BEYOND BORDERS: MUTUAL IMAGININGS OF EUROPE AND THE MIDDLE EAST (800-1700)
Barnard College’s 25th Biannual Medieval and Renaissance Studies Conference, December 3 2016
Recent scholarship is challenging the stark border between Europe and the Middle East during the long period between 800-1700. Rather than thinking of these areas in isolation, scholars are revealing the depth of their mutual influence. Trade, war, migration, and scholarly exchange connected Europe and the Middle East in ways both cooperative and adversarial. The distant world was not only an object of aggression, but also, inextricably, of fantasy and longing. Jewish, Muslim and Christian thinkers looked to each other to understand their own cultural histories and to imagine their futures. Bringing together art historians, literary scholars, historians, scholars of the history of science, and scholars of religious thought, this interdisciplinary conference will explore the real and imaginary cultural interchanges between Europe and the Middle East during their formative periods. The conference will feature plenary lectures by Professors Nancy Bisaha of Vassar College and Nabil Matar of the University of Minnesota.
This conference is being organized by Professors Rachel Eisendrath, Najam Haider and Laurie Postlewate of Barnard College.
Please send an abstract (with title) of approximately 200 words and CV to email@example.com. Presentations should be 20 minutes.
Deadline: April 10, 2016.
NARRATING THE SELF: AUTOBIOGRAPHY IN LATE ANTIQUITY
Society for Late Antiquity sponsored panel at the 2017 Society for Classical Studies (formerly the APA) annual meeting 5-8 January 2017 in Toronto – https://classicalstudies.org/annual-meeting/2017-annual-meeting.
In relation to late antiquity – and, indeed, in relation to antiquity in general – the term “autobiography” is generically fluid: there was no genre devoted exclusively to autobios, just as there was no genre devoted exclusively to bios considered more broadly. And yet people still wrote about themselves; they just did so in a variety of modes and genres. The pace of the production of reflexive works of self-narration (or works that included such reflexivity) not only did not slow in late antiquity; it quickened, and from this corpus emerged works that plumbed the depths of interiority (but for public consumption) in ways that had not been seen previously. Augustine and Boethius are the most famous, but not the exclusive, examples of interior self-description that is simultaneously externalized, mannered, and offered for public review (cf., recently, S. Squires, “Contra Academicos as Autobiography” [Scottish Journal of Theology 64 (2011): 251-64]; P. Turner, Truthfulness, Realism, Historicity [Ashgate, 2012]). In addition, one might consider poets such as Gregory of Nazianzus, Paulinus of Pella, Rutilius Namatianus, Paulinus of Nola, or Ausonius; grave inscriptions; itineraria, in so far as they are metaphorical for or serve the purposes of a description of self-transformation; the differences and tensions between the self-display of an individual’s various personae, for example in literary prefaces, public offices, and private correspondence; and much else besides.
The Society for Late Antiquity invites abstracts (ca. 500 words) exploring any aspect of self-narration in late antiquity for its panel at the 2017 Society for Classical Studies (formerly the APA) annual meeting 5-8 January 2017 in Toronto. Abstracts for papers requiring a maximum of twenty minutes to deliver should be sent no later than February 15, 2016 by email attachment as .doc or .rtf files to Eric Hutchinson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please follow the SCS’s instructions for the format of individual abstracts: https://classicalstudies.org/annual-meeting/guidelines-authors-abstracts. All submissions will be judged anonymously by two referees. Prospective panelists must be members in good standing of the SCS at the time of submission and must include their SCS membership number in the cover letter accompanying their abstract. The submission of an abstract represents a commitment to attend the 2017 meeting in Toronto should the abstract be accepted.
THE BYZANTINIST SOCIETY OF CYPRUS
First Annual Conference of Byzantine and Medieval Studies, Nicosia, Cyprus, 13-14 January 2017
Honorary President: Athanasios Papageorghiou, Director Emeritus, Dept. of Antiquities.
Keynote Speaker: Ioli Kalavrezou, Professor, Harvard University.
Scholars, researchers and students are encouraged to present their ongoing research, work in-progress or fieldwork report on any aspect of the history, archaeology, art, architecture, literature, philosophy and religion of Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean during the Byzantine, Medieval and Ottoman periods.
The languages of the conference will be Greek, English, French and German.
Programme Committee: Nikolas Bakirtzis (Chair), Stavros Georgiou, Maria Parani, Ourania Perdiki, Andreas Foulias.
Organizing Committee: Doria Nicolaou, Christina Kakkoura, Andriani Georgiou, Despoina Papacharalampous.
More information and paper proposal submission process at this link:
Learn more about the Byzantinist Society of Cyprus here:
The 38th conference of the Australasian Society for Classical Studies will be held at Victoria University of Wellington from 31 January to 3 February 2017. The conference convener is Dr Diana Burton (Diana.Burton@vuw.ac.nz).
RECONSIDERING THE CONCEPT OF DECLINE AND THE ARTS OF THE PALAIOLOGAN ERA
One day and a half Symposium & Workshop, University of Birmingham, 24-25 February 2017
This one day and a half conference combines a symposium and a workshop. The aim is to examine and contextualise the artistic and cultural production of the geopolitical centres that were controlled by or in contact with the late Byzantine Empire, such as the Adriatic and Balkan regions, the major islands of Cyprus and Crete, and the regions surrounding the cities of Constantinople, Thessaloniki, and Mystras. This conference will explore the many intellectual implications that are encoded in the innovative artistic production of the Palaiologan Era often simplified by a rigid understanding of what is Byzantine and what is not.
In its last centuries, the political entity of the Empire of the Romaioi released cultural and artistic energies migrating towards new frontiers of intellectual achievements. The intent is to counter-balance the innovation of these works of art with the notion of decline and the narrative of decay frequently acknowledged for this period; and to promote an understanding of transformation where previous cultural heritages were integrated into new socio-political orders.
The Symposium – hosted on the afternoon of the 24 and the morning of the 25 February – will bring together established scholars, early-career scholars, and postgraduate students. Three keynotes will provide the methodological framework for the discussion; while the selected papers will focus solely on the visual expressions and cultural trajectories of the artworks produced during the late Palaiologan Era.
The Workshop, hosted on the afternoon of the 25 February, will offer the opportunity to further the discussion in a more informal setting and for a selected number of Master students to interact and offer brief presentations.
Postgraduate students and early-career scholars are invited to submit proposals for twenty-minute papers on art and architecture history, material culture, visual aspects of palaeography and codicology, and gender studies.
Topics may include but are not limited to:
- Gift exchange in view of diplomatic missions or dynastic marriages both within the Empire and with its neighbours
- Visual evidence of the interaction between the Emperor and the Patriarch
- Innovations in the visual agenda of the Palaiologan dynasty
- Aspects of religious iconography and visual representations of theological controversies, i.e. Hesychasm
- Artistic patronage and manuscript production as the outcome of dynastic and institutional interactions
- Visual and material production as the outcome of political and social circumstances, i.e. the Zealot uprising or the Unionist policy
- Evidence of artistic exchanges in the depictions of women, men, and children during the Palaiologan Era
Titles of proposed papers, abstracts of 250 words, and a short CV should be sent to Maria Alessia Rossi (The Courtauld Institute of Art) – email@example.com and Andrea Mattiello (The University of Birmingham) – firstname.lastname@example.org by 30 September, 2016.
DREAMS, MEMORY AND IMAGINATION IN BYZANTIUM
Australian Association for Byzantine Studies 19th Conference, 24-26 February 2017, Monash University, Melbourne
In the last two decades, the role of dreams, memory and the imagination in the ancient world and its cultural productions have come to receive increased attention, along with the importance of emotions in the Greco-Roman and medieval worlds. This conference will focus on the ways that the Byzantine imagination shaped its dreams and memories from the fourth to fifteenth centuries and the many ways in which these were recorded in the Byzantine world, in its historiography, literature, religion, art and architecture.
Professor Derek Krueger of Greensboro University, North Carolina, will be our guest speaker at this international conference.
We welcome papers on any aspect of the topic, including reception studies. The call for papers will be issued in July 2016. Two student bursaries will be offered to HDR students who present papers.
THE FIFTH CENTURY: AGE OF TRANSFORMATION
Shifting Frontiers in Late Antiquity Twelfth Biennial Conference, Yale University, 23-26 March 2017
The Society for Late Antiquity announces that the Twelfth Biennial Conference on Shifting Frontiers in Late Antiquity will be held at Yale University on the topic of “The Fifth Century: Age of Transformation.” The conference will be cosponsored by the University of Groningen.
In chronological terms there can be little doubt that the fifth century is the pivot point of Late Antiquity. It is arguable that it also represents the major watershed between a monolithic world still dominated by the Roman Empire in the third and fourth centuries and the more tessellated worlds of the sixth and seventh. Whereas the fourth century is still very much an age of continuity with the earlier empire, the fifth can rightfully be viewed as the moment when Mediterranean Eurasia and North Africa witnessed profound political, social, religious, economic and cultural transformations. Shifting Frontiers XII seeks to investigate the nature and impact of these changes. We are particularly interested in six areas of research which reflect this transformational trend:
1) Shifts in the archaeological and material record: archaeology of the frontier; art and power; spoliation, collectionism, preservation;
2) State formation, re-formation, transformation: emperors, kings, rulers; law codes; new loci of political power – desert and steppe;
3) Transformations in religious authority: east and west – tension and cooperation; traditional religion; notions of the divine; popular practice;
4) Changes in climate, environment, geography: demography, disaster, microclimates / macroclimates; resource allocation;
5) Literary transformations: epitomes, canons, excerpts; commentary; vernacular literature (Syriac, Coptic, Armenian, Georgian); translation/transcription;
6) Identity transformation: ethnicity and identity; gender and sexuality; uses of alterity – etic and emic.
As in the past, we intend for the conference to provide an interdisciplinary forum for historians, archaeologists and specialists in religious studies, near-eastern or Asian studies and scholars of Greek, Latin, Syriac, Coptic, Georgian, Armenian, Persian and Ge’ez literature. The conference should open a forum for the exploration of intersections between the world cultures of Europe, Asia and Africa and the ways in which these peoples and places collided and were recombined to launch the global Middle Age.
Proposals should be clearly related to the theme of the conference and one of the above areas of research, and should state clearly both the problem being discussed and the nature of the new discoveries, insights, or conclusions that will be presented. Abstracts of not more than 500 words for 20-minute presentations may be submitted via e-mail to Professors Noel Lenski and Jan Willem Drijvers, at email@example.com. Deadline for submission of abstracts is October 15 2016.
GLOBAL BYZANTIUM: 50TH SPRING SYMPOSIUM OF BYZANTINE STUDIES
Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies, University of Birmingham
25-27 March 2017
For its 50th anniversary, the Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies returns to the University of Birmingham, where it began in 1967. On this anniversary of the discipline we ask what the language of globalism has to offer to Byzantine studies, and Byzantine studies to global narratives. How global was Byzantium? Our understanding of the links which Byzantium had to far-flung parts of the world, and of its connections with near neighbours, continues to develop but the significance of these connections to Byzantium and its interlocutors remains keenly debated. Comparisons from or to Byzantium may also help in thinking about globalism, modern and historical. How, for example, might Byzantine legal structures, visual culture or military practice contribute to debates about the role of the medieval state or the relationship between modern cultural and national identities? Finally, Byzantine studies has always been an international discipline, marked by the interaction of its different national, regional and linguistic traditions of scholarship, as well as its highly interdisciplinary nature. How has this manifested in the interpretation of Byzantine history and how might practices of global scholarship be pursued in the future? The 50th Spring Symposium invites contributions for communications on any of these themes and warmly invites abstracts from scholars outside the UK and in fields linked to Byzantine studies.
The call for communications is now open. If you would like to offer a 10-minute communication on the theme of the symposium, please send an abstract of no more than 250 words to Daniel Reynolds firstname.lastname@example.org by 1 September, 2016.
Successful submissions will be informed no later than 1 October 2016. Some bursaries will be available to selected speakers, especially to attendees from outside the UK. If you would like to be considered for a bursary please indicate this on your abstract and we will send you further information about the application process if appropriate.
52ND INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS ON MEDIEVAL STUDIES
The 52nd International Congress on Medieval Studies takes place 11-14 May 2017 at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo.
BARBARIANS AND BARBARIAN KINGDOMS I-III: ICMS 52
Kalamazoo, MI, May 11-14 2017
Debate remains lively concerning the barbarians of late antiquity, their impact on late Roman civilization (and its impact on them), and the manifold continuities and discontinuities within their early medieval kingdoms. Scholars of all levels are thus invited to submit an abstract for one of three sessions at ICMS 52 that will focus on “Barbarians and Barbarian Kingdoms.” These sessions are intentionally broad in scope, allowing for a disparate range of topics that might focus on a specific region, time, or development; comment on a vast array of written and/or material sources; or treat a particular theme, person, or event. What they will all have in common is barbarians and/or barbarian kingdoms, c. 350-700.
Please direct inquiries or abstracts with a completed Participant Information Form (here: http://www.wmich.edu/medievalcongress/submissions) to Jonathan Arnold (email@example.com) by September 15.
CONFLICT AND RESOLUTION and THE TRANSFORMATION OF LEADERSHIP
Papers are being sought for two panels on Late Antique Italy to be held at the 52nd International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo on May 11-14 2017. These panels are sponsored by the Central European University (CEU).
In 2007, the Central European University held a summer program entitled The Birth of Medieval Europe: Interactions of Power Zones and their Cultures in Late Antique and Early Medieval Italy at which an international and interdisciplinary collection of scholars and graduate students convened to discuss and debate the issues associated with the ‘Fall of Rome’ and its aftermath. Focusing on the relationships between different centres of power, authority, and culture in Late Antique Italy, The Birth of Medieval Europe considered new ways of thinking about late Roman imperial administration, the economy, the ‘barbarian’ invasions and the arrival of new ethnic groups into Italy, the nature and evolution of ethnicity and ethnic identity, and ultimately the ‘fall’ of the Roman Empire. These were contentious subjects then, and remain so today.
Organized to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the original CEU program, these two sessions will examine new developments in the field and reassess the conclusions of the original 2007 program. More specifically, the organizers invite contributions that (re)consider the relationship between different centres of power, authority, and culture, in Late Antique Italy. These include but are not limited to the cities of Ravenna and Rome, the Roman Church and secular power, the Roman Empire in Italy and its relationship with the East/the Provinces, and the Ostrogothic, Lombard, and ultimately Carolingian successor kingdoms established in Italy. Following the plan of the original program, contributions are welcome from scholars studying ancient and medieval history, Italian studies, Byzantine history, Mediterranean history, archaeology, and church history.
If you wish to participate, please submit a paper title, a short abstract (no more than ~250 words) and a CV to the organizers at firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday September 15 2016.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact one of the organizers: Samuel Cohen (email@example.com); Laurent Cases (firstname.lastname@example.org); and Edward M Schoolman (email@example.com).
FROM THE HUMAN BODY TO THE UNIVERSE: SPATIALITIES OF BYZANTINE CULTURE
Uppsala University, 18-21 May 2017
The injunction to historicize space has not always been on the agenda of researchers in Byzantine Studies. Traditionally, philologists, archaeologists, historians and art-historians have been tempted to take space for granted. And yet, within the recent Spatial Turn in the humanities and the social sciences, research on spatial paradigms and practices has been expanding, gaining great attention across disciplines and vastly different periods. In this context, space has been attributed a complex involvement in historical developments, as a comprehensive concept constituted by the integration of absolute and relative, relational and materially-sensed, physical and social, conceptualized and lived space. An engagement of Byzantinists with these ways of thought and action opens up an entire new set of possibilities for understanding the Byzantine world.
Many cultural aspects speak for the crucial importance of spatialities for the Byzantines. Their bodies and minds are performed as their most personal spaces of social identity and control. These bodies interact with their natural environments in their struggle to survive and create, thus producing their spatial experiences. In that way they construct their own culturally appropriated spaces, producing Byzantine landscapes. These landscapes are dominated by power relations, which divide them into territories, and performed by cultural practices. Passing from the body to the mind, imaginary spaces host moments of a universe of heaven and human passions. How are all these Byzantine spaces relevant to us, today, and in what ways can we understand them? These are the main issues addressed by this conference.
We are welcoming abstracts which interrogate the various understandings of space in Byzantine culture, those which present new methodological approaches to the topic, and case studies which are placed within a wider theoretical context from all fields of Byzantine Studies (history, archaeology, philology, art history, museum studies etc).
The papers should refer to one of the following broad thematic panels:
1. The (most) Private Space: the body as topos
2. Natural Spaces: Byzantine environments
3. Experienced Spaces: human bodies within the natural environment
4. Anthropogenic Spaces: Byzantine landscapes
5. Empowered Spaces: Byzantine territories
6. Performed Spaces: the spatiality of cultural practices
7. Imaginary Spaces: Byzantine story worlds
8. Representations of Byzantine Spaces, now and then
Possible topics may touch upon, but are not limited to, the following areas of research:
- Byzantinists and Space: methodological and theoretical approaches in history, archaeology, art histroy and philology
- Representations of space
- Going Global: linking local, regional, national, transnational Byzantine histories
- Symbolic geography and cultural spaces: for example ‘Byzantium, ‘Asia Minor’ or the ‘Balkans’, the ‘Levant’, the’West’ and the ‘Orient’, etc.
- The spatial constitution of politics: the empires and neighbouring states (territoriality, kinship)
- Economic history: economic systems, ‘core’ and ‘periphery’
- Spatial dimensions of everyday life: approaching gender, ethnicity, class, religion
- Urban spaces (morphology, planning; spaces of production, consumption and exchange, urban/rural divides)
- Geographies of knowledge: production and transfers
- Space and Memory.
The working languages of the conference will be English and French. If you are interested to attend by oral or poster presentation, please send an abstract of no more than 400 words, the thematic panel to which you would like to contribute and a brief CV to firstname.lastname@example.org by September 30, 2016. Due to the wide scope of this event, we would like to ask participants to prepare oral presentations of no more than 15 minutes, so as to allow ample time for discussion.
Dr Myrto Veikou
Greek and Byzantine Studies, Uppsala University
Department of Linguistics and Philology
SE-751 26 Uppsala, Sweden
Phone: +46 18 471 7679
Professor Ingela Nilsson
Greek and Byzantine Studies, Uppsala University
Department of Linguistics and Philology
SE-751 26 Uppsala, Sweden
Phone: +46 18 4711424
INTERNATIONAL MEDIEVAL CONGRESS 2017
The twenty-fourth International Medieval Congress will take place in Leeds from 3-6 July 2017.