This session aims to analyze the creation of spaces through networks focusing on three aspects characterizing knowledge transfer (social identities, craft knowledge and cross-cultural trade), discussing practice and concept of space and methodological insights in studying historical spaces.
From networks to spaces: social identities, craft knowledge and cross-cultural trade (1400-1800)Over the last decades research in social and economic history have used the concept of network, analyzing the formation, the exchanges amongst groups and the ways they influenced economies and cultures. Social network analysis has been useful to overcome perspectives based on State-Nation or ethic, corporative and socio-religious groups. Nevertheless, when studies use trans-national approaches, the concept of space is often forgotten and networks are conceived with poor reference to spaces. This session aims to discuss conceptual ideas on spaces and to propose methodological insights to study knowledge and cultural transfers. The goal is twofold: on the one hand the aim is to analyze how new bounded spaces emerged from networks beyond pre-existing geo-political, religious or cultural borders; secondly, we want to understand how agents and institutions used the resources they created from these new spaces. Starting from these perspectives, and focusing on three aspects of knowledge transfer (social identities, craft knowledge and cross-cultural trade) the session invites papers to discuss a set of basic questions: 1. Which kind of space did networks create? How did networks create spaces across existing geo-political and cultural borders? 2. Which social interactions (craft transmission, finance and trade, transfer of properties) did redefine borders and boundaries, as well as cultural identities? And how did they allow to reconstruct social identities? 3. Which was the use of resources created by networks in order to control the new spaces?