Thursday, December 4, 2008


Well, I am off to London this afternoon to participate in a workshop on "Cultural and linguistic diversity" at the AHRC Centre for the Evolution of Cultural Diversity.

My paper, coauthored with Mark Madsen is "Networks, frequency seriation and models of cultural transmission." I'll have an online draft of that paper up shortly if anyone is interested. The workshop is a small affair - held outside of London at the Missenden Abbey Conference Centre ( The place is sort of isolated in a manor type fair with only 16-17 or so participants. The "usual" crowd is there for these kinds of affairs O'Brien, Collard, Cochrane, Tehrani, Peter Jordan Mace - but also Rob Boyd, Russell Gray, Daniel Nettle (who will apparently be a disembodied head in a Skype link [could we all do that? a gathering of monitors?), John Nerbonne, Fiona Jordan, Charles Nunn and some others who I don't know as well.

200812041205.jpg Seems like a good place to hang out in... Ill be online (of course) for much of this trip - return on the 13th.

Workshop Programme – Cultural and linguistic diversity

Wednesday 10th Dec 2008

0845 – 0900 The Organizers Welcome and introduction to the workshop

0900 – 0955 Russell GRAY [Transmission coupling mechanisms: migration/demic expansion]

0955 – 1050 Rob BOYD Transmission coupling mechanisms: cultural group selection (co-authored with Peter Richerson)

1050 - 1115 TEA/COFFEE

1115 – 1210 Daniel NETTLE (by Skype link) Genetic and linguistic diversity: Global distribution and implications for prehistory

1210 – 1305 Paul HEGGARTY Splits or waves? Trees or webs? Network analysis of language change

1400 – 1455 Claire BOWERN Historical linguistics in Australia: (non-) tree-like evolution and its implications

1455 – 1550 John NERBONNE Measuring the diffusion of linguistic change

1620 – 1715 Carl LIPO Networks, frequency seriation and models of cultural transmission (co-authored with Mark Madsen)

1715 – 1810 James STEELE On demographic interpretations of linguistic and cultural phylogenies (co-authored with Anne Kandler and Aimee Plourde)

Thursday 11th Dec 2008

0900 – 0955 Michael O’BRIEN

Material culture and units of transmission (co-authored with R. Lee Lyman, Alex Mesoudi, and Todd L. Van Pool)

0955 – 1050 Mark COLLARD [Cladistic analysis of cultural traits]

1115 – 1210 Charles NUNN

Simulating trait evolution for cross-cultural comparison (co-authored with Christian Arnold, Luke Matthews, and Monique Borgerhoff Mulder)

1210 – 1305 Ruth MACE Is horizontal transmission really a problem for phylogenetic comparative methods? A simulation study using continuous cultural traits (coauthored with Tom Currie and Simon Greenhill)

1400 – 1455 Jamie TEHRANI Mapping traditions onto populations using trees and jungles: a cophylogenetic approach to cultural inheritance (co-authored with Mark Collard)

1455 – 1550 Ethan COCHRANE Phylogenetic and graph-based network methods in evolutionary anthropology (co-authored with Carl Lipo)

1620 – 1715 Laura FORTUNATO /Fiona JORDAN Your place or mine? A phylogenetic comparative analysis of postmarital residence in Indo-European and Austronesian societies

1715 – 1810 Sean O’NEILL    /Peter JORDAN Coupling and de-coupling inherited cultural traits: preliminary investigations of situated social learning

processes as an explanation for cultural diversification on the Northwest Pacific Coast

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