Conference: Historical Inertia: Continuity in the Face of Change 500-1500 CE

University of Edinburgh, 22-23 November 2019

Historical discourse has long concerned itself with patterns of change and discontinuity to demonstrate and validate models of periodisation and the compartmentalisation of the wider historical field. Building on these themes, this conference has chosen to focus on the opposing view by concentrating on inertia – how history, material culture, ideas and communities can be seen to maintain a stayed course or deviate if a significant force is exerted upon it. Inertia, a concept that has yet to be applied to mainstream Late Antique studies, introduces perspectives and frameworks that permit new approaches to traditional processes.

This conference will be hosted by the Late Antique, Islamic and Byzantine Society of the University of Edinburgh on the 22-23 November 2019 and will tackle the notion of inertia and the implications accompanying it for Late Antique, Islamic and Byzantine history from 500-1500 CE. The two keynote lectures will be delivered by Dame Professor Averil Cameron (Oxford) and Professor Jack Tannous (Princeton).

For registration and programme, see