Call for Papers: The Twenty-Third Biennial Conference of the International Society for the History of Rhetoric (ISHR)

Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands, 27-31 July 2021

Deadline: 15 May 2020

The Society calls for twenty-minute conference papers focusing on historical aspects of the theory and practice of rhetoric. This year’s specific conference theme or focus is “Topics and Commonplaces in Antiquity and Beyond.”

Topical invention originated in ancient Greece and was developed and used throughout the western intellectual tradition as a systematized method of finding arguments to discuss abstract, philosophical questions, as well as specific questions determined by circumstances of time and space. Commonplaces are part of topical invention. They reflect commonly accepted views and ideas such as the benefits of peace vs. the harm caused by war, and can be geared to provide arguments which confirm, suggest, or create consensus. Studying topics and their application from a historical perspective thus highlights how persuasive texts reflect and contribute to the shaping of the intellectual and sociocultural contexts in which they are situated. We invite papers on the theory and practice of topics in all regions, periods and cultures. But of course we also welcome papers on both the theory and the practice of rhetoric in all periods and languages, and on its relationships with poetics, philosophy, politics, religion, law, and other aspects of the cultural context.

Proposals are invited for 20-minute presentations delivered in one of the six languages of the Society, viz. English, French, German, Italian, Latin and Spanish. The Society also welcomes panel proposals consisting of three or four speakers dealing with a common theme, so as to form a coherent set of papers. The chair of the proposed panel may also be one of the speakers. Each speaker in a panel should submit a proposal form for his or her own paper, clearly specifying the panel to which it pertains. In addition, the panel organizer is expected to complete and submit a separate form explaining the purpose of the proposed panel and naming the participants. Please note that proposals for panel papers will be considered on their individual merits by the Programme Committee, and there is no guarantee that all papers proposed for a panel will be accepted.

For further details on submitting proposals, see:

Fellowship: Short-Term Predoctoral Residencies

Dumbarton Oaks, Washington D.C., USA

Dumbarton Oaks offers a limited number of Short-Term Predoctoral Residencies for advanced graduate students who are preparing for their PhD general exams, writing their doctoral dissertations, or expecting relevant final degrees in the field of Byzantine, Pre-Columbian, or Garden and Landscape studies. Students who plan to conduct research in the fieldwork and photo collections, the rare book collection, or the museum collections are particularly encouraged to apply. The general library collections at Dumbarton Oaks contain more than 210,000 items in a variety of formats, while our rare book collection holds more than 10,000 volumes, prints, drawings, photographs, and blueprints. We welcome and encourage you to peruse our holdings in advance via the HOLLIS catalogue found here. Due to the short-term nature of the award, we are unable to process inter-library loan requests. Each residency provides two to four weeks of single accommodations and lunches on weekdays (with the exception of scheduled refectory closures). In addition, a Reader badge for access to the Library will be issued for the period of the residency. Applicants who live 75 or more miles from Washington, DC, will receive preference.

Successful applicants for residencies will be eligible to apply a second time before they receive their PhD degrees. The award of a residency does not preclude a subsequent award of a junior or a regular fellowship or a One-Month Research Award. Upon completion of the residency, recipients are asked to submit a research report to the Program Director, and to provide future degree completion and subsequent position placement information to the program.

For application details see:

Conference: Byzantine Missions: Meaning, Nature, and Extent

Dumbarton Oaks, Washington D.C., USA, 24-25 April 2020

Update: please note that registration is now open, available through the link below

Though closely connected with the study of conversion and Christianization in the premodern era, the history of Christian missions has received little attention in recent scholarship. The recipients of Christian faith—individuals, nations, or social groups—and the processes of integrating the new religion have continued to attract analysis, but the agents of religious transformation have been relatively understudied, especially beyond the boundaries of medieval western Europe.

The symposium aims to illumine the inner motifs that characterized Byzantine missions, the changing incentives that inspired their missionizing, and the nature of their missionary activity; and ultimately to better understand how they perceived the universal claim of their empire and their church. At the same time, we hope to throw light on the broader religious dynamics of the medieval world.

Symposiarchs: Sergey Ivanov (National Research University, Higher School of Economics, Moscow) and Andrea Sterk (University of Minnesota)

For details, see

Summer School: Cappadocia in Context

Cappadocia, Turkey, 14–28 June 2020

Application Deadline: 9 March 2020

Organized by Koç University Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations (ANAMED), with the support of Cappadocia University, this 15-days intensive program is open to the participation of young researchers at the master’s and doctoral level and aims to provide conceptualization methods of the rich cultural heritage of Cappadocia’s Byzantine and Post-Byzantine past in the historical and artistic context, accompanied by field studies, research and presentations..


Prof. Robert OUSTERHOUT (University of Pennsylvania)
Doç. Dr. Tolga UYAR (Nevşehir Hacı Bektaş University)

For more information and applications:

NB: We have generous scholarship assistance for graduate students in all aspects of Byzantine Studies,, particularly those students in need.

Call for Papers: ‘New Jerusalem: Conceptions of Revelation’s Holy City in Late Antique Christianity’

KU Leuven, Belgium, 30 September 2020

Deadline: 15 April 2020

One of the most recognizable figures in the Christian tradition, the extravagantly portrayed New Jerusalem of Revelation 21—22, was appropriated by Christians throughout the late-antique period to represent an array of meanings and support various priorities. The reception of these patristic notions of the New Jerusalem has had a direct, profound, and enduring influence on the idea of the holy city in both the West and East in many contexts and leaves a legacy that continues to shape our culture to this very day. For a variety of reasons, however, the foundational early-Christian understandings, uses, and abuses of the New Jerusalem idea have been mostly overlooked at an object of study in its own right. This symposium, therefore, seeks to refocus scholarly attention on the patristic reception of the biblical New Jerusalem.

Revelation’s New Jerusalem has been taken to signify inter alia the believer’s soul, the church universal, various ecclesiastical buildings, the present life of virtue, the future messianic reign, the coming reward of the just, and the consummated union of the virtuous with Christ in eternity. While in this symposium we will always center on the New Jerusalem as it appears in Revelation 21—22, we will also take into consideration accounts of the spiritual Jerusalem that emerge from a rich network of biblical, classical, and apocalyptic texts that ancient authors draw on in connection with the New Jerusalem. Examples of such sources include Paul’s “Jerusalem above” text [Gal. 4:26], the “heavenly Jerusalem” passage of Heb. 12:21-22, representations of a renewed Jerusalem in the Psalter and the Prophets, Virgil’s Eclogue 4, the Sibylline Oracles). Treatments of the New Jerusalem inspired by non-textual ancient sources will also be within our scope.

The focus of interest will be (1) the various late antique Christian interpretations of the New Jerusalem, the theological, ethical, and political priorities it has been enlisted to support, (2) the sources upon which these interpretations and appropriations were based, the earliest artistic realizations of the image, and, (3) the motivations of the actors involved. The period covered will be c. 150 – 800.

For details, see the full call for papers.

Call for Papers: Forty-Sixth Annual Byzantine Studies Conference

Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, 22-25 October 2020

Deadline: 15 March 2020

The Forty-sixth Annual Byzantine Studies Conference (BSC) will be held in Cleveland, Ohio, from Thursday, October 22, through Sunday, October 25, 2020. The meeting will be hosted by Case Western Reserve University. The local arrangements chair is Elizabeth Bolman (Department of Art and Art History).

The BSC is the annual forum for the presentation and discussion of papers on every aspect of Byzantine Studies and on related topics relevant to the field. Conference attendance is open to all, regardless of nationality or academic status.

All conference attendees are warmly encouraged to attend and participate in the annual Byzantine Studies Association of North America (BSANA) business lunch and meeting, which will be conducted on Saturday, October 24th. For information:

The Program Committee invites proposals for papers on all topics and in all disciplines related to Byzantine Studies, broadly construed. While there are no set themes for the BSC, the Program Committee is especially interested in papers that offer larger commentaries on the field, or situate Byzantium/Byzantine developments in a larger historical, regional, and/or global contexts. With the goal of engaging a wider audience, we encourage panels that forge a dialogue between Byzantine studies and cognate fields.

Paper proposals for the 2020 BSC may be in the form of individual papers, or of complete panels. Instructions for both, using the EasyChair system, are included below. Abstracts for papers should be no more than 500 words, and should be written to be accessible to a broad audience of readers on the Program Committee. All proposed papers must be substantially original and never have been published previously. Each contributor may deliver only one paper.

For details, see the full CfP:

Conference: ‘Biblical Poetry: The Legacy of the Psalms in Late Antiquity and Byzantium’

Ghent University, Belgium, 23-24 April 2020

The Psalms, in their Greek Septuagint translation, were a fundamental corpus of biblical poetry, and as such were continuously referred to in Christian literature. They played a key role in the daily life and in the development of religious sensitivity of late antique and Byzantine people. The production of Psalm-related literature, notably exegetic, was impressively widespread. The Psalms, however, influenced other genres of religious literature as well, and their poetical nature remained an important feature that later authors were well aware of.

Registration is now open:

Further information, including the full programme, is to be found on the conference website:

Armenian, Russian and Persian language summer schools

Yerevan, Armenia, 5-25 July 2020

Deadline: 31 March 2020

A number of courses in Armenian, Russian and Persian are available at Aspirantum – Armenian School of Languages and Cultures in Yerevan. Please see their website for further details:

Armenian courses –
Persian courses –
Russian courses –

Summer School: Classical and Byzantine Greek Summer School

University of Birmingham, 12 July-8 August 2020

Deadline: 29 May 2020

The Department of Classics and the Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies of the University of Birmingham are delighted to announce The Classical and Byzantine Greek Summer School, which will take place from 12 July to 8 August 2020. This Summer School offers participants the opportunity to study either Classical or Byzantine/Medieval Greek at all levels (beginners, intermediate, advanced).

The courses will take place on the beautiful Edgbaston Campus, and affordable accommodation is available within walking distance. The course is aimed at Undergraduate and Postgraduate students, and at teachers who wish to learn Ancient Greek or improve existing skills. As well as intensive tuition over up to four weeks, the summer school offers a range of workshops and evening lectures, and opportunities to work with the outstanding collections of ancient artefacts and coins housed in the Archaeology Museum, and at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts.

The deadline for applications is 29 May 2020. For more details on the application process and the Summer School in general, please see: For further enquiries, please contact Dr Theofili Kampianaki at: