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:

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:

Spring Symposium Call for Communications

University of Birmingham, 28-30 March 2020

Deadline: 3 January 2020

Abstracts are invited for proposals to deliver communications at the 53rd Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies, to be held in Birmingham 28-30 March 2020 on the topic of Nature and the Environment. Communications are 12 minutes long, followed by 3 minutes of questions.

Abstracts should be 250 words in length (maximum), and are due by Friday 3 January 2020. Please send to either or Successful applicants will be notified mid-January, in order to allow sufficient time to secure visas, if relevant.

Further information about travel and accommodation may be found here:

The Programme for the Symposium is also available to download (PDF).

Call for Papers: Byzantium – Bridge Between Worlds: 24th International Congress of Byzantine Studies

Istanbul, Turkey, 23-28 August 2021

Deadline: 15 April 2020

Due to its remarkably long duration, territorial expanse, geographical situation and complex cultural traditions, Byzantium acted as a temporal and spatial bridge connecting different periods, geographical areas, and cultures. Byzantium acted as a transition between ancient, medieval and early modern worlds around the Mediterranean basin, Eurasia and the Near East through reception, appropriation, and innovation. It connected different geographical and cultural spaces through political, economic, material, and cultural networks in many of which it constituted an important node. Centering on the key theme of “Byzantium – Bridge between Worlds,” the 24th International Congress of Byzantine Studies aims to explore this connecting and mediatory role of Byzantium. It also hopes to initiate proposals on bridging interdisciplinary gaps within Byzantine studies and strengthening dialogue with other with other relevant fields.

The Call for Free Communication, Poster and VR Sessions is now open.

The last submission date is 15 April 2020. Each abstract must be no longer than 300 words. Abstracts should be in the same language as that of the paper to be presented during the session. The working languages of the Congress are English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Russian and Turkish. The participants shall present papers of no longer than 15 minutes each.

Conveners and speakers can participate in no more than 2 sessions during the Congress (including round tables, poster/VR sessions, and thematic free communication/free communication sessions, but excluding plenary sessions).

To submit an abstract, see here.

The abstracts will be included in the program only after the registration payment. 3 April 2021 is the last date for registration payment. For registration please follow this link.

Call for Papers: Motifs, Influences, and Narrative Strategies in the Epics of the Medieval East and West

Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul, Turkey, 17–18 September 2020

Deadline: 30 March 2020

Organisers: Markéta Kulhánková (Masaryk University, Brno) and Ingela Nilsson (Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul/Uppsala University)

The impetus to organize this workshop is the research project A Narratological Commentary on Digenis Akritis (, currently ongoing at Masaryk University in Brno and funded by the Czech Science Foundation. The aim of the project is to prepare a book-length commentary discussing the treatment of narrative categories, narrative strategies, literary and oral techniques, motifs, parallels, and influences and also including a summary of historical and philological discussions concerning the poem.

Our ambition is to make this literary work accessible and understandable to a wider audience from different fields. Within the planned workshop, we aim to bring together scholars working on the Digenis poem and related Byzantine genres (in particular vernacular poetry and novels) with specialists in both western and eastern medieval epics. We would like to invite you to discuss the character of these narratives and common problems and challenges for literary historians dealing with medieval epics.

Topics for discussion include but are not restricted to:

• motivic parallels in epics across medieval Europe and the Near East
• the mixing of cultures in border epics
• medieval epics and other genres (influences, interaction)
• epical and other narrative strategies
• medieval epics and narratology
• orality and textuality

Please send an abstract (ca 250 words) for a 20-minute presentation to Markéta Kulhánková by 30 March 2020.

Call for Papers: 24th International Congress of Byzantine Studies

Istanbul, Turkey, 23-28 August 2021

Deadline: 20 April 2020

Please note that that the official website of the 24th International Congress of Byzantine Studies, Istanbul 2021, has been inaugurated as of 15 April 2019 ( You may find on the website all information pertaining to the Congress, including important dates; the lists of plenary, round table and thematic free communication sessions; as well as guidelines for online submission of plenary papers and round table, thematic free communication, free communication and poster/VR abstracts. Please note that the call for free communications and poster/VR presentations is now open and the deadline for uploading abstracts for proposals in these categories is 15 April 2020.