A Conference in Honour of Bryan Ward-Perkins

Trinity College, University of Oxford, 20-21 June 2019

Bryan Ward-Perkins is retiring this year, after many years of service to Late Antique and Byzantine Studies and to academic life in Oxford. Please join friends, colleagues, and former students for a series of papers in his honour.

Speakers will include Averil Cameron, Ulrich Gehn, Ine Jacobs, Luke Lavan, Simon Loseby, Carlos Machado, Javier Martinez Jimenez, Neil McLynn, Efthymis Rizos, Claire Sotinel, Robert Wisniewski, George Woudhuysen, and others.

The event is free but please register with Phil Booth (philip.booth@theology.ox.ac.uk) in advance.

For the full programme, see here.

Call for Papers: Nature(s), animaux et paysages: perception et usage de l’environnement a Byzance

XIIes Rencontres internationales de doctorants en etudes byzantines, Paris, France, 11-12 October 2019

New Deadline: 30 June 2019

From craggy rocks depicted on an icon to the animals of a Physiologos, from botanical knowledge to astrology, the Eastern Roman empire was populated by non-humans. Wild and domestic animals, plants, stars, seascapes and landscapes all created a setting for individuals to develop in. How did human actors infuse the multiple aspects of Creation with meaning? People have always had to adapt to the constraints of “Nature”, interact with the environment so as to benefit from it, understand and predict the “whims” of climate and the ravages of diseases, and, finally, depict a world that, to them, was saturated with meaning and ordered through symbols and analogies.

What are the implications of “Nature”? The universalism of this concept, usually opposed to that of “Culture”, is currently being challenged in the Humanities and Social Sciences, “Nature” being recognized as a specifically modern Western construct (P. Descola, Par-delà nature et culture, 2005). The aim of this year’s Byzantine Postgraduate Meetings in Paris is to ask this very question in Byzantine context, in order to define and illustrate the various relations that the women and men of the Empire maintained with their surroundings.

Whether we refer to the landscape archeology developed by Sharon Gerstel (Rural Lives and Landscapes in Late Byzantium: Art, Archaeology, and Ethnography, 2015) or recent diachronic studies from Gutenberg University in Mainz on the relations between man and “Nature”; whether we cite recent publications by John Haldon (The Empire That Would Not Die, 201 7) or Henry Maguire (Nectar and Illusion: Nature in Byzantine Art and Literature, 2012), current Byzantinists actively engage with the most pressing issues of the day.

The 12th Byzantine Postgraduate Meetings will offer the opportunity for four Master’s students from Paris and for eight international PhD students to present their research and engage in discussions on this key topic on October 11 and 12, 2019.

In this sense, contributions from all related topics and approaches are welcome: cultural history (landscapes and settlements; iconography, hymnography and theology; plant and animal symbolism); history of technology (as pertains to botany, agriculture, navigation, architecture, clothing and all other human creations exposed to the workings of the climate); environmental and natural history (archeozoological and paleoenvironmental studies and archaeometry are essential tools for understanding the crucial implications of migrations, harvests, demography or eschatological fears).

Proposals (max. 2000 characters) should be sent no later than 30th June 2019 to lesbyzantines@gmail.com and should include the paper’s title and language (French or English), as well as the name of the applicant’s research director and institution.

Organisation Committee:
Pierre Chaney (EPHE)
Romain Goudjil (Paris-Sorbonne)
Aleksandre Prosperini (EPHE)
Milan Vukasinovic (EHESS)
Lilyana Yordanova (EPHE)

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 (https://www.muni.cz/en/research/projects/44579), 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: The Citizen in Late Antiquity

The Postgraduate and Early Career Late Antiquity Network, University of Utrecht, 25th November 2019

Deadline: 26 July 2019

‘Citizen’ in Late Antiquity was an emotive and complex term. In the classical world, the term not only signified the distribution of rights and duties of members of city and empire, but perhaps much more importantly reflected the intricate processes of inclusion and exclusion that shaped Greco-Roman culture in a myriad of ways. Conventional historiography, which tended to focus on legal citizenship almost exclusively, once characterized citizenship as defunct by the onset of Late Antiquity: it has argued that the mass enfranchisement of the edict of Caracalla and the gradual transformation – or collapse – of the classical city, turned the ‘citizen’ into an anachronism, with its social, cultural and political significance returning only at the onset of the Renaissance. Recent scholarship however has started to contest this view by positing that neither the collapse of the Roman Empire in the west nor the transformation of the classical city brought an end to the concept of the citizen.

Next to other forms of self-identification, such as gender, class and ethnicity, people in late Roman and post-Roman polities continued to imagine and conduct themselves as citizens and these categories could themselves be understood in terms of legal and social citizenship. The citizen was also omnipresent in religious discourses, most significantly in late antique Christianity where the followers of Christ could either be perceived as citizens par excellence (viz. of the civitas Dei) or as intrinsic strangers and outsiders, namely to the civitas of the transitory world. Furthermore, citizens, of whatever kind, were also represented in material and visual culture, they took part, as citizens, in economic and artistic life and they appear most frequently in a vast number of textual sources and genres. An understanding of the full spectrum of ‘citizenship’ and ‘the citizen’ in Late Antiquity thus requires the use of a wide range of sources and approaches, and the fresh insights of a new generation of scholars.

This workshop, The Citizen in Late Antiquity, aims at providing an informal, constructive environment for postgraduate and early career researchers to present their work, meet others working in the field, and discuss current trends and issues. The Late Antiquity Network provides a single platform for those working on a broad range of

geographical and disciplinary areas within the period of Late Antiquity, and participants are thus encouraged to interpret ‘citizen’ in a broad sense, thinking about how the theme intersects with their own research. Papers will be of twenty minutes, with ten minutes allocated for discussion. Facilitating this will be an address by our visiting speaker, Professor Engin Isin of Queen Mary University London, an acclaimed and prolific theorist on the subject of citizenship. The workshop is generously supported and hosted by the Dutch NWO VICI research project “Citizenship Discourses in the Early Middle Ages” and the Utrecht Centre for Medieval Studies (UCMS) at Utrecht University. Some suggested topics for discussion are:

– Different types of citizens
– Citizens and material culture and imagery
– Citizens and non-citizens, and interactions between different kinds of citizenship
– The spatial dimensions of citizenship
– Citizens, universalism and cosmopolitanism
– Criteria for becoming or ceasing to be a citizen
– Alternatives to citizenship discourse
– Citizens and the city
– Citizens and religion
– Poverty and citizenship
– Citizens in different literary genres
– Citizens and lawmaking

Abstracts of no more than 400 words with a brief biography to be sent to the conveners Thomas Langley and Kay Boers by Friday 26th July. Please include your affiliation (independent scholars welcome) and current academic status (or the year your PhD was awarded). If interested in the opportunity to run the seminar next year, please detail any relevant previous experience alongside the biography when you submit the abstract. Successful applicants will be notified by Monday 19th August.

Call for Papers: Fourth International Scientific Workshop of the Mount Athos Center

Thessaloniki, Greece, 29 November-1 December 2019

Deadline: 31 July 2019

As is well known, since 2016 the Mount Athos Center has organised an annual international scientific workshop as part of its programme of annual institutional events.

The main aim of these international scientific workshops is to foster a fruitful scientific dialogue that will enrich our knowledge of Athonite monasticism and broaden the field of inquiry in research on Mount Athos. The scientific workshops provide the scientific community with an opportunity, through papers presented either by individuals or groups, to publicise the latest results of research, or to make known the early findings of projects or scientific programmes that are currently in progress, thereby helping to produce even better results.

Needless to say, the papers presented at the workshop should be on subjects directly relating to Mount Athos (e.g. history, art, theology, law, Athonite institutions, literature, archaeology, art history, architecture, natural environment, other visual arts, conservation of art works etc.).

This year, on Friday 29 November 2019, the workshop will be preceded by a special one-day conference on the life and work of St. Savvas of Chilandari which will form part of the programme of events – to be held in Thessaloniki and Belgrade – celebrating the 800th anniversary of the consecration of the Athonite monk, St. Savvas of Chilandari, as the first archbishop of the Church of Serbia (1219-2019).

This conference, which is being organised as a separate event, will host speakers especially invited for the purpose. Over the two days on which the International Scientific Workshop is held, 15 papers will be presented, each of which will last 20 minutes and will immediately be followed by 10 minutes of discussion. All those wishing to present a paper at the Workshop should complete the attached entry form, which must be submitted together with a summary in 300-400 words of their proposed paper. Any entry form that is not accompanied by a summary will not be considered by the Scientific Committee during the selection process.

For full details: https://www.agioritikiestia.gr/en/workshops/813-participate-4th-workshop

Conference: Mapping the Sacred in Byzantium: Construction, Experience, and Representation

Newcastle University, 20-21 September 2019

Registration deadline: 6 September 2019

The conference brings together scholars of Byzantium to explore novel ways to conceptualize and evaluate the production and representation of (sacred) space in the Byzantine world, aiming to contribute to the broader research on spatial paradigms and practices. It addresses spatial themes from the varying disciplinary perspectives of archaeology, art history, literature, and theology.

Full details, including programme and registration, can be found at: https://research.ncl.ac.uk/sacredbyzantium/

Conference: ‘Celebrations in the Eastern Mediterranean: Private and Public’

20th Postgraduate Colloquium of the Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek studies, University of Birmingham, Arts Building, Arts LR1 and LR3, 1 June 2019

Registration is now open at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/celebrations-in-the-eastern-mediterranean-private-and-public-tickets-60699884990

The full conference programme can be found at: https://gemuob.wordpress.com/category/annual-colloquium/

Call for Papers: ‘The Limits of Exactitude’

Prolepsis’ 4th International Conference, Università degli Studi di Bari ‘Aldo Moro’, Bari, Italy, 19-20 December 2019

Deadline: 30 June 2019

Keynote speaker: Prof. Therese Fuhrer (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)

Exactitude is the third of the Six Memos for the Next Millennium by Italo Calvino (Cambridge MA, 1988). According to Calvino ‘exactitude’ is a «well-defined and well-calculated plan for the work in question; an evocation of clear, incisive, memorable images […]; a language as precise as possible both in the choice of words and in the expression of the subtleties of thought and imagination». The aim of Prolepsis’ 4th International Conference is to reflect on Calvino’s definition applying it to the Classical, Late-Antique and Medieval Worlds. This year the conference will be particularly keen on – but not limited to – the following topics:

– Accuratio vel ambiguitas in speech, argumentation and narration.
– Ambiguous, inaccurate and disconcerting communication from the author, and potential reader response.
– Metrical and musical exactitude and its limits.
– Exactitude in treatises (scientific, rhetorical, grammatical).
– Quoting, misquoting and misplacing.
– Accurate and inaccurate titles, and their transmission.
– Limits in the material evidence (manuscripts, papyri, inscriptions, formation of corpora, mise en page, stichometry).
– Exactitude, doubt, ambiguity in the history of transmission (from ancient lexica, etymologica, and commentaries to modern scholarship).
– Examples of Exactitude and Ambiguity in Ancient and Modern Translations.
– Exactitude and Ambiguity in ancient and modern reception.
– Hypercorrection, lacunae, conjectures and obsession for completeness.
– Exactitude in historical and documentary reconstructions.
– Beginnings and endings of ancient and medieval works: doubtful and exact endings, incipit ex abrupto, etc.
– Finished and Unfinished / Clear and Unclear / Perfect and Imperfect in the philosophical reflection.

The participation in the conference as speaker is open to postgraduate students and early career researchers. To participate send an e-mail to prolepsis.associazione@gmail.com by the 30th of June 2019.

The e-mail must contain the following pdf attachments:
1. An anonymous abstract of approximately 300 words (excluding references) and in English. You should specify if the abstract is for an oral presentation or a poster.
2. A short academic biography with name and affiliation.

Proposals will be evaluated through double-blind peer review by scholars in the Humanities.

The proposal evaluation will be carried out based on the following criteria: consistency, clarity, originality, methods. All abstracts, including those in proposed panels, will be reviewed and accepted on their own merits. Please note that this review is anonymous. Your anonymous abstract is the sole basis for judging your proposed paper for acceptance.

Papers should be 20 minutes in length plus 10 minutes for discussion. The languages admitted for the presentation are English and Italian. Selected papers will be considered for publication. Italian speakers will be required to provide an English handout, power point, and possibly a translation/translated summary of their paper.

Proposals for coordinated panels (three papers reaching 90 min. in total, discussion included) and posters are most welcome. Posters should be written in Italian or English.

Expenses for travel and accommodation will not be covered. For any inquiries write to prolepsis.associazione@gmail.com, we would be glad to help you find solutions.

Call for Sessions: Mary Jaharis Center Sponsored Panel, 55th International Congress on Medieval Studies

Deadline: 29 May 2019

To encourage the integration of Byzantine studies within the scholarly community and medieval studies in particular, the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture seeks proposals for a Mary Jaharis Center sponsored session at the 55th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, May 7–10, 2020. We invite session proposals on any topic relevant to Byzantine studies.

Session proposals must be submitted through the Mary Jaharis Center website (https://maryjahariscenter.org/sponsored-sessions/55th-international-congress-on-medieval-studies). The deadline for submission is May 29, 2019. Proposals should include:

**Session abstract (300 words)
**Intellectual justification for the proposed session (100 words)
**Proposed list of session participants (presenters and session presider)

Successful applicants will be notified by May 30, 2019, if their proposal has been selected for submission to the International Medieval Congress. The Mary Jaharis Center will submit the session proposal to the Congress and will keep the potential organizer informed about the status of the proposal.

The session organizer may act as the presider or present a paper. The session organizer will be responsible for writing the Call for Papers. The CFP must be approved by the Mary Jaharis Center. Session participants will be chosen by the session organizer and the Mary Jaharis Center.

If the proposed session is approved, the Mary Jaharis Center will reimburse up to 5 session participants (presenters and presider) up to $600 maximum for North American residents and up to $1200 maximum for those coming abroad. Session organizers and co-organizers should plan to participate in the panel as either a participant or a presider. Funding is through reimbursement only; 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. Further information about the International Congress on Medieval Studies is available at https://wmich.edu/medievalcongress.

Call for Papers: Writing Ancient and Medieval Same-Sex Desire: Goals, Methods, Challenges

Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, 30 June – 2 July 2020

Deadline: 1 December 2019

For several decades now, scholars have devoted attention to same-sex desire in both ancient times and the centuries that followed. Not surprisingly, there have been vigorous debates over how to go about it. These debates have been framed in various ways. Here are some examples:

× essentialism VERSUS constructivism;
× Foucauldian discourse analysis VERSUS approaches inspired by psychoanalysis;
× (the impossibility of) objective history VERSUS (overly) subjective history;
× perception of commonalities across time VERSUS rigorously historicizing insistence on the past’s alterity;
× positivism VERSUS imaginative reconstruction of contemporaneous receptions.

These dichotomies, which are both reductive and don’t exhaust the possibilities, continue to crackle with contention. They also continue to undergird and even disturb current scholarly endeavours.

We are looking for papers (30 minutes in length) in which scholars not only speak about primary source material but also reflect explicitly on the theoretical orientation of their work (see the dichotomies above for examples) and the purpose(s) of (their) scholarship on same-sex desire. An additional objective of this conference will be an edited volume of papers that will aim to showcase a variety of approaches to this important topic.

Please send proposals (c. 500 words) to Mark Masterson by 1 December 2019. If you have any questions, please send them to him at this address also.

In your proposal include

1) the primary source material/historical milieu to be discussed, and

2) the general theoretical basis of the work

The call for papers is also published online.