People

David Zbíral

David is the director of CEDRR, principal investigator of DISSINET, and an Associate Professor at Masaryk University, Faculty of Arts, Department for the Study of Religions. He combines the close reading of medieval inquisitorial records and the analytical techniques of social network analysis in order to explore the situational emergence and transmission of institutions in social interaction, such as rituals, norms, and organizational forms. He is also interested in spatial patterns of dissent, such as the spatial distribution of rituals and the mobility of dissident ministers.

David Zbíral

Aleš Chalupa

Aleš is an Assistant Professor at Masaryk University, Faculty of Arts, Department for the Study of Religions and principal investigator of the GEHIR project. His research interests include the macrohistorical study of the ancient Mediterranean and Cognitive Historiography. He is also interested in the application of formalizing modeling to research into the Roman Cult of Mithras and its early transmission in the Roman Empire, especially in connection with Roman army infrastructure.

Aleš Chalupa

José Luis Estévez

José Luis is a computational social scientist and network scholar. Before he joined DISSINET, his research focused on the sharing of reputational information in workplace settings, for which he employed statistical models for network analysis. Within the DISSINET project, he investigates denunciation patterns from a relational stance, the recruitment and retention processes in clandestine religious movements, and the role of multiplex network ties in the diffusion of heterodox ideas and practices.

Tomáš Glomb

Tomáš is an Assistant Professor at Masaryk University, Faculty of Arts, Department for the Study of Religions and involved in the GEHIR and CEMRAM projects. He focuses on analyzing the factors involved in the spatio-temporal transmission of Hellenistic religions across the Mediterranean, such as politics and trade. His main interest in this research domain is the dynamics of the spread of Egyptian cults under the rule of the Ptolemaic dynasty.

Tomáš Glomb

Tomáš Hampejs

Tomáš is a programmer and computational social and cognitive science enthusiast. He devises and maintains the digital infrastructure for data collection in the DISSINET and GEHIR projects and designs various tools for data transformation. He is interested in social scientific theory, the formalized modelling of complex phenomena, and bridging the social and cognitive aspects of religion.

Tomáš Hampejs

Gideon Kotzé

Gideon is a researcher and developer with a special interest in text corpora, treebanks, machine translation, digitization, and wordnets. Before joining DISSINET, he worked on a web application for geographical terminology and a mobile application for place names in English and South African Sign Language. In the DISSINET project, he works on the representation and data storage of a corpus of inquisitorial records, while applying text mining and other natural language processing techniques for the extraction of useful information for visualization and research.

Jolana Navrátilová

Jolana (MA in Sociology and English language and literature from Masaryk University, 1998) is the managing assistant of the DISSINET project. She has worked in the university international office and PR department, and participated in several NGO projects (including EU grant-funded projects). She also translates from English (social science texts, fiction – YA sci-fi, fantasy) and enjoys sci-fi, medieval history and walks.

Jolana Navrátilová

Dalibor Papoušek

Dalibor is an Assistant Professor at Masaryk University, Faculty of Arts, Department for the Study of Religions and a member of the GEHIR team. His research aims at reconsidering the influence of Jewish heritage in the spread of early Christianity across the Mediterranean through the use of mathematical modelling.

Dalibor Papoušek

Davor Salihović

Davor is a medievalist with a particular interest in the interplay between social and spatial factors in the genesis and maintenance of institutions and ideas, as well as in source editing, and quantitative history. While he previously investigated the political and spatial history of the late-medieval Hungarian-Ottoman frontier, within DISSINET he primarily focuses on the spatial patterns of the networks of dissent in the region of Piedmont and its immediate surroundings in the fourteenth century. By combining the methods of Social Network Analysis and Historical GIS, he hopes to shed light on the geographical influences that shaped these networks and governed the spread of dissident thought.

Davor Salihović

Robert Shaw

Robert is a historian whose research within DISSINET uses network and geographical analysis to unlock patterns of punishment and resistance in Occitan communities undergoing inquisition. He is particularly interested in how these interactions affected social connections and perceptions over time. His previous research has focused on the religious networks forged by late medieval monastic reform, both between cloisters and beyond them.

Robert Shaw

Kaarel Sikk

Kaarel is a data / software engineer who has turned to research. Before joining DISSINET he was studying archaeological data science focusing on spatial data. His interests include spatial statistics, exploratory data analysis, complex adaptive systems, and emergence in the context of historical social processes. In his doctoral work, he uses various modelling techniques to study archaeological settlement pattern formation processes as self-organising complex systems. In the DISSINET project, he focuses on geospatial data analysis, cartography, geographical application development, as well as spatial statistics and modelling.

PhD students

Larissa de Freitas Lyth

Ph.D. Researcher

Larissa is part of the DISSINET project as a Ph.D. candidate in the study of religions. Her previous research has focused on magical practices and sexuality in the Early Middle Ages. Within DISSINET, she studies 15th-century witchcraft trials and the imagery surrounding the witches’ sabbath. With the aid of quantitative approaches such as natural language processing and social network analysis she analyses how the narrativity and interactivity in the trials affected the way inquisitorial discourse against witchcraft was formed and how medieval knowledge of heresy was perpetuated and transformed in early witchcraft trials.

Ondřej Homolka

Ph.D. Researcher

Ondřej is a doctoral candidate at Masaryk University, Faculty of Arts, Department for the Study of Religions. In his Ph.D. research on Continuity and Discontinuity of the Cults of Isis and Mary: A Spatial Analysis of the Late Antique Evidence, he tests the classical thesis about the “replacement” of the cult of Isis by the cult of Mary using methods of spatial analysis.

Ondřej Homolka

Anestis Karasaridis

Ph.D. Researcher

Anestis is a doctoral candidate at Masaryk University, Faculty of Arts, Department for the Study of Religions. In his Ph.D. research on The Dynamics of the Spread of Christianity in the 2nd and 3rd Centuries CE: A System Dynamics Model of the Interaction between Christian and Pagan Populations in the Roman Empire during the Antonine Plague and the Plague of Cyprian, he evaluates the role of epidemics in the growth of the early Christian population.

Anestis Karasaridis

Jan Král

Ph.D. Researcher

Jan is a doctoral candidate at Masaryk University, Faculty of Arts, Department for the Study of Religions. In his research concerning the Application of Social Network Analysis on Ethnographic Research of Signalling, he combines ethnographic research based on the theories stemming from the cognitive science of religion with social network analysis. His research is being conducted in a prevalently Catholic village Heľpa in central Slovakia.

Jan Král

Katia Riccardo

Ph.D. Researcher

Katia joined the DISSINET project as a Ph.D. candidate in the study of religions at Masaryk University. Her previous research has focused on the political and religious history of the early Middle Ages, with a particular focus on theological debates in the Carolingian period. Within the DISSINET project she studies the beliefs and practices of Cathars and Apostles as they emerge from the trial interactions contained in the inquisitorial register of Bologna (1291-1310). With the employment of computational techniques such as CTA and SNA, she aims to analyse the depositions of the people involved and the discursive patterns of their testimonies, focusing on the declarations of their beliefs as well as reporting on other people related to their social network.

Zdenko Vozár

Ph.D. Researcher

Zdenko is a medievalist and doctoral candidate at Masaryk University, Faculty of Arts, Department for the Study of Religions. In his Ph.D. research on The Alchemical Mind: Towards a Digital Archaeology of the Transmission of Symbolic Representations of Knowledge, he applies various computational techniques to explore digitized old prints of medieval and early modern alchemical texts, identify their broader patterns, and analyze intertextual links within the alchemical tradition.

Zdenko Vozár

Research associates

Vojtěch Kaše

Vojtěch is a social scientist employing various computational tools to gain a better understanding of the long-term dynamics of human societies. His historical expertise is the Ancient Mediterranean and Early Christianity. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow with the SDAM project at Aarhus University, Denmark, and an Assistant Professor at the University of West Bohemia, Faculty of Arts, Department of Philosophy. As a former graduate of the Department for the Study of Religions and a founding member of the GEHIR project, he collaborates closely with CEDRR as a Research Associate and is part of CEMRAM project.

Vojtěch Kaše

Adam Mertel

Adam is a geographer, cartographer, and developer of online applications in the DISSINET and GEHIR projects. He works on the transformation, visualisation, and analysis of spatiotemporal data.

Adam Mertel

Zdeněk Pospíšil

Zdeněk is a Professor at Masaryk University, Faculty of Science, Department of Mathematics and Statistics and a member of the GEHIR team. He tries to adapt mathematical models from population dynamics, biological evolution, and epidemiology in order to shed light on the transmission and competition of cultural forms in history.

Zdeněk Pospíšil

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