Networks for articles

Yanne Broux

Yanne provides the ever so indispensable female touch to the otherwise all-male Trismegistos team. Uncannily adept at multitasking, she is involved in many TM subsections. She takes care of the TM People databases and can thus be called our Human Resources Manager. As our Public Relations Officer, she has dedicated herself to creating networks of virtually anything relational in Trismegistos. TM Networks is her digital playground, where she publishes wonderfully noodly graphs that lend panache to our website. Apart from that, she is also responsible for Marketing: like any common hipster, she exploits social media to engage with the public and to spread the Trismegistos dogma as widely as possible.

Yanne is a research fellow at the department of ancient history of the KU Leuven. She has long had a particular interest in cultural differences and intercultural contacts, fostered by her education at Montessori (USA) and the Frankfurt International School (Germany), and somewhere along the way this developed into a fascination for ancient cultures and the myriad of research opportunities in this dynamic field. Leuven's flexible program allowed her to explore more than just groping Greeks and scallywag Romans (it does not always have to be an alliteration) and to expand her horizons to other regions of the Mediterranean, mastering the little known and elusive scribal art that is cuneiform. The combination of "classical" ancient history with Assyriology provided a fruitful base for her master thesis on ruler cults in hellenized Babylonia.

The PhD years While working on the project ‘Creating Identities in Graeco-Roman Egypt’ (KU Leuven, 2008-2012), Yanne not only immersed herself in ancient Egyptian society and onomastics, but also in Digital Humanities. A great part of the preparatory work for her research consisted of the expansion of the onomastic and prosopographical sections of the Trismegistos database. For her PhD, she focused on double names in Roman Egypt. This study has appeared as volume 54 of the Studia Hellenistica series (probably not available in your local bookstore). Other scientific discoveries have been published in journals: inspiration for some light bedtime reading can be found under Publications.

Pioneering network analysis Yanne’s postdoctoral research focuses on local power networks in the Roman Empire, combining traditional prosopographical research with network analysis. After some initial fumbling with ‘traditional’ social network analysis, she started experimenting with new, non-conventional techniques, such as three-mode networks to narrow down the data range of ancient documents, networks of names to determine the cultural affiliation of their bearers, or networks of scribal errors to trace Egyptian influences in Greek texts. These have now all found a proper home in TM Networks. To promote the application of these techniques and to help those that are new to network analysis on their way, Yanne also started up a blog, recently redubbed historicaldataninjas.com, together with her colleague Silke Vanbeselaere, in which they explain the basics of network theory and how to work with the different software available.

The Bordeaux adventure In November 2017, Yanne joined PATRIMONIVM, a Bordeaux-based ERC project dedicated to the study of imperial estates in the Roman Empire. In a year or two, she'll be a walking encyclopedia of ousiai, misthosis, georgoi and sheep.

The future is semi-digital As a true believer in the added value of a digital approach to research, Yanne is constantly exploring new avenues to enhance her research, for which she eventually and inevitably is exploited by her TM (as well as other academic) colleagues. Over time, her motto has evolved from ‘Lost without a database’, over ‘Lost without a database, networks always do lend grace’, to ‘Lost without a database, networks always do lend grace, and with Javascript you can rule the workplace*’, and she is positive that after that, something even better will come along. To stay on track in this rapidly evolving field and to spread the virtual virus, she is engaged in several coordinating Digital Humanities initiatives, such as Digital Humanities @Arts (KU Leuven) and DARIAH-BE.

*Aerospace, cyberspace, human race, and steeplechase were other alternatives she considered, but she did not want to appear too cocky.

Download Yanne's full CV here

Data viz

"Make it pretty". When she hears those three magical words, Yanne kicks into gear. Here are some of her more recent creations (click on the image to go the page). More to follow soon!

Trismegistos website: the new, interactive version (2015 - )

TM Collections: an interactive map of all the musea, institutions and private collections around the world where ancient documents are stored

TM Networks: a collection of network visualizations based on TM data

Leuven Database of Ancient Books: an overview

TM Texts - typology: an chronological survey of the different types of
Greek papyrological documents