Digital Humanities Interdisciplinary Non-specialists

How to Blog: Organizing the Decentered Space of Scientific Conversation

Why create a research blog for a project? How to feed it, which formats of articles to put forth, and which disciplinary traditions to embrace? Indeed, if historians extensively blog, this is not a common practice among other disciplines, such as computer science. Moreover, which collective processes to adopt for a project that does not mobilize all its members equally and along the same temporality? Starting with these questions, this article discusses key elements that guided the editorial project of this blog.

When ObARDI’s research program started in January 2021, it appeared important to take the time to reflect about its online research blog and to determine a clear editorial policy. To that end, we reviewed various blogs which content appealed to us, such as those of French social scientists Caroline Muller (Acquis de conscience. Histoire(s) de XIXe siècle), Aurore Turbiau (Littératures engagées. Féminisme et lesbianisme dans l’histoire littéraire), or Émilien Ruiz (Devenir historien-ne. Méthodologie de la recherche et historiographie); as well as other sites and blogs, both in French (e.g., Politka and EHNE) and in English (e.g., VoxEU, The Long Run, or Broadstreet). These helped structure our thoughts about our potential readership and the type of content to offer to them.

Historian's workshop History Non-specialists

Jean Nicolas’ Survey of Revolts in France (1661–1789)

The historical material gathered by the ANR project ObARDI includes a survey of revolts in France over the period 1661–1789 developed by Jean Nicolas starting in the early 1980s. To disseminate this survey and facilitate its reuse, this article discusses its origins and the context of its production.

This article has four objectives: present Jean Nicolas and the initial objectives of his survey, discuss the roll-out of the survey, its main main results, and its underlying material—now preserved and available to researchers.

Data Digital Humanities Economics Geography Historian's workshop History Informatics Interdisciplinary News Non-specialists Ontology Revolt Specialists State

ObARDI: An Introduction

ObARDI is a research project funded by the French National Research Agency (ANR). It is part of the theme “The Digital Revolution: Relationship to Knowledge and Culture,” which aims at supporting interdisciplinary research initiatives relating to the social and digital sciences.

The objective of ObARDI is to improve our understanding of the power dynamics that underlie the construction of the modern State in France. By analyzing the mechanisms of its development and the representations of its political territory, we aim at overcoming the metanarrative of the construction of the State (Blockmans et Genet, 1995; Blockmans et al., 2009). Indeed, despite an illusory resemblance in vocabulary, categories of the State and of the civil society that are natural to us were undoubtedly alien to contemporaries three centuries ago. Moreover, our cognitive representations of what constitutes a political territory remain bounded by geographic categories that only emerged progressively throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

To tackle these challenges, we develop a knowledge representation system of institutional dynamics of Ancien Régime France based on the representation and organization of historical information through computer ontologies—hence the name of the project: an Ontology-based Ancien Régime Data Infrastructure (ObARDI). The construction of this infrastructure proceeds in four steps:

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