David (Ph.D. in the Study of Religions from Masaryk University, 2008) is the lead author and principal investigator of the DISSINET project. He focuses on inquisitorial records from Languedoc and Lombardy (1230s-1320s) to make sense of the situational emergence, transmission, and functioning of rituals, beliefs, and organizational forms of dissident religious cultures. He is also interested in the spatial patterns of dissent, such as the spatial distribution of rituals and the mobility of dissident ministers, and in the discursive qualities of deposition narratives.
Robert L. J. Shaw
Robert (DPhil in History from the University of Oxford, 2014) is the deputy principal investigator of the DISSINET project. His research, focused on Languedoc, systematically analyses the factors affecting the sentencing of dissidents, including social interactions and relationships. He is also interested in the path dependencies of the narratives found in inquisition records. His previous research has focused on the religious networks forged by late medieval monastic reform, both between cloisters and beyond them.
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.
Larissa de Freitas Lyth
Larissa (MA in History from Universidade Federal do Paraná, 2021) 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.
José Luis Estévez
José Luis (PhD in Analytical Sociology at Linköping University) 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 (Ph.D. in the Study of Religions from Masaryk University, 2020) is a data analyst, programmer, and computational social and cognitive science enthusiast. He devises and maintains the digital infrastructure for data collection in the DISSINET project 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 the cognitive aspects of religion.
Gideon (PhD in Computational Linguistics at the University of Groningen, 2013) is a researcher and developer with 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.
Katia (MA in Medieval Studies from Utrecht University, 2020) 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.
Davor (PhD in History from the University of Cambridge, 2021) 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.
Kaarel (currently finishing his PhD in Quantitative Geography at the University of Luxemburg) 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.
Tomáš received his PhD in sociology from the University of Groningen and Charles University. He currently holds a position of Presidential Fellow at the University of Manchester. Set within the framework of analytical sociology, his research focuses on the application of social network analysis (specifically statistical models for networks) to the study of covert networks. He is one of the founders of the Czech Network for Social Network Analysis, an informal association of network researchers in the Czech Republic.
Adam (PhD in Cartography, Geoinformatics, and Remote Sensing from Masaryk University, 2020) is a geographer, cartographer, and developer of online applications. A former member of DISSINET, he continues to collaborate intensively with the team and leads the development of the DISSINET database and of InkVisitor, an online browser-based interface for syntax-based collection of structured data from textual sources.
Reima is a cultural historian focusing on late medieval inquisition and Waldensianism, polemical literature and the Great Western Schism. He is interested in combining computational tools such as text reuse analysis and authorship attribution with qualitative study of medieval texts and manuscripts. Reima is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Turku Institute for Advanced Studies and Adjunct Professor of Medieval History at the University of Turku.