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.

Grant: The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation : Venetian Research programme grants

Deadline: 1 May 2019

Venetian Resesarch Programme: British and Commonwealth Applicants.

The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation – British and Commonwealth Committee – announces its 2019-20 programme of grants for study based on travel to and research in Venice and the Venetian dominions.

Grants will be awarded for historical research on Venice and the former Venetian empires, and for the study of contemporary Venetian society and culture. Applicants from all disciplines of the humanities are eligible for areas of study including, but not limited to: archaeology, architecture, art; bibliography; economics; history; history of science; law; literature; music; political thought; religion theatre, film and television. Applications for research on the environment and conservation are welcomed. Other, relevant, research interests will be considered.

For details, see https://royalhistsoc.org/the-gladys-krieble-delmas-foundation-venetian-research-programme-grants/

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)

Lecture: Climate, Disease, and the End of Rome?

Moore Auditorium, Royal Holloway, University of London, 18:15-20:15, 6 March 2019

Climate, Disease, and the End of Rome? New findings and old debates in the environmental history of Late Antiquity by Dr. Johannes Preiser-Kapeller from the Institute for Medieval Research/Division of Byzantine Research, Austrian Academy of Sciences (member of the “Climate Change and History Research Initiative” – CCHRI/Princeton)

Environmental change always played a significant role in the discussions on the causes for the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in modern scholarship. This has become even more true against the background of the debate on present-day climate change, as also reflected in the recent bestselling monograph of Kyle Harper (“The Fate of Rome. Climate, Disease, and the End of an Empire”, Princeton 2017). The book, however, has found rather mixed reception within the community of environmental historians of Late Antiquity, which has emerged on the basis of a new cooperation between humanities and natural sciences during the last years.

The presentation will provide an overview of the state of the debate and the underlying methods and data across disciplines, covering the “Long Late Antiquity” from the crisis of the 3rd century CE to the 9th century CE within the Mediterranean and beyond. Besides climatic changes, epidemiological phenomena (such as the “Justinianic Plague”), “short-term catastrophic events” (such as earthquakes or floods) and the reactions of past societies to these challenges will be discussed.

Book your FREE tickets here: https://bit.ly/2HZDgQ9

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!

Call for Papers: Religion and War from Antiquity to early Modernity: Historical Varieties of a Recurring Nexus

King’s College London, 24-26 June 2019

Deadline: 30 January 2019

The conference, hosted by the Departments of Classics and War Studies, and the Sir Michael Howard Centre for the History of War at King’s College London, will mark the launch of a new international research network Religion and War through the Ages dedicated to exploring the nexus between religion and war as a recurring cross-cultural phenomenon attested in a great variety of historical societies from antiquity to the present and presenting a particularly poignant modern challenge.

Proposals from young researchers and established scholars in the Late Antique and Medieval history are now invited for papers of 20 minutes exploring historical cases that explore the influence of religion on war, from motivation and moral justification to rules of conduct. Proposals, of up to 350 words, should be sent to Irene Polinskaya (irene.polinskaya@kcl.ac.uk) by 30 January 2019. Successful applicants will be notified by 15 February 2019. A selection of papers will be considered for publication in peer-reviewed conference proceedings.

What role do religious ideas play in human conflicts? Citing direct divine command or posing as guardians of divine interests, actively seeking divine approval or drawing courage from imagined divine support, armies from ancient times to the present and across diverse regions and cultures, have gone to battle with one another. The conference will investigate specific historical cases and contexts that illustrate the influence of religion on war, from motivation to rules of conduct. Major themes include: the demands of different sets of religious beliefs that in the past provided a cause for war; the conditions under which religious considerations became a dominant force among the reasons for and against war; the role religion played in escalating war or putting limits on violence and how that influence was felt; finally, how religion, in turn, was affected by the conduct of war in past societies.

With wide geographic coverage encompassing the Mediterranean basin, Near East, North Africa, and Europe, and taking Classical Antiquity as a starting point, but looking as far back as the second millennium BCE and forward to the Westphalian settlement of 1648, this conference will be a comparative and cross-cultural exploration of the persistent question about the role of religion in motivating, guiding, and explaining the causes and conduct of war.

Confirmed speakers include: Ian Morris (Stanford), Anthony Spalinger (Auckland), Penny Roberts (Warwick), Amir Gilan (Tel Aviv), Yannis Stouraitis (Edinburgh), Amira Benison (Cambridge). Inquiries may be sent to Yannis Papadogiannakis (ioannis.papadogiannakis@kcl.ac.uk) or Irene Polinskaya (irene.polinskaya@kcl.ac.uk).

Seminar series: UoL Working Seminar on Editing Byzantine Texts

Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, University of London, 1 February-29 March 2019

The University of London Working Seminar on Editing Byzantine Texts continues its work preparing a new annotated edition and translation of the lengthy Correspondence of George of Cyprus (Ecumenical Patriarch Gregory II, 1283-89). Scholars and graduate students from University of London Colleges, other Colleges and Universities, and visiting students and academics interested in Byzantine texts, are most welcome to participate. The Seminar is meeting at the Institute of Historical Research, Pollard Room (N301), Senate House, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E in February and March 2019 on Fridays 15:00-17:00, starting from 1 February 2019. To celebrate the 35th Anniversary of the Seminar (1984-2019) a special reunion of old and current members will be held at Royal Holloway, University of London, 11 Bedford Square, Bedford Room, London WC1B 3RF on 29 March 2019 at 6pm. For further information please contact Ch.Dendrinos@rhul.ac.uk and Christopher.Wright@rhul.ac.uk

Lecture: Christianity and Greek Paideia

Seventeenth Annual Hellenic Lecture, by Revd Dr Richard Price

Moore Building Auditorium, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX, 6.15pm, 7 March 2019

Did Jewish Christianity and Greek culture have much in common? Or was Christianity the product of a distinctively Jewish culture, which, on entering the Greco-Roman world, had to be translated into the concepts of Greek paideia (education and culture)? If so, does it need to be ‘de-hellenized’ in order to speak to our own post-classical world? This debate has died down in the context of contemporary eclecticism, which views the Hellenic inheritance as something to be plundered, or ignored, at will. Is the study of ancient Greek culture an aid, a distraction, or a hindrance in the quest for a Christianity at once faithful to its biblical roots and relevant in today’s world? These questions will be explored by Revd Dr Richard Price, Professor Emeritus of the History of Christianity, Heythrop College, University of London, and RHUL Honorary Research Fellow.

The lecture will be followed by drinks in the Moore Building Foyer. All welcome, free admission but booking essential at ch.dendrinos@royalholloway.ac.uk

For travel to the College, visit royalholloway.ac.uk/about-us/more/how-to-find-us/

Call for Papers: Blood in Byzantium

University of Cambridge, 30 March-1 April 2019

Deadline: 29 January 2019

In 2019, the Spring Symposium of the Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies will be returning to Cambridge for the first time since 1990. The theme which has been chosen is ‘Blood in Byzantium’. This theme will facilitate inter-disciplinary discussion of research and ideas embracing Byzantine religion, art history, military history, social history, and law, as well Byzantine medicine and philosophy, drawing upon the extensive theoretical and historical literature that has emerged on the body, blood, and medicine in Antiquity and the Middle Ages, but which has yet to be systematically applied to Byzantium and its neighbours. Sessions will be arranged around the themes of ‘The Blood of Christ’; ‘The Blood of the Martyrs’; ‘Blood, Dynasty and Kinship’; ‘Bloodshed’; and ‘Blood in Medicine, Philosophy and Art’

The 52nd Spring Symposium invites Communications (of 10 minutes in duration) on current research and warmly invites abstracts (of not more than 500 words) from scholars within and without the UK and in fields linked to Byzantine studies. Abstracts should be sent to Peter Sarris (pavs2@cam.ac.uk) by 27 January December 2019.

For further information on the Spring Symposium, see the website or contact Dr. Peter Sarris (pavs2@cam.ac.uk).