Conference: Contested Heritage: Adaptation, Restoration & Innovation in the Late Antique & Byzantine World

Oxford University Byzantine Society’s 21st International Graduate Conference, Oxford, 22-23 February 2019

Byzantines considered themselves the legitimate heirs of the ancient world, a title they passionately defended against emerging empires east and west that also claimed hereditary rights to the Graeco-Roman past. From the fostering of cultural, scientific, and literary revivals and the commissioning of projects that used a well-established artistic and architectural vocabulary to the collection, conservation and display of consecrated ancient artefacts, anachronism was a powerful political and cultural tool, frequently used to build analogies with either past prosperity or a divine eternity.

Including contributions on political, social, literary, architectural and artistic history, and covering geographical areas throughout the central and eastern Mediterranean and beyond, this conference aims to provide a kaleidoscopic view of how cultural heritage was constructed, perceived and maintained in Late Antiquity and Byzantium.

Please follow the link for the conference website, which includes the full programme and the conference booklet.

Attendance fees are payable on registration. These are £15 for OUBS members and £20 for all other attendees.

Call for Papers: Medieval Religion(s)

58th Annual Midwest Medieval History Conference, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN, USA, 20-21 September 2019

Deadline: 8 March 2019

The conference will begin on Friday afternoon with graduate papers and a keynote by Anne E. Lester, John W. Baldwin and Jenny Jochens Associate Professor of Medieval History at Johns Hopkins University. She is the author of Creating Cistercian Nuns: The Women’s Religious Movement and Its Reform in Thirteenth-Century Champagne and has co-edited volumes on medieval materiality, religious movements, and crusades and memory.

The remainder of Friday and Saturday’s program will feature scholarly papers on all aspects of medieval history, especially those related to this year’s theme: Medieval Religion(s), and an exhibit of manuscripts. We welcome papers by graduate students (those presenting receive an honorarium), and independent, early-stage, and senior scholars. The programming committee is also happy to consider proposals addressing teaching, pedagogy, and digital humanities. Abstracts of 250-300 words may be emailed to the program chair, Jessalynn Bird, at jbird@saintmarys.edu. Queries regarding organization may be sent to the conference organizer, Daniel Hobbins, at dhobbins@nd.edu.

Call for Papers: Moving Forms: The Transformations and Translocations of Medieval Literature

Athens, Greece 11-13 September 2019

Deadline: 1 March 2019

The movement of people and books across space and time – mobility and portability – were driving forces of medieval European literary and intellectual culture. Men and women, clerical and secular, constructed extensive social networks and communities through travel, written communication, and the exchange of texts. Shared literary practices and forms occurred at the regional and transregional levels, defining local identities and forging links between people separated by distance and time. Around the North Sea and Baltic littorals, legends from the Norse sagas, for instance, were taken up by writers. On a larger scale, people from north-western Europe to China exchanged stories of Barlaam and Josephat, while tales of Alexander are found from India to Ireland; in both cases, transmission was facilitated by the movement of people along the Silk Road. Rather than a full picture, often we are left with a set of trails, traces and clues that challenge us to create narratives out of the fragments.

This symposium aims to contribute to the understanding of medieval literature through the development of methodologies which examine the intersection of social networks and communities with literary forms. We welcome papers that attend to the agency of people (men and women), genres (literary, scientific, philosophical, legal etc.), modes (verse, poetry, prose), styles, texts and manuscripts (book types, layouts, images) in creating literary links across space and time. Building on the practices of both comparative literature and entangled history, the symposium will open up connections between literary cultures often considered to be separate. At the same time, and of equal importance, it will be alert to the absence of connections, to discontinuities, exposing the diversities and ruptures of medieval literature, as well as the commonalities.

By following the movement of forms and tracing social connections from Antiquity to the Renaissance, we will interrogate both geographies and chronologies of medieval European literature. Always keeping the intersection of the social and the formal in view, the symposium will move back and forth between small and large scales of time and place: the local, the transregional, the European, and the Afro-Eurasian. Issues of morphology, scale and periodization will be central to discussion, enabling conversations across a wide range of material to gain traction. The symposium will bring together methodological and theoretical contributions, addressing the intersection of people and forms; we welcome papers that work on large scale typological models as well as papers that address broader issues though closely-worked case studies.

Questions to consider include:
• How do we move from specific examples to writing/formulating larger narratives, from the micro to the macro, from the close up to the panoramic, without falling into generalizations?
• What are the advantages and disadvantages of existing methodologies that account for the movement of objects, texts and people through space (e.g. histoire croisée, actor network theory, global history, etc.)?
• How does medieval Europe fit into a wider Afro-Eurasian space? How does Europe divide into and participate in regional geographies?
• How conscious were medieval people of new forms as a dimension of cultural exchange?
• What role does the modern historical imagination have to play in recreating social networks and formal encounters?
• How do medieval theories of cultural movement (e.g. translatio imperii et studii, spoliation, etc.) enable us to explain the transmission of literary forms?

The symposium will meet over three days, with each day including 3 panels with three speakers. Papers will last 20 minutes and be followed by 45 minutes of discussion per panel. Since the substantial discussion following the papers is as important as the papers themselves, papers will not be allowed to overrun. Each session will have a respondent/moderator who will read papers in advance of the session and launch the discussion of their session through a short reflective invitation. For this reason, we ask that all papers be given in English. Speakers are asked to frame their research in ways which are simultaneously sophisticated and inviting of exchange with colleagues working across the literatures of medieval Europe (including Byzantium, and Islamic Spain and Sicily) and its neighbours. We welcome proposal for individual papers and for panels.

There will be a modest amount of preparatory theoretical reading in advance of the symposium.

We anticipate publishing extended versions of a selection of papers from the workshop in a special issue of Interfaces: A Journal of Medieval European Literatures.

Venue: The symposium will take place in the Danish Institute at Athens, conveniently located in the Plaka. There are many tavernas, cafes and restaurants nearby.

Cost: There will be no charge to attend the symposium. There will be a charge to cover the cost of the symposium dinner. Delegates are responsible for covering the cost of their travel and accommodation. A small number of bursaries will be available for PhD students and early career scholars, for further information contact Kristin Bourassa (kristin@sdu.dk).

Abstracts: Please send short abstracts (250 words) and a brief CV (1/2 page) to George Younge (george.younge@york.ac.uk) by 1st March 2019. Panel proposals should include overview (100 words) and abstracts and CVs (as above) for all papers.

Call for Papers: Cultural Entanglement, Transfer and Contention in Mediterranean Communities from Antiquity to the Present

Central European University, Budapest, Hungary, 30 May-1 June 2019

Deadline: 15 February 2019

The Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies (CEMS) at Central European University and its junior members are proud to announce the forthcoming sixth International Graduate Conference on Cultural Entanglement, Transfer and Contention in Mediterranean Communities.The conference will provide a forum for graduate and advanced undergraduate students working on the Eastern Mediterranean to present their current research, exchange ideas, and develop scholarly networks.

Marking the boundary of three continents, the Mediterranean has been one of the world’s premier zones of cultural interaction since antiquity. From the Romans to the Ottomans, the first caliphs to Queen Victoria, the powers who sought dominance over this sea reckoned with this history of multiplicity by appropriating its rich past and attempting to imitate and outdo their predecessors and contemporaries. Diverse communities, moreover, concomitantly sought to survive and prosper in competition and cooperation with one another. The aim of this conference is to work against the grain of disciplinary boundaries to better understand these processes of inheritance, transmission, and exchange both diachronically and synchronically. How were the cultures of Mediterranean communities particularized through accommodation to, modification of, and divergence from their shared pasts? How did rulers manage these shifting webs of diversity? What procedures drew boundaries between cultures, either successive or contemporary, if and when such lines can be drawn? What evidence and methodologies can be brought to bear to read genuine curiosity, selective accommodation, and outright rejection in these exchanges within and across polities in the Mediterranean?

Young scholars from across the globe will be invited to share their work and come to grips with how to conduct research in an academic environment that increasingly demands both specialized expertise and comparative breadth. We seek innovative proposals by graduate students from all disciplines that relate to the Mediterranean world, including but not limited to Anthropology, Archeology, Art History, Classics, Environmental Science, Gender Studies, History, Languages and Literatures, Medieval Studies, Philosophy, Religion, and Theology.

Possible paper topics might include, but are not limited to:
• The entanglements and diverse heritages of elite artistic, literary, and intellectual cultures
• Rethinking big processes, e.g. Hellenization, Romanization, Christianization, and Islamization
• Interaction and diversity in everyday life and popular/vernacular cultures
• Trans-imperial/trans-national subjects, contact zones, gendered boundaries, and porous identities within and beyond borders
• Maintaining common identities in diasporas: the connections and differences between communities across far-flung geographies
• Communities and networks (intellectual, professional, mercantile, civic, military, domestic, etc.) that operate across ethnic and national lines
• Conquest, colonization, environmental change, and shifting landscapes of diversity
• Envisioning pluralism in philosophical, theological, and legal discourses of order
• Intra-communal politics in contexts of social, economic, and gender stratification
• Migration, urban economies, and the transformation of spatial and social structures
• The (re)invention of national communities and their relationship to legacies of difference
• The re-appropriation of imperial pasts in Mediterranean societies

Please submit by February 15, 2019 a short paper proposal (no more than 250 words, together with a brief biography and contact information) to the following address: cemsconference@ceu.edu. Results will be announced on March 4, 2019.

Keynote Speakers
Nicholas Purcell (University of Oxford)
Arietta Papaconstantinou (University of Reading)
Zeynep Türkyilmaz (Forum Transregionale Studien, Berlin)

All participants will be offered accommodation for the full duration of the conference (3 nights) at the CEU Residence Center. In order to encourage the participation of individuals with limited institutional support a small number of partial travel grants will be available to cover travel expenses. Those who wish to be considered for the grant should include an additional justification alongside their paper proposals. Please note that there is no conference fee.

In addition, this year the conference will coincide with CEMS’s Undergraduate Open House, and advanced undergraduates interested in pursuing research or academic career in the history and cultures of the Eastern Mediterranean are invited to attend the Open House as well as apply to present a paper at the conference. For further information, do not hesitate to contact the organizers at cemsconference@ceu.edu

For further information, do not hesitate to contact the organizers at cemsconference@ceu.edu or at our Facebook page.

Contact Email: cemsconference@ceu.edu
URL: https://cems.ceu.edu/cems-graduate-conference-2019

Call for Papers: Beyond Eusebius and Augustine: Rethinking Christian Political Thought in Late Antiquity

Postgraduate/Early Career Conference, University of Liverpool, Tuesday 18 June 2019

Deadline: 18 February 2019

Amid the mass of outstanding scholarship on the Christianization of the Roman world in late antiquity (c. 250-700 CE), political thought has been left behind. Even excellent recent accounts tend to fall back on canonical authors (esp. Eusebius of Caesarea and Augustine of Hippo), themes (e.g. the relationship between emperor and churchmen), and early to mid-twentieth century accounts (esp. Baynes, Dvornik, Markus). This project seeks to diversify approaches to late ancient Christian political thought by exploring new topics (e.g. the imperial family, the role of the demonic, the influence of ascetic ideology), authors, regions, and languages. Through an international conference bringing together specialists in Classics & Ancient History, Medieval Studies, Byzantine History, and Early Christianity, leading to a collection of path-breaking essays on specific case studies, it aims to stimulate new approaches and lines of inquiry into a central theme in late ancient history.

We invite proposals for c. 20-minute papers on this theme from postgraduate students and early career researchers. Thanks to generous support from the Royal Historical Society, we will be able to pay for UK travel costs and two nights’ hotel accommodation. Papers given at the conference will be considered for publication in a resulting edited volume/special journal issue.

We would particularly invite proposals which speak to one of the following research themes:
(1) Developing a more pluralist conception of Christian ‘political thought’
Possible topics might include: gendered praise and invective; classical political ideals in ascetic/monastic literature; ascetic/monastic visions of earthly government; demonology and diabolical agency; ethnic discourse, ethnography, and visions of the church as an ethnic, supra-ethnic, or anti-ethnic community.

(2) Expanding the canon
We invite paper proposals which consider previously peripheral or understudied authors, languages, and regions of late ancient western Eurasia, to complicate and nuance accounts of the development of Christian political thought in late antiquity.

(3) Christian political ideology ‘in action’
We invite paper proposals which root Christian political culture in the lived experience of governance in the late ancient world, and consider its influence on concrete interactions between bishops, monks, emperors, officials, and their subjects.

If you are interested in presenting, please e-mail an abstract of no more than 500 words to robin.whelan@liverpool.ac.uk. The deadline for submissions is Monday 18 February; we will aim to provide responses by the end of February. Please feel free to e-mail any of the organisers with questions.

Organisers
Prof. Richard Flower (Exeter) (R.Flower@exeter.ac.uk)
Dr Meaghan McEvoy (Macquarie) (meaghan.mcevoy@mq.edu.au)
Dr Robin Whelan (Liverpool) (robin.whelan@liverpool.ac.uk)

Confirmed Speakers
Prof. Dame Averil Cameron (Oxford; respondent)
Dr James Corke-Webster (King’s College London)
Dr Gerda Heydemann (Freie Universität Berlin)
Prof. Julia Hillner (Sheffield)
Dr Conor O’Brien (Durham)

Call for Papers: Nomads and their Neighbors in the Middle Ages

Eighth International Conference on Medieval History of the Eurasian Steppe, Medieval Nomads (MeN), Sofia, Bulgaria, 20-23 November 2019

Deadline: 15 April 2019

In 1997, 2000 and 2002, the Department of Medieval History at the University of Szeged organized several conferences on the history of medieval nomads of the Eurasian steppe, the proceedings of which were subsequently published in Hungarian. In 2004, the Department of Medieval History and the Department of Archaeology at the same University, together with the Research Group on Hungarian Prehistory of the Regional Committee of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Szeged decided to convene an International Conference on Medieval History of the Eurasian Steppe. The first conference of this kind was held in Szeged in 2004, the second in Jászberény in 2007, the third in Miskolc in 2009, the fourth in Cairo (Egypt) in 2011, the fifth in Moscow (Russia) in 2013, the sixth again in Szeged in 2016, and the seventh in Shanghai in 2018.

Now, as a continuation of this series, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” and the Institute for Historical Studies of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences have the pleasure to invite you to take part in the Eighth International Conference on Medieval History of the Eurasian Steppe, “Nomads and their Neighbors in the Middle Ages”, to be held in Sofia, Bulgaria, in November 20–23, 2019.

Panels and individual papers which fall under the following main topics are encouraged:
• Sources and their creators
• The Nomads and their Sedentary Neighbors: Warfare, Diplomacy, Economy, Politics and Culture
• Nomads as marginal groups in the sedentary societies
• Religious history and conversion of the Eurasian Nomads
• Military history
• Social History
• The no man’s land: cross points between steppe and sown
• Representation of the Nomads in Material and Written Culture of their Sedentary Neighbors

Length of the papers
• Individual papers: the length should not exceed 15 minutes, and 10 minutes will be left for discussion.
• Pre-organized panels: should include 3 or 4 papers of the same length plus 30 minutes for discussion. The papers should be focused a single theme or research-question.

Official language of the conference: English

There is no registration fee. Travel and accommodation are the responsibility of each participant.

Application
• Individual applicants should send the attached form F1_Individual by April 15, 2019 to the address: medieval.nomads.sofia.2019@gmail.com Abstracts should not exceed 250 words.
• Panel proposals should follow the attached form F2_Panel and be sent by April 15, 2019 to the same address: medieval.nomads.sofia.2019@gmail.com The proposals should include an abstract (300 words maximum) for the entire panel explaining its content, in addition to an individual abstract (250 words maximum) for each paper.

All application will go through a selection process by the Organizing Committee and applicants will be informed by June 15, 2019.

Conference: Late Byzantine Cities

Bahçeşehir University, Istanbul, Turkey, 20-23 August 2019

Please note the new date above.

The late Byzantine world (1204-1461) was distinguished by the existence of multiple, competing, and interconnected cities in contrast to the centrality of Constantinople in previous periods. Late Byzantine cities in fact constituted centers, rather than marginal lands, as they are often portrayed in historical studies.

For details, see https://latebyzantinecities.com/

Call for Papers: Celebrations in the eastern Mediterranean: private and public

Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies, University of Birmingham, 1 June 2019

Deadline: 7 April 2019

We are pleased to announce the Call for Papers in celebration of the 20th Postgraduate Colloquium of the Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies at the University of Birmingham,UK.

Papers and posters are invited for the 20th Annual Postgraduate Colloquium at the Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies. From antiquity to the present peoples in the eastern Mediterranean have taken part in celebrations and ceremonies. These vary from large-scale public events to private and personal rituals. As we continue to take part in social rituals derived from these traditions and develop new ways to manifest them it is important to examine these celebrations in detail. The colloquium aims to approach the subject from a variety of perspectives on how people experience celebrations across the eastern Mediterranean from late antiquity to the modern day, from textual sources to visual culture and archaeology.

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:
– Feast days and holidays
– Processions
– Secular and religious ceremonies
– Gift Giving
– Secular and religious ceremonies
– Festivals
– Anniversaries, holidays, weddings
– Spaces and Objects
– Celebrations in texts and arts

Papers of approximately 20 minutes or posters (A3 format) related to any of the fields covered by Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies are welcome. Please submit abstracts of no more than 250 words no later than the Sunday 7th April 2019 to 2019CBOMGSColloquium@gmail.com. A selection of papers will be published in the proceedings on the online journal Diogenes (https://gemuob.wordpress.com/diogenes/)

Further information can be found on the conference webpage: https://gemuob.wordpress.com/annual-colloquium-3/

Come and celebrate with us!

Updated Call for Papers: Dissidence and Persecution in Byzantium

20th Australasian Association for Byzantine Studies Conference, Macquarie University, Sydney, 19-21 July 2019

Deadline: 15 February 2019

The Byzantine empire was rarely a stable and harmonious state during its long and eventful history. It was often in strife with those outside its borders and with those within them, and with so much power invested in its political and ecclesiastical structures it was ready to implode at times. This could result in persecution and the silencing of dissident voices from various quarters of society. The mechanisms by which the authorities controlled civil disorder and dissent, as well as discouraging criticism of imperial policies, could be brutal at times. In what sense was it possible, if at all, to enjoy freedom of speech and action in Byzantium? Was the law upheld or ignored when vested interests were at stake? How vulnerable did minorities feel and how conformist was religious belief at the end of the day? The theme of the conference aims to encourage discussion on a number fronts relating to the use and abuse of power within the history of Byzantium. Individual papers of 20 mins or panels (3 papers) will be accepted. See full call for papers here.

Abstracts of 500 words should be emailed to the President of AABS, Dr Ken Parry: conference@aabs.org.au by the due date of 15 February 2019.

Panel convenors should outline briefly their theme (100 words), and (a) add all three abstracts to their application, or (b) list the three speakers on their panel with their own abstract, plus (c) nominate a chairperson. Panelists should indicate clearly the title of their proposed panel if submitting their abstracts individually.

Call for Sessions: Mary Jaharis Center sponsored session at the BSC

Deadline: 10 February 2019

As part of its ongoing commitment to Byzantine studies, the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture seeks proposals for a Mary Jaharis Center sponsored session at the 45th Annual Byzantine Studies Conference to be held in Madison, Wisconsin, October 17–20, 2019. We invite session proposals on any topic relevant to Byzantine studies.

Session proposals must be submitted through the Mary Jaharis Center website site (https://maryjahariscenter.org/sponsored-sessions/45th-annual-byzantine-studies-conference). The deadline for submission is February 10, 2019. Proposals should include:

•Proposed session title
•CV of session organizer
•300-word session summary, which includes a summary of the overall topic, the format for the panel (such as a debate, papers followed by a discussion, or a traditional session of papers), and the reasons for covering the topic as a prearranged, whole session
•Session chair and academic affiliation. Please note: Session chairs cannot present a paper in the session.
•Information about the four papers to be presented in the session. For each paper: name of presenter and academic affiliation, proposed paper title, and 500-word abstract. Please note: Presenters must be members of BSANA in good standing.

Session organizers must present a paper in the session or chair the session. If a co-organzier is proposed for the session, the co-organizer must also give a paper in the session or chair the session.

Applicants will be notified by February 15, 2019. The organizer of the selected session is responsible for submitting the session to the BSC by February 25, 2019. Instructions for submitting the panel proposal are included in the BSC Call for Papers (http://www.bsana.net/conference/2019_BSANA_CFP.pdf).

If the proposed session is approved, the Mary Jaharis Center will reimburse session participants (presenters and chair, if the proposed chair is selected by the BSC program committee) up to $600 maximum for North American residents and up to $1200 maximum for those coming from abroad. Funding is through reimbursement only (check issued in US dollars or wire transfer); advance funding cannot be provided. Eligible expenses include conference registration, transportation, and food and lodging. Receipts are required for reimbursement.

Please contact Brandie Ratliff (mjcbac@hchc.edu), Director, Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture with any questions.