This Supplement of Historical Social Research stems from the contributions on the topic of modelling presented at the workshop “Thinking in Practice”, held at Wahn Manor House in Cologne on January 19-20, 2017. With Digital Humanities as starting point, practical examples of model building from different disciplines are considered, with the aim of contributing to the dialogue on modelling from several perspectives. Combined with theoretical considerations, this collection illustrates how the process of modelling is one of coming to know, in which the purpose of each modelling activity and the form in which models are expressed has to be taken into consideration in tandem.
The modelling processes presented in this volume belong to specific traditions of scholarly and practical thinking as well as to specific contexts of production and use of models. The claim that supported the project workshop was indeed that establishing connections between different traditions of and approaches toward modelling is vital, whether these connections are complementary or intersectional. The workshop proceedings address an underpinning goal of the research project itself, namely that of examining the nature of the epistemological questions in the different traditions and how they relate to the nature of the modelled objects and the models being created. This collection is an attempt to move beyond simple representational views on modelling in order to understand modelling processes as scholarly and cultural phenomena as such.
*Funded by Volkswagen Foundation