The Applied Mathematics Research Centre, supported by the Leverhulme Trust, has developed a new approach to comparative mythology. This approach is mathematical and involves use of network theory. A first publication (Pádraig Mac Carron and Ralph Kenna, Universal properties of mythological networks, EPL 99 (2012) 28002) has generated enormous interest and impact worldwide, including interviews (e.g., "BBC Radio 4 ) and newspaper articles (e.g., in the "New York Times"). EPL is the flagship publication of the European Physical Society which has 41 national Member Societies, representing over 120,000 members. The paper has been downloaded over 7,500 times so far, a record for the journal.
The work so far is a pilot study. Over the coming years, we wish to broaden and deepen the project. This will involve parallelisation and internationalisation of the highly labour-intensive work. This, in turn, will require further funding.
We plan to run a workshop in Coventry aimed at bringing together natural scientists and humanities scholars to explore the applicability of mathematical sciences to current and past cultures. In particular, we wish to explore quantitative modelling for the understanding of epic genre and its relationship to historicity. Although we envisage mathematics and mythology as lying at the heart of the project, we also wish to explore how to broaden the scope of the project to other disciplines if that is possible.
An international team is being assembled, including physicists from Brazil and Ukraine, mythologists from Britain, Ireland and Russia and folkloreists from the USA. In addition, academics from a wider set of disciplines (e.g., art, dance, sociology, psychology, history, archaeology) based at Coventry will be invited. A focus of the workshop will be to generate momentum towards obtaining further funding from a suitable source. The aim of such funding will be to support a large scale project over the coming years.
Wednesday 24 July
Arrival. If you arrive early and would like to talk to Pádraig or Ralph, you can find us on the second floor of the Design Hub in the Technology Park. This is the building located between the hotel Ibis and the conference venue. For directions, follow this link: http://www.complexity-coventry.org/travel.
If you arrive later we will be in The Establishment Bar and Grill from about 9pm to about 10:30pm. They serve food up to about 8:45pm. There are plenty of other restaurants nearby.