There’s History in All Men’s Lives, Ljubljana, 25-26 September

There is a history in all men’s lives

Figuring the natures of the times deceased;

The which observed, a man may prophesy

With a near aim of the main chance of things

As yet not come to life … 

(Shakespeare, Henry IV, pt. 2, III,1)

It seems that ever since literature has taken shape, the lives and deeds of individuals have been at the heart of what motivates stories and storytelling: both of Homer’s epics begin with a focus on an individual. Even after historiography emancipated itself from mythographic and ethnographic studies and entered the stage of scientific literature, biography soon followed suit: one of the three great Greek historians, Xenophon, wrote at least two biographical treatises, paving the way for countless great names in the biographical genre.

While it may seem that biography has experienced a period of disengagement from the academic world in recent decades, this couldn’t be further from the truth if one looks at central national biographical projects, among many others the Deutsche Biographie, the Österreichische Biographische Lexikon, the National Biography of Finland – and the New Slovenian Biographical Lexicon (NSBL), which is celebrating the tenth anniversary of its first volume this year. Since 2020, InTaVia has been working to connect and harmonise these collections across borders, making them accessible and visible to a wide audience. 

The symposium There’s history in all men’s lives will bring together experts from two closely intertwined fields to shed light on biography as a historical genre, as well as on various aspects of cultural heritage, digital humanities and visualisation, in the hope of further strengthening collaboration between them.

Follow this Google Forms link to register for the symposium.


Monday, September 25, 2023 / DAY 1: Biography-dedicated part 

9.00–9.30 Registration 

9.30–10.00 Welcome speeches / Introduction

Oto Luthar, Director of the ZRC SAZU

Gregor Pobežin, Head of the Institute of Cultural History, ZRC SAZU, Eva Mayr and Florian Windhager, coordinators of the project InTaVia, Danube University Krems

Petra Testen Koren, Editor-in-chief of The New Slovenian biographical lexicon (2022–)

10.00–10.30 Opening lecture 

Igor GrdinaGregor Pobežin: “There’s History in All Men’s Lives” 

10.30–11.30 Morning session

Jérôme Roudier: The Biography: An Adequate Tool to Understand the Birth of Political Modernity? 

Jukka Kortti: Between Private and Public. Biographies about and by an Elite 

11.30–12.00 Discussion 

12.00–13.30 Lunch break

13.30–15.00 Afternoon session 1

Federico Zuliani: Which Place for the Biographies of 16th-Century Religious and Linguistic Minorities in Italian and Swiss Historiographies?

Anja Grebe: Myth and Knowledge in Artists’ Biographies – The Case of Albrecht Dürer

Ane Ohrvik: A Republic of Letters? Exploring a Nineteenth Century Knowledge Network through the Lives of the Norwegian Scientist Peter Christen Asbjørnsen (1812–1885)

15.00–15.30 Discussion 

15.30–15.40 Coffee break 

15.40–16.40 Afternoon session 2

Filip HameršakNataša Jermen: Biographical Research and Presentation in the Miroslav Krleža Institute of Lexicography: Achievements and Challenges

Petra Testen KorenBarbara Šterbenc SvetinaMartin Grum: A Hundred Years in the Making? The New Slovenian Biographical Lexicon

16.40–17.30 Discussion & Coffee break 

Tuesday, September 26, 2023 / DAY 2: InTaVia-dedicated Workshop 

9:00–10:40: Morning session 1

Matthias SchlöglJouni Tuominen: Building Knowledge Graphs for DH Data (Example of InTaVia) 

José Angel Daza Arévalo: Generating Structured Data from Wikipedia Biographies

Antske Fokkens: Generating Structured Data from Biographical Text and Evaluation

Petri Leskinen: Relational Knowledge Discovery Based on Wikipedia Links 

Heikki Rantala: Discovering Relations in Knowledge Graphs Using the Sampo Model 

Matija OgrinSlovenian Biography as a Biographical Hub and the TEI Encoding: a Minimalist or Realistic Approach to Semantic Richness of Data?

10:40–11:00: Coffee break 

11:00–12:40: Morning session 2

Steffen Koch: Visual Data Analysis

Stefan Jänicke: Beyond InTaVia: Storytelling in Related Projects

Lilli Peura: Case Lake Tuusula – a Prosopographical Demo Using the Storytelling Suite 

Ines Vodopivec: Cultural Heritage Data as Humanities Research Data: Development of Europeana Data Space for Cultural Heritage

12.40–14.00 Lunch break 

14.00–16.30 Afternoon workshop: Hands-on workshop – using the InTaVia platform

Matthias SchlöglJouni Tuominen: Working with the InTaVia Knowledge Graph

Samuel BeckJakob Kusnick: Working with the InTaVia Platform