Events

SPBS Events

BBPN Events

See the BBPN page for the latest events.

Seminar Series at UK Universities

These are seminars run by UK universities. They are not organised by the Society.


Conferences, Lectures & Calls for Papers (UK)



Astronomy across the Medieval World

Conference

18 November 2017, St Cross College, Oxford

The celestial sky has been a source of fascination since ancient times with astronomy being the oldest of the natural sciences. During the medieval period, astronomy flourished in many cultures across the world, some of which followed on from earlier models created by Ptolemy. The motions of the celestial bodies were investigated, early astronomical observatories were built and some cultures constructed remarkable monuments inspired by astronomical insights. This conference will draw together the different strands of medieval astronomy from across the world and will examine how they interfaced and paved the way for the scientific developments later in the Renaissance.

Registration to attend this conference is free, but must be confirmed using the Conference booking form by midday on Friday 10th November 2017.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Dr Giles Gasper (Durham University) - `The Service of Astronomy' - European Star-Gazing and Its Implications in the Middle Ages
  • Professor Christopher Cullen (University of Cambridge) - Chinese Astronomy in a World Context
  • Dr Josep Casulleras (University of Barcelona) - From Ancient to Modern: Astronomy in Medieval Islam
  • Professor Ivan Šprajc (Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts) - Mayan and Aztec Astronomy: Skywatching in Prehispanic Mesoamerica
  • Dr Benno van Dalen (Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities) - Ptolemaic Astronomy and Its Dissemination in the Islamic World, Europe and Asia

There will be a conference dinner at St Cross in the evening following the end of the conference with an after-dinner talk by Dr Valerie Shrimplin (Gresham College) on the influence of astronomy and the cosmos on medieval art. Although the conference itself is free of charge, the dinner carries a cost of £35 to attend - booking a place for dinner can be done here. Bed and breakfast accommodation in the Oxford colleges can be found here. A map of the location of St Cross College in the city centre can be found here and a map of the location of the Martin Wood Lecture Theatre at the Department of Physics can be found here.


Rethinking the Medieval Frontier

Call for papers (deadline: 1 February 2018)

10 April 2018, University of Leeds

Few topics in medieval studies have as much current relevance and activity as frontiers and borders. Yet approaches to their study in the Middle Ages are often untheorised, and  compare, if at all, only to often outdated studies of the ancient or modern world. Yet  medievalists are well placed, given the richness of their material and the complexity of  medieval politics and society, to challenge such ‘classical’ ideas of The Frontier, whose  weaknesses are now being exposed by current events. A fully comparative approach to the possibilities of what it meant to establish, live in or contest a frontier or border zone shown by the societies of late Antiquity and the Middle Ages can power the development of a new shared understanding of the processes at work where borders are laid down or transgressed.

For full details, see the full Call for Papers.


Memory and Harmony: An evening celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Hellenic Institute, Royal Holloway, University of London with Bettany Hughes and Panayiotis Gogos

30 November 2017, Hellenic Centre, London

The Hellenic Institute is celebrating its 25th Anniversary in the present academic year academic year with a number of special events, to which everyone is warmly invited. The first event will take place at the Hellenic Centre, 16-18 Paddington Street, London W1U 5AS on Thursday 30 November 2017 at 7.00 pm. As part of the event, the historian, author and presenter Dr Bettany Hughes will share her thoughts on The study of Hellenism, to be followed by a concert, under the theme Metamorphoses, with the Greek pianist Panayiotis Gogos. The lecture and concert will be followed by a Reception.

There is no charge for attendance but places must be booked in advance. For details, download the invitation letter.


The Maladies, Miracles and Medicine of the Middle Ages, II: Places, Spaces and Objects

Conference/Call for papers (closes 5 January 2018)

23 March 2018, The Graduate Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Reading

As medievalists, we access our period through the written records, sites, and items that survive in order to form a deeper understanding of the period, one that goes beyond the page or the ruinous buildings that remain today. Using a wide range of sources is particularly valuable when considering the miraculous and the medicinal. After all, it is not just the writings, but the spaces, places and objects of both healthcare and of the holy which can inform and shape our research, and thus of understanding. Indeed, in many instances these two elements combine, as can be seen through the production of miracle cures, the monastic collections of medical treatises, and medieval hospitals and monastic infirmaries.

But, what can these sources tell us of miracles, of medicine, of maladies? How did the miraculous and the medicinal relate to and/or oppose each other? What can we learn of faith and the faithful, and of ill-health and healing? It is questions such as these which the second ‘Maladies, Miracles and Medicine’ conference considers by bringing together post-graduate and early-career researchers who work on all aspects of the healing and the holy. The conference welcomes papers on all aspects of this theme whether your interests lie in archaeology, art, literature, medicine and science, or miracles and theology (or a little bit of everything).

Fur details, download the full Call for Papers.


Bernard Hamilton Essay Prize

In honour of the former president and current honorary president of the SSCLE, Professor Bernard Hamilton, and in recognition of his enormous contribution to the society and support of young scholars, the SSCLE will award an annual essay prize.

The Rules

·         The essay should be on any aspect of history, art history or archaeology of the Crusader period or otherwise relating to Crusader studies.
·         Any current doctoral student, or an individual who is within two years of receiving their doctorate is eligible to enter the competition.
·         The essay, excluding references and bibliography must not normally exceed 6,000 words and must conform with the editorial requirements of the SSCLE journalCrusades (available on the SSCLE webpage and in the Bulletin/Journal)).
·         Essays submitted elsewhere for competitions or publication will not be eligible for the prize.
·         The essays must be submitted as electronic copies as an e-mail attachment, to Professor Jonathan Phillips (email: J.P.Phillips@rhul.ac.uk) the SSCLE Postgraduate Officer, by 31 December 2018 (by 1 December in subsequent years)
·         Essays should be accompanied by details of the author’s name, address (including email address), institutional affiliation and degree registration.

The Decision

·         The essays will be read by a jury consisting of a panel drawn from the Committee of the SSCLE and the editors of Crusades.
·         The jury panel reserves the right not to award a prize in any particular year.
·         The jury decision will be announced in April.
·         The decision of the jury is final.
·         The winner of the essay competition will have their paper put forward to Crusades where, subject to the normal procedures of satisfactory reports from two anonymous external referees (and, if required, the chance to modify, amend or improve the piece on their advice), it will be published under the title ‘Bernard Hamilton Essay Prize’.
·         Names of prize winners will be posted on the SSCLE webpage and announced in the Bulletin.


Dorothy Dunnett Academic History Prize 2017

The Dorothy Dunnett History Prize 2017, worth £1,000, is offered by the Dorothy Dunnett Society (Scottish Charity SC030649 SCIO). The Prize is for an essay of up to 5000 words. Entries will be accepted from students registered on a PhD programme at any recognised higher education institution.

The Dorothy Dunnett History Prize 2017, worth £1,000, is offered by the Dorothy Dunnett Society (Scottish Charity SC030649 SCIO) in pursuit of its constitutional aim:

“To advance the education of the public concerning the history, politics, culture and religion of the 11th, 15th and 16th centuries by promoting the study of and research into such subjects particularly as they relate to the works of Dorothy Dunnett and to disseminate to the public the results of such research.”

The Prize is for an essay of up to 5000 words (normally 3000-4000). Entries will be accepted from students registered on a PhD programme at any recognised higher education institution. The competition is not limited to medievalists but open to those in other relevant areas of study, including Byzantine or early Ottoman studies.

Thematic Guidelines

The novels of Scottish writer Dorothy Dunnett (1923–2001) are supported by extensive geographical and historical research, and have wide-ranging settings including (using present-day names) Scotland, Norway, Belgium, France, Italy, Cyprus, Russia, Turkey, England, Iceland, Poland, Algeria, Gambia and Mali. Her work explores many issues of political, military and cultural/social history.

For more information, please see www.ed.ac.uk/<wbr>history-classics-archaeology/<wbr>centre-medieval-renaissance/<wbr>dorothy-dunnett-prize-2017 or www.ed.ac.uk/<wbr>history-classics-archaeology/<wbr>centre-medieval-renaissance/<wbr>dorothy-dunnett-prize-2017


Medieval Eurabia: Religious Crosspollinations in Architecture, Art and Material Culture during the High and Late Middle Ages (1000-1600)

2018 Annual Conference of the Association for Art History (U.K.)

5-7 April 2018 Courtauld Institute of Art & King’s College London

The coexistence of Christianity and Islam in the Medieval Mediterranean led to a transfer of knowledge in architecture and material culture which went well beyond religious and geographical boundaries. The use of Islamic objects in Christian contexts, the conversion of churches into mosques and the mobility of craftsmen are manifestations of this process. Although studies beginning with Avinoam Shalem’s Islam Christianized (1996), have dealt extensively with Islamic influence in the West and European influence in the Islamic Mediterranean, sacred objects, and material culture more generally, have been relatively neglected. From crosses found in Mosques, to European-Christian coins with pseudo/-shahada inscriptions, medieval material culture is rife with visual evidence of the two faiths co-existing in both individual objects and monuments.

This panel invites papers from scholars working on intercultural exchange in art, architecture and material culture. We particularly welcome contributions that focus on sacred objects that have been diverted or ‘converted’ to a new purpose, whether inside or outside an explicitly religious context. Papers should present original research, which expands the boundaries of knowledge and which the scholars would like to be considered for publication. Abstract should be no more than 250 words long. 

Deadline: 1 November 2017

Panel organised by Sami De Giosa, Oxford University and Nikolaos Vryzidis, British School at Athens

Email: aahchristianmuslimpanel2018@gmail.com


Medieval Monks, Nuns & Monastic Life

21st Biennial Symposium of the IMSSS

15-20 July 2018, University of Bristol

The 2018 IMSSS symposium will explore the breadth and depth of sermon literature and preaching activity relating to monks, nuns, and monastic life, and serve as a microcosm of the religious and cultural landscape of the Middle Ages.

The symposium will be based in the beautiful grounds of the University of Bristol's Wills Hall, and will include a workshop at historic Downside Abbey, with its medieval manuscripts, incunables, and Centre for Monastic Heritage. We will also visit Wells Cathedral, as well as the medieval sites of Bristol.

Keynote speakers include Claudia Rapp and Brian Patrick McGuire.

For full details, see imsss.net/symposium-2018


British Institute at Ankara Lecture in Memeory of Prof Anthony Bryer

7 December 2017, British Academy, London

You are warmly invited to a lecture by Jim Crow, Professor of Archaeology at Edinburgh University, on a subject dear to Bryer’s heart:

“Byzantine Routes and Frontiers in Eastern Pontus and the Hagiographical Dossier of St Eugenios”.

The lecture will take place at 6.30 pm on Thursday 7th December at the Wolfson Auditorium, British Academy, 10 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AH.  To book simply requires a visit to www.biaa.ac.uk/events or a call to 0207 969 5204.


Medieval Monks, Nuns and Monastic Life: 21st Biennial Symposium of the IMSSS

Conference/Call for Papers (closes 30 September 2017)

15-20 July 2018, University of Bristol

The 2018 IMSSS symposium will explore the breadth and depth of sermon literature and preaching activity relating to monks, nuns, and monastic life, and serve as a microcosm of the religious and cultural landscape of the Middle Ages.

The symposium will be based in the beautiful grounds of the University of Bristol's Wills Hall, and will include a workshop at historic Downside Abbey, with its medieval manuscripts, incunables, and Centre for Monastic Heritage. We will also visit Wells Cathedral, as well as the medieval sites of Bristol.

Celebrate 2018 — the first-ever European Year of Cultural Heritage —by delivering a paper or presenting a poster dealing with an aspect of one of the bedrocks of European culture: monasticism.

Registration will commence in September 2017, but we are accepting abstracts for papers and posters (150 words) now. Please send your abstracts before 30 September 2017 (and any queries) to: imsss-2018@bristol.ac.uk

For full details, see imsss.net/symposium-2018


Conferences, Lectures & Calls for Papers (Outside UK)



Sixth Annual Symposium on Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Conference/Call for Papers (Deadline: 31 December 2017)

June 18-20, 2018, Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

The Sixth Annual Symposium on Medieval and Renaissance Studies (June 18-20, 2018) is a convenient summer venue for scholars from around the world to present papers, organize sessions, participate in roundtables, and engage in interdisciplinary discussion. The goal of the Symposium is to promote serious scholarly investigation into all topics and in all disciplines of medieval and early modern studies.

The plenary speakers for this year will be Geoffrey Parker of The Ohio State University, and Carole Hillenbrand of the University of St Andrews.

The Symposium is held annually on the beautiful midtown campus of Saint Louis University. On-campus housing options include affordable, air-conditioned apartments as well as a luxurious boutique hotel. Inexpensive meal plans are available, and there is also a wealth of restaurants, bars, and cultural venues within easy walking distance of campus. While attending the Symposium participants are free to use the Vatican Film Library, the Rare Book and Manuscripts Collection, and the general collection at Saint Louis University's Pius XII Memorial Library.

The Sixth Annual Symposium on Medieval and Renaissance Studies invites proposals for papers, complete sessions, and roundtables. Any topics regarding the scholarly investigation of the medieval and early modern world are welcome. Papers are normally twenty minutes each and sessions are scheduled for ninety minutes. Scholarly organizations are especially encouraged to sponsor proposals for complete sessions.

The deadline for all submissions is December 31. Decisions will be made in January and the final program will be published in February. For more information or to submit your proposal online go to: smrs.slu.edu


Byzantine Poetry in the ‘Long’ Twelfth Century (1081-1204) Perceptions, Motivations and Functions

Conference/Call for Papers (Deadline: 15 October 2017)

Austrian Academy of Sciences, 13-15 June 2018, Vienna

The time span between the ascension of Alexios I Komnenos to the throne (1081) and the fall of Constantinople to the Latins (1204) is marked by striking historical and socio-cultural developments that influenced many aspects of the contemporary literary production. This holds true especially for texts written in verse, the production of which is much larger than in any other century in middle and late Byzantine times. The twelfth century can thus be described as the ‘golden age’ of Byzantine poetry, since it flourished throughout the entire period both in Constantinople and the periphery of the empire (e.g. Southern Italy, and Athens in the late twelfth century). However, it is not only its amount that determines the significant place of Komnenian poetry in Byzantine literary and social culture. Many literary novelties are closely associated with the poetry of this period, such as the unprecedented use  of literature for ceremonial and didactic purposes at the court, or the emergence of vernacular works. While the poetry of this period maintains many features of texts written in other periods, at the same time it undergoes a transformation acquiring a distinguished character. Even though many texts have received due scholarly attention, our picture of poetic  production is still vague and fragmentary.

For further details, see the full call for papers.


The Changing Faces of Evil

International interdisciplinary conference/Call for contributions (closes 20 October 2017)

17-18 March 2018, Lisbon, Portugal

As we head deeper into the 21st Century, what does it mean to call someone or something ‘evil’? Previously used to describe natural disasters such as the Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 or even pandemics such as the Black Death, evil is now used as a popular term by the press and social media to refer to various acts of hatred, violence, terror, brutality and senseless killing.

For full details, see the website.


Inside Out: Dress and Identity in the Middle Ages

38th Annual Conference, Center for Medieval Studies

March 17-18 2018, Fordham University, Lincoln Center Campus, New York, NY

Dress was a primary expression of identity in the European middle ages, when individuals made strategic choices about clothing and bodily adornment (including hairstyle, jewelry, and other accessories) in order to communicate gender, ethnicity, status, occupation, and other personal and group identities. Because outward appearances were often interpreted as a reliable reflection of inner selves, medieval dress, in its material embodiment as well as in literary and artistic representations, carried extraordinary moral and social meaning, as well as offering seductive possibilities for self-presentation.

For full details, see www.fordham.edu/info/26756/inside_out_dress_and_identity_in_the_middle_ages


Armenia & Byzantium without Borders

Graduate and Early Career Workshop/Call for papers (closes 31 October 2017)

20-22 April 2018, University of Vienna, Austria

Within the framework of ‘Moving Byzantium: Mobility, Microstructure and Personal Agency,’ a five-year project begun at the University of Vienna in 2016 and funded through the Wittgenstein-Prize (rapp.univie.ac.at), ‘Armenia & Byzantium without Borders’ is a three-day workshop focussing on social and cultural mobility between Armenia and Byzantium in the Middle Ages. This workshop continues a scholarly conversation initiated in March 2017 at the University of Uppsala where a study-day dedicated to ‘Narrative Exchanges between Byzantium and Armenia’ was organized by AnnaLinden Weller within the Uppsala/Paris ‘Text and Narrative in Byzantium’ project.

We invite advanced PhD candidates and early career scholars working in the fields of Late Antique, Armenian, Byzantine, and Middle Eastern Studies to submit proposals for 20 min. papers connected with the main topics of ‘Moving Byzantium’, with a focus on aspects of social and cultural mobility of persons, objects, and/or ideas between Armenia and Byzantium throughout the Middle Ages. We are particularly interested in new research showing interaction and communication on both literary and material grounds between the Byzantine world and the Armenians. Each paper presented at the workshop will be accompanied by a senior scholar’s 10 min. response, followed by a general discussion. The workshop will be inaugurated with the lecture of our keynote speaker, Prof. Bernard Coulie (Catholic University of Louvain), and will include a visit to the Mekhitarist Monastery of Vienna and a guided tour of the exhibition on ‘Byzantium and the West’ at the Schallaburg Castle.

Travel and accommodation expenses of scholars selected for presentation at the workshop will be covered by a generous grant of the ‘Moving Byzantium’ project. Paper proposals should be sent by the 31st of October 2017 to Emilio Bonfiglio: emilio.bonfiglio@univie.ac.at. Applications will include:a) university affiliation; b) graduate level; c) title of the paper; d) abstract (max 250 words); e) CV.

Convenors: Dr. Emilio Bonfiglio and Prof. Claudia Rapp


What’s So Funny? Discovering and Interpreting Humor in the Ancient World

Conference/Call for papers (closes 30 November 2017)

20-21 April 2018 The Ohio State University Columbus, Ohio

Humor is a ubiquitous human phenomenon with a wide range of applications. Yet, what is deemed humorous is often culturally determined. This poses a significant challenge for scholars of ancient cultures. How do we identify what an ancient culture found funny? How did they use humor, and what drove their usage? The purpose of this conference is to provide a forum for scholars across disciplines to discuss and debate humor and its functions in both textual and material sources across the ancient Mediterranean, from the early Near East through late antiquity. We invite papers that address the above questions, or any others, on the topic of humor in an ancient Mediterranean context.

Possible topics include: Theoretical models for identifying and understanding humor and comedy in ancient cultures • Ancient definitions and theories of humor • Humor in political discourse, including propaganda, competition, and resistance • The role of humor in religion and ritual • Humor and social taboo: obscenities, scatology, and transgressive behaviors • Women, sexuality, and gender as sites of humor • Humor and social boundaries: elite and popular, native and foreign, center and periphery, divine and mortal, and other lines of membership • Humor’s function in narrative and in the relationship between storyteller and audience • Humor as entertainment in daily life, including inscriptions, performance, and celebration Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be submitted by email to humor.ohiostate@gmail.com by 30 November 2017. Please include “Humor Conference Abstract” and your name in the subject line.


Second Annual Conference on Byzantine and Medieval Studies

Conference/Call for Papers (closes 20 September 2017)

12-14 January 2018, Nicosia, Cyprus

Scholars, researchers and students are encouraged to present their ongoing research, work-in-progress or fieldwork  report on any aspect of the history,  archaeology, art, architecture, literature, philosophy and religion of Cyprus and  the  Eastern Mediterranean during the Byzantine, Medieval and Ottoman periods.

For details, download the full Call for Papers (NB deadline has been extended to 20 September) or see byzantinistsociety.org.cy/cbms2018/


Byzantine Neighborhoods: Urban Space and Political Action

17 November 2017, Dumbarton Oaks, Washington DC, USA

The role of neighborhoods in late antique and Byzantine cities remains little studied. This colloquium aims at a multidisciplinary investigation of neighborhoods as spatial, social, and political entities that mediate between communities and the state, and thus contribute to the establishment and maintenance of political sovereignty.

Drawing on archaeology, architecture, administrative history, and literature, speakers will investigate how Byzantines defined, organized, and conceptualized their neighborhoods, and how forms of collectivity that were shaped in neighborhoods translated to political action. The resulting conversations should contribute to a new understanding of Byzantine political and social life at the local level.

Registration will open in September 2017.

For more information and the full program, please follow the link below:

www.doaks.org/research/byzantine/scholarly-activities/the-byzantine-neighborhood-urban-space-and-political-action-1/the-byzantine-neighborhood-urban-space-and-political-action


Graduate and Early Career Workshop: 'Armenia & Byzantium without Borders'

Workshop/Call for papers (closes 31 December 2017)

20-22 April 2018, Vienna, Austria

We invite advanced PhD candidates and early career scholars working in the fields of Late Antique, Armenian, Byzantine, and Middle Eastern Studies to submit proposals for 20 min. papers for a three-day workshop on ‘Armenia & Byzantium without Borders’ that will take place in Vienna (20–22 April 2018).

Proposals should focus on aspects of social and cultural mobility of persons, objects, and/or ideas between Armenia and Byzantium throughout the Middle Ages. We are particularly interested in new research showing
interaction and communication on both literary and material grounds between the Byzantine world and the Armenians. Travel and accommodation expenses of scholars selected for presentation at the workshop will be covered by a generous grant of the ‘Moving Byzantium’ project.

Further information can be found in the attached document and at: rapp.univie.ac.at
Paper proposals should be sent by the 31st of October 2017 to Dr. Emilio Bonfiglio: emilio.bonfiglio@univie.ac.at. Applications will include: a) university affiliation; b) graduate level; c) title of the paper; d) abstract (max 250 words); e) CV.


Othello's Island 2018: 6th annual interdisciplinary conference on byzantine, medieval, renaissance and early modern art, literary, archaeological, historical and cultural studies

25 to 27 March 2018, CVAR, Nicosia, Cyprus

Keynote Lecture 2018: "Donor Portraits in Byzantine Art", to be presented by Professor Henri Frances (American University of Beirut)

The Academic Board for Othello's Island invites applications to present papers at the 6th edition of Othello's Island. This will take place in Nicosia, Cyprus, in March 2018. We are interested in hearing papers on diverse aspects of Byzantine, Medieval, Renaissance and early modern art, literature, history, society and other aspects of culture.

Our remit is broad, and so it is worth looking at the range of papers from past conferences to see that previous speakers have covered topics ranging from slavery in medieval Cyprus and Malta, to the impact of Italian Renaissance art on Cypriot Byzantine painting, and even discussion on the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf. And Shakespeare, and his contemporaries, are important too, of course.

In the six years of its existence, Othello's Island has developed a reputation as one of the most liberal-minded and friendly medieval and renaissance studies conferences in the world today, and it is also genuinely interdisciplinary. In part this is due to the relatively small size of the event, which generates a true sense of community during the conference.

Our location in Cyprus allows for visits to some stunning medieval museums and other sites, including the French gothic cathedrals of St Sophia in Nicosia, and St Nicholas in Famagusta, and we are housed in the centre of the medieval old town of Nicosia, with its narrow winding streets and impressive city walls and gate houses.

Deadline for submissions is 22 December 2017.

For the full call for papers please visit www.othellosisland.org


Neighbours or Strangers? Conflict, Negotiation, and Collaboration in Multicultural Communities Passages from Antiquity to the Middle Ages VII

Conference/Call for Papers (closes 31 October 2017)

23-25 August 2018, University of Tampere, Finland

Questions of toleration, aggression and even hatred based on ethnic diversity have been accentuated in recent times, but multiculturalism in its various forms is far from being confined to the modern world only. The seventh international Passages from Antiquity to the Middle Ages conference will focus on forms of interaction and methods of negotiation in multicultural, multiethnic, and multilingual contexts.

The conference aims at concentrating on social and cultural interaction within and between multi-ethnic and multilingual communities, groups and individuals, minority (minorities) and majority. Cooperation, toleration, and coexistence was an everyday necessity in Ancient and medieval societies. On occasion, however, these would turn into the opposite: suspicion, conflict, and violence, enhanced by power struggles and prejudices. All these had a central influence on social dynamics, negotiations of collective or individual identity, definitions of ethnicity, and shaping of legal rules. What was the function of multicultural and multilingual interaction in various contexts: did it create and increase conflicts, or was it rather a prerequisite for survival and prosperity?

Our focus lies on society and the history of everyday life. We welcome papers, which have a sensitive approach to social differences: gender, status, and ethnicity. Actors, experiences, and various levels of negotiations are of main interest. We aim at a broad coverage not only chronologically but also geographically and disciplinarily (all branches of Classical, Byzantine and Medieval Studies). Most preferable are contributions that have themselves a comparative and/or interdisciplinary viewpoint or focusing on a longue durée perspective.

For full details, see the website:www.uta.fi/trivium/passages/


Days Of Justinian I: “Byzantium and the Slavs: Medieval and Modern Perceptions and Receptions”

International symposium/Call for Papers

17-18 November, 2017, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia

The International scientific symposium “Days of Justinian I” is an annual interdisciplinary scholarly forum aimed at the presentation of the latest research followed by discussions on various aspects of Byzantine and Medieval Studies, that include the treatment and interpretation of cultural, historical and spiritual heritage in contemporary Europe. The Symposium is dedicated to Emperor Justinian I with the aim to address a broad range of issues related to Byzantium and the European Middle Ages, comprising the exploration of the cultural and historical legacy as an integrative component of the diversities and commonalities of Unified Europe.
This year the International Symposium “Days of Justinian I” chose a special thematic strand “Byzantium and the Slavs: Medieval and Modern Perceptions and Receptions”, with the aim of discussing various aspects of the Slavic world and its legacy, from the Medieval and Modern perspective. The Symposium will address many issues concerning the Origins, Ethnicity, Identity, the State Formation of the Slavs and the relationships with Byzantium and Western Europe. The reception of the Slavic legacy in post-medieval Europe will also be explored and compared with the divergent visions of the Byzantine heritage, with the aim of defining their place within the frame of the European civilizational concept.

For full details, download the full call for papers.


The Impact of Learning Greek, Hebrew and ‘Oriental’ Languages On Scholarship, Science, and Society in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance

International conference/Call for Papers (closes 30 April 2017)

13-15 December 2017, Leuven, Belgium

In 1517, Leuven witnessed the foundation of the Collegium Trilingue. This institute, funded through the legacy of Hieronymus Busleyden and enthusiastically promoted by Desiderius Erasmus, offered courses in the three ‘sacred’ languages Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. LECTIO (Leuven Centre for the Study of the Transmission of Texts and Ideas in Antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance) seizes the 500th anniversary of the foundation of the Leuven Collegium Trilingue as an incentive both to examine the general context in which such polyglot institutes emerged and—more generally—to assess the  overall impact of Greek and Hebrew education, by organizing a three-day international conference. Our focus is not exclusively on the 16th century, as we also welcome papers dealing with the status and functions accorded to Greek, Hebrew, and other ‘Oriental’ languages in the (later) Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period up to 1750. Special attention will be directed to the learning and teaching practices and to the general impact the study of these languages exerted on scholarship, science and society.

For further details and full call for papers, see the website.


Narrating Power and Authority in Late Antique and Medieval Hagiographies from East to West

International Conference and Call for Papers (closes 15 July 2017)

15-17 February 2018, Academia Belgica, Rome, Italy

In hagiographies, saints often confront a number of obstacles and it is their conduct in faith that marks them as saints; women and men who stand apart and are presented as exemplars to be modeled. Often, and this is especially the case of martyr acts, the obstacles are of a religiopolitical nature and the focus of the saint’s conduct is her/his defiance. However, there are instances, especially within the medieval Sufi context, where the relationships between saints and rulers are more nuanced, depicting a symbiotic relationship, where both parties draw upon the authority of the other. There are also those cases in which authority belongs neither to the saint or the king but to ordinary people from across the socio-political and religious spectrum. In recent years, there has been interest in exploring these relationships as depicted in histories, hagiographies, and martyr acts and recent studies have shed light on the concept of sainthood, doctrine, and more generally, the history of various societies. However, the literary aspects of these narratives remain underexplored despite the wealth of information such analyses offer on the socio-cultural and political thought world of various courts and societies across the Indo-Mediterranean world.

This conference takes a diachronic and cross-cultural approach to the study of power and authority from above (courts/saints) and below (saints/ordinary people). We invite papers from scholars who work on different types of late antique and medieval hagiographical narratives (Lives, Martyr Acts, hagiographical romances) working on Persian, Arabic, Syriac, Georgian, Coptic, Armenian, Greek, and Latin hagiographical texts. Of particular interest are papers that will explore:

  • how texts construct and understand the roles of saints and rulers vis-à-vis one another (positive, negative, symbiotic/exploitative)
  • how authority is negotiated between saints and the populace
  • ?the power of the life of the saint after death (relics, the authority of hagiographers)
  • the role of characterization in the portrayal of figures of power and authority (stock characters, intermediaries, secondary figures)
  • audience milieu and reader reception
  • literary history

Please send your abstracts to: Ghazzal Dabiri (ghazzal.dabiri(at)ugent.be ) by 15 July 2017. Abstracts (350 words max, in English) should include name, title of proposed paper, affiliation, and position. Notification about participation will be emailed by 30 September 2017.


From Oriens Christianus to the Muslim Near East

Workshop/Call for papers (Closes 1 May 2017)

4 December 2017, Freie Universität Berlin (FU Berlin), Germany

The workshop seeks to shed new light on the crossroads at which the Late Antique world of the Eastern Mediterranean heralded diverse exchanges between Oriental Christendom, Byzantine culture and the Islamic world. Furthermore, how these exchanges impacted the development of diverse regions, cultures, languages, and religions.

The workshop will provide an inter-disciplinary overview of the various perspectives emerging from the Christian Oriental, Byzantine, Early Islamic and Archaeological approaches to this area of research. The key objective of the workshop is to explore the possibilities of a unified and holistic approach to understanding the "Sattelzeit" (R. Koselleck) – i.e. the period between 500 and 750 CE. While the scope of the workshop has been intentionally left broad, papers are particularly welcome in, but not limited to, the following areas:

  • The role of Eastern/Oriental Christians in the relationship(s) formed between the Islamic Caliphate and the Byzantine Empire.
  • Scripture and Arts as a medium of interchange between Christians and Muslims.
  • The historical narratives and administrative reality of the expansion of the Islamic Empire.

We hope that the workshop will encourage fruitful discussions about the state-of-the-art of the field and highlight potential areas for future inquiry. Furthermore, that the workshop will provide a platform for both established researchers in the field and early-career academics (e.g. advanced Ph.D. students and Postdocs). Each paper will be allocated 20 minutes with a further 15 minutes for discussion. The workshop proceedings will be published in an edited volume under Gorgias Press’ Islamic History and Thought series and each participant will be provided with a complimentary hardback copy of the edited volume.

To submit a paper, please provide an abstract (max. 500 words) and a professional biography (max. 250 words) by 1st May, 2017 to manolis.ulbricht(at)fu-berlin.de . Full papers should be submitted by 30th September, 2017. Limited funding will be available for accommodation and/or travel. As there are limited spaces for non-participants, kindly inform the conveners if you would like to attend the workshop and places will be allocated on an RSVP basis.

Conveners: Manolis Ulbricht, Byzantine Studies, Freie Universität Berlin and Adam Walker, HLCS, Radboud University / Gorgias Press


“Auctor est aequivocum”: Authenticity, Authority and Authorship from the Classical Antiquity to the Middle Ages

International conference/Call for papers (closes 30 April 2017)

26-27 October 2017, University of Bari, Italy

Prolepsis Association is delighted to announce its second international postgraduate conference whose theme will be the investigation into the concepts of authenticity and authorship of literary and historical texts from the Classical Antiquity to the Medieval and the Byzantine Age

For full Call for Papers, see the website.


Editing Late-Antique and Early Medieval Texts. Problems and Challenges

International Workshop/Call for papers (closes 30 May 2016)
23-24 November 2017, University of Lisbon, Portugal

This workshop aims at fostering and promoting the exchange of ideas on how to edit Late-Antique and Early-Medieval texts. By presenting case-studies, participants will be encouraged to share the editorial problems and methodological challenges that they had to face in order to fulfil their research or critical editions.

For full details, see the website.


Preserving, Commenting, Adapting: Commentaries on Ancient Texts in Twelfth-Century Byzantium

International workshop/Call for Papers (closes 30 April 2017)

20-21 October 2017, University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland

In this workshop, we propose to explore the use of ancient texts in twelfth-century Byzantium through commentaries. Classical scholarship flourished in twelfth-century Constantinople; scholars such as Eustathios of Thessalonike and John Tzetzes undertook ambitious projects of Homeric exegesis, while Eustratios of Nicaea produced commentaries on various of Aristotle’s works. In a broader sense, treatises like those by John Tzetzes on ancient tragedy and comedy or literary works such as Theodore Prodromos’ Katomyomachia and Bion Prasis can also be said to comment on ancient texts and, thus, reveal the manifold ways in which Byzantines dealt with their ancient heritage.

For details, download the full Call for Papers.