing this interplay between population structure and culture requires developing conceptual frameworks and applying state-of-the-art methods. Fortunately, disciplines such as behavioural ecology and network science have already faced similar challenges and can offer valuable insights. 

In the context of the PALEODEM ERC project, this seminar is bringing together for the first time leading experts in archaeology, behavioural ecology, evolutionary anthropology and complex systems to foster cross-disciplinary discussions about structural dependence of cultural cumulative change, cultural dynamics on and social networks in the Human Past.


Objectives

  1. To create a space that fosters an exchange of core knowledge about cultural cumulative change, cultural dynamics and social networks.
  1. To introduce recent case studies of social networks analysis to the study of human cultural evolution based on archaeological, ethnographic and experimental data.
  1. To discuss cross-disciplinary theoretical frameworks about the structural dependence of cultural cumulative change, cultural dynamics on and social networks in the Human Past.

Program

This webinar series is planned to have 8 invited lectures to happen during 4 weekly sessions from October the 27th to November 17th 2020. Each weekly session will be composed by 2 invited lectures of 35-40 min each, followed by a discussion slot.

WEBINAR 1 – Social Networks and Cultural Evolution in Hunter-Gatherers: ethnographic and archaeological perspectives

WHEN: October 27th, 2020. 17:00 – 19:00 CET
PANELISTS:
– Dr. Javier Fernández-López de Pablo. PresentationUniversity of Alicante (Spain)
– Dr. Dr. Andrea Migliano – University of Zurich (Switzerland)
– Dr. Felix Riede – Aarhus University (Denmark)

WEBINAR 2 – Social Networks and Cultural Evolution in Hunter-Gatherers: long-term patterns, mobility and human ecology constraints

WHEN: November 3rd, 2020. 17:00 – 19:00 CET
PANELISTS:
– Dr. Marcus Hamilton – University of Texas (USA)
– Dr. Claudine Gravel-Miguel – Arizona State University (USA)

WEBINAR 3 – Social Networks and Cultural Evolution in Hunter-Gatherers: interplay among social structure, demography and cumulative culture

WHEN: November 10th, 2020. 17:00 – 19:00 CET
PANELISTS:
– Dr. Maxime Derex – Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse (France)
– Dr. Erik Gjesfjeld – University of Cambridge (UK)

WEBINAR 4 – Social Networks and Cultural Evolution in Hunter-Gatherers: Spatio-temporal dynamics and complex networks

WHEN: November 17th, 2020. 17:00 – 19:00 CET
PANELISTS:
– Dr. David Centola – University of Pennsylvania (USA)
– PALEODEM team:
Dr. Sergi Lozano – University of Barcelona (Spain)
Dr. Valéria Romano – University of Alicante (Spain)


Panelists

Dr. Damon Centola

Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication, the School of Arts and Sciences, and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, USA, where he is Director of the Network Dynamics Group. His research on social networks, social epidemiology, and web-based experiments on diffusion and cultural evolution has been published in top scientific journals, including Science, Nature Human Behavior, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. He uses web-based social science and computational models to study the impact of social networks on health behaviours, social cooperation, collective problem solving, and the emergence of political consensus. He is Ph.D. in Sociology from Cornell University, USA. He is a series editor at Princeton University Press, and the author of How Behavior Spreads: The Science of Complex Contagions.

Dr. Maxime Derex

CNRS researcher at the Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse, France. Specialist in the mechanisms underpinning human cumulative culture. Maxime Derex is particularly interested in the psychological mechanisms involved in the production and transmission of innovation and how the interaction between these psychological mechanisms and population structure impacts cumulative cultural evolution. He has a Ph.D. in Evolutionary Biology from the University of Montpellier (Thesis: The mechanisms of cumulative culture).

Dr. Javier Fernández-López de Pablo

Distinguished Researcher at the Institute of Research in Archeology and Historical Heritage of the University of Alicante(Alicante, Spain). His research interest focus on Human Behavioural Ecology and Cultural Transmission Evolutionary Theory for testing demographically dependent models of cultural change in its ecological context. He is PI the research project PALEODEM – Late Glacial and Postglacial Population History and Cultural Transmission in Iberia (c.15,000-8,000 cal BP), an ERC Consolidator Grant that has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No. 817564).

Dr. Erik Gjesfjeld

Renfrew Fellow at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research of the University of Cambridge. His research employs a combination of archaeological and macroevolutionary approaches to explore how past communities managed the challenges of social and environmental change. He is specialist in quantitative research methods, cultural evolution, hunter-gatherers and and the archaeology of northern latitudes. He has a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Washington, USA.

Dr. Claudine Gravel-Miguel

She obtained her Ph.D. in Anthropology in 2017 and is currently working as postdoctoral scholar for the Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University, USA. Her work focuses on the prehistory of Southwestern Europe, in particular on the social behavior of hunter-gatherers who lived there after the last glacial maximum. She has published articles on the position and abundance of ornaments found in burial settings, on the use of elongated pebbles in mortuary rituals and on the importance of studying prehistoric social networks in their environmental context.

Dr. Marcus Hamilton

Associate Professor of Data Analytics at the Department of Anthropology of the University of Texas at San Antonio (USA) and earned a Ph.D. in Anthropology from University of New Mexico, USA. His research focuses on quantitative, interdisciplinary approaches to the evolution of human ecology and social organization. He is particularly interested in the ecology and archaeology of hunter-gatherer societies and the evolution of human biological and cultural diversity. At all scales, from egalitarian hunter-gatherers to industrialized nation states, humans form complex, modular, hierarchical social networks that facilitate flows of energy and information among individuals and groups. He uses theory and techniques from theoretical ecology, statistical physics and evolutionary anthropology, in combination with interdisciplinary data sets.

Dr. Sergi Lozano Pérez

Associate Professor at the Department of Economic History, Institutions, Policy and World Economy of the University of Barcelona. His research focuses on social complexity, cultural evolution and past long-term social processes. He specializes in Complex Systems, network analysis and computational and mathematical modelling and supervises network analysis and modelling in PALEODEM’s project and he also collaborates in research data management for the same project. He got a Ph.D. in Sustainability, Technology and Humanism from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, Spain.

Dr. Andrea Migliano

Professor in Evolutionary Anthropology at the Department of Anthropology – University of Zurich. Her work is focused on comparative behavior of hunter-gatherer populations. She uses comparative socioecology, network analyses and experimental psychology to understand how diversity in the hunter-gatherers foraging niche has shaped human specific adaptations such as complex sociality, cumulative culture and pro-sociality. Andrea has a Ph.D. in Biological Anthropology from the University of Cambridge, UK.

Dr. Felix Riede

Head of Research at the Department of Archaeology of School of Culture & Society at Aarhus University, Denmark. He received his Ph.D. from the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research of the University of Cambridge, UK. His academic interests focus on the on Scandinavian early prehistory, archaeological data analysis, human-environment interactions and archaeological science. He is PI of CLIOARCH (CLIOdynamic ARCHaeology: Computational approaches to Final Palaeolithic/earliest Mesolithic archaeology and climate change), an ERC Consolidator Grant project that has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No. 817564).

Dr. Valéria Romano

Postdoctoral Researcher at the Institute for Research in Archaeology and Historical Heritage (INAPH) of the University of Alicante, Spain. Valéria is broadly interested in the drivers of social structure and on the processes underlying the spread of technological innovations. Her research combines the application of agent-based models, network analysis, and statistical approaches to look at the spatial networks of human communities from the late Palaeolithic to the Late Mesolithic periods. She has a Ph.D. in Ecology and Animal Behaviour from the University of Strasbourg, France.


Scientific Committee

CHAIR
Dr. Javier Fernández-López de Pablo (University Institute of Research in Archeology and Historical Heritage, University of Alicante)
CO-CHAIR
Dr. Sergi Lozano (Departament d’Història Econòmica, Institucions, Política i Economia Mundial, Universitat de Barcelona)
SECRETARIAT
Dr. Valéria Romano (University Institute of Research in Archeology and Historical Heritage, University of Alicante)

Organizing Committee

Dr. Francisco Javier Jover Maestre (University Institute of Research in Archeology and Historical Heritage, University of Alicante)
Dr. Magdalena Gómez-Puche (University Institute of Research in Archeology and Historical Heritage, University of Alicante)
– Carolina Cucart (University Institute of Research in Archeology and Historical Heritage, University of Alicante)
Dr. Ester Boldrini (International Project Management Office, University of Alicante)
Dr. Mario Guillo (International Project Management Office, University of Alicante)


Registration

Important dates:

  • Registration open: June 30th
  • Registration closed: October 16th


WEBINAR 1 – Social Networks and Cultural Evolution in Hunter-Gatherers: ethnographic and archaeological perspectivesWEBINAR 2 – Social Networks and Cultural Evolution in Hunter-Gatherers: long-term patterns, mobility and human ecology constraintsWEBINAR 3 – Social Networks and Cultural Evolution in Hunter-Gatherers: interplay among social structure, demography and cumulative cultureWEBINAR 4 – Social Networks and Cultural Evolution in Hunter-Gatherers: Spatio-temporal dynamics and complex networks