Red Sea VII Conference: The Red Sea and the Gulf: Two Maritime Alternative Routes in the Development of Global Economy, from Late Prehistory to Modern Times, University of Naples “L’Orientale”, May 26–30, 2015
The University of Naples “L’Orientale” will host the Red Sea VII conference, the latest in the successful series of conferences previously held at the British Museum, University of Southampton, University of Exeter (UK) and University of Tabuk (KSA).
The committee proposes for the first time a comparison, on a scientific level, between two sea corridors and their shores, the Red Sea and the Gulf, which are similar geographically and environmentally, complementary to each other as well as competitors in their economic and cultural interaction with the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean, both in the past and in the present. The conference will be an opportunity to meet and exchange information among scholars from worldwide institutions interested in the western Indian Ocean, and also an opportunity to share new ideas and to promote innovative projects based on international collaborations.
We are inviting speakers from around the world with an interest in the Red Sea and the Gulf to present on a wide range of subjects relating to the main topic of the conference. These include:
- Recent and ongoing research
- The Red Sea and the Gulf in the Global Economy
- Naval technologies and maritime knowledge in the Red Sea and the Gulf
- Campania, the Mediterranean and the Red Sea
- People, ideas, technologies and religions between the Red Sea and the Gulf
- Africa, Arabia, Persia: linguistic transitions
- Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Maritime Trade to the East
The last day of the conference will be devoted to two workshops:
- Legal regulations in the Red Sea and in the closed seas from past to present
- Ports and Harbors of Bronze Age Egypt
Between, Among, and Across: Transhistories of the Visual, Elon University (North Carolina), February 27–28, 2015
As we expand the study of art history across regions and periods in an increasingly less Eurocentric and Enlightenment-based model, we strive for better ways to reconsider chronological and geographic approaches to writing and teaching the histories of visual objects—even those that might be European or made in the context of the Enlightenment. We seek papers that are transhistorical, transchronological, and/or transnational. We anticipate presentations that address these concerns creatively, rigorously, contingently, and/or in a questioning frame of mind.
Egypt and Mediterranean Countries Through Ages, Cairo University, October 15–18, 2014
The Faculty of Archaeology, Cairo University, is organizing the first International Conference "Egypt and Mediterranean Countries Through Ages" (EMCTA). The Conference provides a forum for the exchange of scientific information and work on Egypt and Mediterranean Countries amongst professionals, researchers, archaeologists, conservators in Egypt, Mediterranean countries, and other countries in the world that have mutual civilization influences with Egypt and Mediterranean Countries.
Topics may include:
Archaeology through ages in Egypt and Mediterranean countries
- Archaeology and environment
- History and civilization
- Paintings and technologies
- Ancient languages
- Mutual civilization influences between Mediterranean countries and outside world
- Through the end of the Greco-Roman period
- Byzantine period
- Medieval and Islamic periods
- Modern period
- Papyri, inscriptions and numismatics in Egypt and the Mediterranean countries
- Documentation techniques for archaeological materials and sites
- Analysis and investigations used for organic, inorganic and composite materials
- Environmental impacts on archaeological materials and sites
- Restoration and conservation techniques used in archaeological and heritage materials of either organic or inorganic origin
- Architectural conservation of archaeological and heritage buildings
- Preventive conservation in museums and archaeological sites
- Basic sciences and their role in the archaeological field's service
- The use of new technology in archaeology and conservation
- Ancient sciences in Egypt and Mediterranean countries
The language of the conference will be in either English or Arabic. Arabic presentations will be translated into English.
Moving Women, Moving Objects (300–1500), ICMA Sponsored Session, 103rd CAA Annual Conference, New York, February 11–14, 2015
Session chairs: Tracy Chapman Hamilton (Sweet Briar College) and Mariah Proctor-Tiffany (California State University)
As we examine medieval works of art like manuscripts, reliquaries, and jewels, today anchored and spotlighted in their museum vitrines, it is easy to imagine these sumptuous objects at rest in the hands of their original owners. But, in truth, they were in constant motion, and women were especially responsible for the movement of these works of art. This panel seeks to enrich the discussion of women and their relationships with their objects that, in the area of non-book arts, remains relatively unexplored. Luscious objects were gifts that traveled lesser and greater distances, some imported in brides’ nuptial coffers and many more commissioned and used to unite women separated by their politically advantageous marriages. Sisters and mothers, grandmothers and aunts, daughters and cousins, as well as friends and allies, all exchanged works of art with shared stories and iconographies. These pieces were the tokens that served as tribute, the centerpieces of rituals and ceremonies, the precious keepsakes enjoyed in intimate places, and the markers of architectural spaces often also founded or endowed by these women.
Theories of feminism, anthropology, sociology, and geography, among others, can all aid in the interpretation of the movement of works of art by women. New technologies such as GIS mapping and digital modeling enable us to visualize the international trajectories of works of art, as well as the movement and placement of them within architectural space.
Proposals for this panel could include papers concerning women living between 300–1500. While proposals discussing European examples are anticipated, those analyzing any culture are encouraged. Papers might discuss women moving their objects in ritual space; the international, cross-cultural fertilization of the arts resulting from women’s gifts; the mapping of women’s identity through placement of objects; or class and women’s movement of their objects.
Porphyra XXI (June 2014)
Porphyra has issued a call for papers for issue XXI (June 2014). Articles relating to Byzantium and Byzantine culture from any discipline are welcome. Contribution in Italian, English, French, German, Spanish, and modern Greek are accepted.
Contributions should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Herakles Inside and Outside the Church: From the First Apologists to the End of the Quattrocento, University of University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand, June 23–26, 2015
The study of the reception of classical figures into Christianity is a recently renewed scholarly trend which overcomes decades of isolation between classicists and medievalists, while drawing attention to an often overlooked fact: the early Christian masses were none other than the recently converted, dissatisfied pagan citizens of the faltering Roman Empire. In those early days, Christian theologians zealously took up the task of debating and defining the self-projections of their flocks against the backdrop of pagan outrage typically embodied by the Roman emperors. However, in addressing their followers, early Christian theologians could not ignore the wealth of classical literature and philosophy as points of reference, recognizable by their audiences and powerful enough to warrant modification. Indeed, the majority of early Christian writers were themselves products of the pagan educational system and hence, well versed in pagan traditions. Their handling of Heracles, the most quintessential pagan hero known for his strength, his twelve labours, and his civilizing efforts as well as for his quick temper, lust and frenzied violence, the hero idealized by emperors such as Nero, Commodus and Maximian, is indicative of the urgency to reform pagan models in the Christian context, but, also, of the affinities between pagan and early Christian intellectual debates. Centuries later, while the Church was proclaiming the death of paganism, it was continuing to appropriate many pagan gods and heroes, including Heracles, into its service.
Our conference seeks papers on any aspect of the adoption/adaptation of Heracles from Late Antiquity to the end of the Quattrocento, including the use of his image in Christian and non-Christian context, and the use of his mythology in Christian and non-Christian literature (poetry, prose, didactic, polemic, libretti, etc.). Panel proposals would be welcome.
Session, College Art Association, 103rd Annual Conference, New York, February 11–14, 2015
For centuries artists, diplomats (ambassadors, consuls, and interpreters), and merchants served as cultural intermediaries in the Mediterranean. Stationed in port cities and other entrepôts of the Mediterranean, these go-betweens forged intercultural connections even as they negotiated and sometimes promoted cultural misunderstandings. They also moved objects of all kinds across time and space. Focusing on the early modern period from roughly 1600 to 1850, this session will consider how the mobility of art is intertwined with diplomatic and trade networks in the international arena of the Mediterranean. With theorist Arjun Appadurai, we consider “ways in which people find value in things and things give value to social relations,” investigating analogies and relationships between the work performed by artists, diplomats and merchants. How does the work of art participate in, foster, or resemble diplomatic negotiation or commercial exchange? Papers investigating any aspect of visual and material culture are welcome.
Panel organizer: Elisabeth Fraser, University of South Florida
Historical Network Research Conference 2014, Ghent, September 15–19, 2014
This conference follows up the Future of Historical Network Research (HNR) Conference 2013 and aims to bring together scholars from all historical disciplines, sociologists, other social scientists, geographers and computer scientists to discuss the emerging field of historical Social Network Analysis. The concepts and methods of social network analysis in historical research are no longer merely used as metaphors but are increasingly applied in practice. With the increasing availability of both structured and unstructured digital data, we should be able to analyze complex phenomena. Historical SNA can help us to cope with the organization of this information and the reduction of complexity.
We invite papers from ancient to contemporary history, which integrate social network analysis methods and historical research methods and reflect on the added value of their methodologies. Since most historical data is unstructured, we seek innovative ways to derive, mine or prepare this kind of data (historical and literary texts, images, …) for SNA. Social scientists or computer scientists working with historical sources or longitudinal perspectives are also welcome. Topics could cover (but are not limited to) the following strands:
- The spatial dimensions of networks; the role of transport in social interaction, on spatial distance and compensation by alternative proximities, and on the use of spatial analytical techniques in quantitative network analysis.
- Relational approaches towards collective action; for instance transnational or global (social) movements, dynamics of contention, etc.
- The history of science and knowledge circulation; including the dynamics of citation networks, policy networks, discipline formation and relational approaches towards scientific and intellectual movements
- History of elites; for instance the meaning of kinship, political elites and policy networks, (trans)national elite formation, global elites, cultural elites and consumption, etc.
- The role and organization of historical economic networks established by economic actors in the broadest sense, including networks of individual entrepreneurs, business elites, cities and states.
- We invite case studies of domestic networks, long-distance trade networks, networks created by migration, patronage networks etc.
- Use and abuse of distant reading practices and the promises of ‘big data’ in literary and cultural history
- Historical networks and theory: assessments of the theoretical and historiographical foundations of social network analysis in historical and sociological research: a relational turn, paradigm or a method?
Art Out Of Time, University of Oxford, June 26–27, 2014
Art Out Of Time invites academics, curators and artists to challenge periodization anxiety apparent in the recent trend for inviting contemporary artists into museums to create interventions in early modern displays; or for juxtaposing medieval and modern art in current publications. This symposium starts from questions as to whether distinctions between pre-, early-, and post-modern are disciplinary fictions, what exactly is gained and what is lost in this dialogue—or clash—between old and new objects, and if museums perhaps want to get rid of a 'stuffy' reputation to take on some of the lustre and prestige of contemporary art. Speakers include Whitney Davis, Karen Lang, Tamar Garb, Ian Kiaer, Amy Powell, Elizabeth Price, and Alexander Sturgis.
We invite abstracts for presentations in one of the four workshops organized around specific themes (see below). Selected papers will be included in the conference publication.
Workshop 1 Making/Unmaking
Workshop 2 Re-Thinking Historical Time
Workshop 3 Alternative Temporalities
Workshop 4 Neo-Installation
Conflict in Late Antiquity, XXIII Finnish Symposium on Late Antiquity, Tvärminne, Finland, October 17–18, 2014
The theme of the symposium in 2014 is “Conflict in Late Antiquity”. It will be approached from a wide perspective, including different types and levels of conflict and attempts at solving them. Conflict can be discussed from the from the point of view of politics and competition for power, ethnic conflicts, conflicts between different areas and peoples of the empire, cultural and religious conflicts between and within traditions, doctrinal conflict, interpretation and portrayal of conflict in literature and art, personal conflicts, and conflicts versus everyday life. We welcome papers that discuss scholarly approaches to late antiquity, why the sources and scholarship focus so emphatically on conflict, and what other perspectives can be applied instead.
Hagith Sivan (Department of History, University of Kansas)
Professor Sivan is specialist in Roman history, Late Antiquity, study of women in Antiquity as well as the Hebrew Bible, Jewish history and early Christianity. She has written/edited six books: Ausonius of Bordeaux: Genesis of a Gallic Aristocracy (1993); Shifting Frontiers in Late Antiquity (1996, co-edited); Dinah's Daughters. Gender and Judaism from the Hebrew Bible to Late Antiquity (2002); Between Woman, Man and God: A New Interpretation of the Ten Commandments (2004); Palestine in Late Antiquity (2008) and Galla Placidia. The Last Roman Empress (2011). She has written articles on topics ranging from the Roman army in late ancient Spain to Christian ascetic females, and from the Visigothic kings of Toulouse to Jewish childhood and to meandering monk Barsauma.
Petri Luomanen (Biblical Studies, University of Helsinki)
Professor Luomanen has studied Jewish-Christians - i.e. Christians who embraced Christian faith but kept their Jewish way of life - and hostility expressed against them by both Christians and other Jews. He has employed social-scientific and cognitive approaches in his works. His publications include Recovering Jewish-Christian Sects and Gospels (2012), Explaining Christian Origins and Early Judaism: Contributions from Cognitive and Social Science (2007, editor with Ilkka Pyysiäinen and Risto Uro), and A Companion to Second-Century Christian ‘Heretics’ (2005, 2008 editor with Antti Marjanen).
Lucy Grig (School of History, Classics and Archaeology, University of Edinburgh)
Dr. Grig is specialist in cultural history in Late Antiquity, including literary and material culture with particular interest in religious history and popular culture. She has published Making Martyrs in Late Antiquity (2004) and co-edited (with Gavin Kelly) Two Romes: Rome and Constantinople in Late Antiquity (2012).
Antti Lampinen (Classics, University of Turku)
Dr. Lampinen is specialist in Greco-Roman ethnographical writing. He finished his doctoral dissertation, "Istae contra omnium religiones. Characterizing Northern Barbarian Religiosity in the Graeco-Roman Literary Tradition from Hellenism to the Later Empire" in 2013.
There is space for a maximum of nine more papers. Short abstracts should be sent (maximum length 300 words) by 1 June 2014 to Dr. Ville Vuolanto. We encourage not only senior, but also junior scholars and postgraduate students to participate.
Applicants will be informed by 19 June 2014 whether they have been accepted. We have reserved 30 minutes for each presentation including discussion, wherefore we recommend limiting the papers to 20 minutes.
The symposium will be organized in the premises of a zoological research station operated by the University of Helsinki at a beautiful location at Tvärminne on the southern coast of Finland. It is organized by an interdisciplinary organizing committee under the auspices of the center of excellence “Reason and Religious Recognition” in the Faculty of Theology, University of Helsinki, together with Department of World Cultures, University of Helsinki.
The seminar is free. We will offer transportation from Helsinki to Tvärminne and the return journey, as well as accommodation (one night) and meals in Tvärminne. However, we are not able to cover any travel costs to or accommodation in Helsinki. Registration for the conference will start 1 September and close on 30 September 2014.
Mediterranean Visions/ Mediterranean Frame, Sant'Anna Institute, Sorrento, June 13–15, 2014
This conference will focus on the perceptions of the journey to/from/around the Mediterranean Sea, moving from Italian, European and extra-European perspectives (and with specific reference to the Americas), and concentrating on the theme of immigration/emigration to/from the Mediterranean Basin), the intercultural exchanges occurring between its shores, as well as new challenges (social and economic) facing the region from the globalized society and from the increasingly urgent democratic imperatives of the populations inhabiting it.
Selected conference papers will published in a volume of proceedings.
In conjunction with the conference, the symposium, "History, Literature and Culture in a Mediterranean Frame,” co-organized by Wake Forest University and the Mediterranean Seminar with the sponsorship of Centro di Cultura e Storia Amalfitana, will be held on 15 June, and is open to all.
Brian A. Catlos (University of Colorado Boulder/University of California Santa Cruz)
John Dagenais (University of California at Los Angeles)
Sharon Kinoshita (University of California Santa Cruz)
Roberta Morosini (Wake Forest University)
Pasquale Sabbatino (Universita' degli studi "Federico II' di Napoli)
Carlo Saccone (Universita' di Bologna)
Roberto Tottoli (Universita' degli studi di Napoli “L'Orientale”)
Prof. Giuseppe Gargano (Honorary President, Centro di Cultura e Storia Amalfitana)
Material Culture and Diplomatic Relations between the Latin West, Byzantium, and the Islamic East (11th-16th c.), University of Liege, April 27–28, 2015
An international colloquium exploring the role of material culture in diplomatic contacts between the Latin West, the Byzantine world, and the Islamic East.
Medieval Materiality: A Conference on the Life and Afterlife of Things, University of Colorado, October 23–25, 2014
Recent work in medieval history and art history has focused on materiality, specifically the object-ness of things – relics, cloth, books, and other materials – that survive from the medieval past. At the same time, scholars of medieval literature have approached materiality by reinvigorating manuscript studies and by incorporating theories of digital media and networks. This interdisciplinary conference invites scholars in all fields to come together to ask two main questions: What does medieval materiality consist of? And what are the ramifications of such a focus for medieval studies more broadly?
We invite abstracts for papers (20-minutes in length) along the following themes: the relationship between objects and their social environments, between objects and spiritual power, the literal and the spiritual in biblical exegesis, between descriptions of objects, theories of ekphrasis, and the literal presence of things, and between medieval and post-modern approaches to “things,” as well as gendered things, collecting and collections, networks of trade and travel, objects of desire and emotions and things. We also welcome papers that investigate the ethical and political consequences of a focus on materiality – both for medieval thinkers and for ourselves.
Plenary Speakers include:
Jessica Brantley (Associate Professor, English, Yale University)
Caroline Walker Bynum (Professor Emerita, History, Columbia University/Institute for Advanced Study)
Aden Kumler (Associate Professor, Art History, University of Chicago)
Daniel Lord Smail (Professor, History, Harvard University).
Interdisciplinary Studies of Ancient Materials from the Mediterranean, NARNIA International Conference, University of Cyprus, Nicosia, September 17–19, 2014
The conference will provide an opportunity for new and established researchers to share research in an international forum and to exchange ideas on the latest interdisciplinary approaches, analytical techniques and methodologies for the integrated study of ancient materials, technologies and the environment. The NARNIA network is a collaboration of researchers who are engaged in the holistic study of ancient materials to facilitate a better understanding of the strategies associated with the production and the consumption of material culture and its impact on the historic and ancient environment.
We invite oral and poster presentations of research projects that cut across disciplines, and combine archaeological and analytical data to aid archaeological and historical interpretation. Contributions that discuss ancient production techniques, the history of technology, cultural transformation at both local and regional scales are especially welcome. In addition to the papers that will be presented by the twenty NARNIA fellows, we encourage presentations by other research teams or individuals outside of the NARNIA network.
Submitted papers and posters should fall under one or more of the following themes, which correspond to the work areas of the NARNIA project:
- The interdisciplinary study of ancient ceramics
- Ancient and historical glass production and trade
- Copper metallurgy across the Mediterranean
- Interdisciplinary assessments of architectural decoration (mosaics, wall-paintings, stone buildings)
- Dating techniques and the palaeo-environment
- pXRF application in Archaeology
Days of Justinian I, 2nd International Scientific Symposium, Skopje, September 26–27, 2014
Special Thematic Strand for 2014: Samuel’s State and Byzantium: History, Legend, Tradition, Heritage
The International scientific symposium “Days of Justinian I” is an annual interdisciplinary scholarly forum aimed at the presentation of the latest research followed by discussions on various aspects of Byzantine and Medieval Studies, that include the treatment and interpretation of cultural, historical and spiritual heritage in contemporary Europe. The Symposium is dedicated to Emperor Justinian I with the aim to address a broad range of issues related to Byzantium and the European Middle Ages, comprising the exploration of the cultural and historical legacy as an integrative component of the diversities and commonalities of Unified Europe.
This year the International Symposium “Days of Justinian I” chose a special thematic strand “Samuel’s State and Byzantium: History, Legend, Tradition, and Heritage”. Namely, the year 2014 commemorates the millennium of the legendary conflict between Emperor Basil II and Tsar Samuel over the Balkans that ended with the tragic death of Samuel in October 1014, after the defeat at the battle of Belasica. The conflict itself is an illustrative example of how the legends and myths were created and constructed, both in Medieval and Modern times, incorporating many aspects of historical and cultural tradition and heritage. The specificity of this conflict is its enduring impact on the Medieval and Modern Balkans, consequently indicating the need to present a more thorough and broader picture in order to understand the contested interpretation and different perspectives and to offer a clearer picture of how the medieval past was used in modern history, politics and culture. The legendary conflict between Basil II and Samuel is a universal phenomenon, thus embracing broader discussions and geographical areas in exploring various aspects of religion, ideology, identity, heritage, political and cultural memory and myth-making reflected in the historical and cultural legacy.
Papers are welcomed on various topics that may include, but are not limited to, the following areas of discussion:
- Basil II versus Samuel: Real or imaginary conflict over the Balkans?
- The Legend of Basil II and Samuel and the “Macedonian question”
- Interpreting the legends in medieval and modern Europe
- (De)Constructing the narratives and myths in medieval and modern Europe
- Continuity and discontinuity in political ideology between medieval Bulgaria and Samuel's state
- Ethnicity and identity in the Middle Ages: Defining the “others” in Europe
- Popular religion, "native" churches, and medieval heresy
- The Ohrid Archbishopric and religious tradition: medieval and modern perceptions of religion and ideology
- The representation of Byzantium in art, literature, music and material culture: medieval and modern concepts and approaches
- Byzantine and the Middle Ages in European history and culture: Bridging the East and West
- Preserving the cultural heritage: Interpretation, restoration and protection
- Cultural legacy as a factor of interaction and dialogue between different cultures in Europe
First Deadline for submitting the abstract of the papers: 1 July, 2014
Second Deadline for submitting the abstract of the papers: 1 September, 2014
Notification of acceptance for early applicants: 5 July, 2014
Notification of acceptance for other applicants: 5 September, 2014
Deadline for submitting the full papers for publication: 15 February, 2015
Please send the application form to the address: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Working languages: Macedonian, Italian and English.
Knowing Nature in the Medieval & Early Modern Worlds, University of Maryland, College Park, October 24–25, 2014
The Graduate Field Committee in Medieval & Early Modern Studies at University of Maryland, College Park—an interdisciplinary group of faculty and graduate students—is excited to announce this year's conference, Knowing Nature in the Medieval & Early Modern Worlds.
Nature, according to the critic Raymond Williams, is quite possibly “the most difficult word in the English language.” The genealogy of nature’s complexities—semantic, philological, epistemological, ontological—are the subject of this two-day conference that seeks to bring into dialogue historians of science, philosophy, art, and literature. How did early writers and artists and other thinkers know and encounter nature? What practices made nature legible? What ethics were thought to arise out of the environment? This event considers a wide variety of cultural productions in the medieval and early modern periods. By what metaphors and strategies did pre-modern people represent the sensible world of matter? This event considers a wide variety of cultural productions in the medieval and early modern periods, seeking to rethink the relation between fields of knowledge and to bridge the widening gap between the humanities and the sciences in our own universities.
Topics may include:
- the analogies through which nature is known
- the long history of environmentalism
- materiality and its discontents
- natural occurrences, wonders, or cataclysms
- landscapes and visual culture
- natural and medical histories
- histories of the body, human and otherwise
- the relationship between the natural and the supernatural
- cosmologies and the natural world
Please submit 250-word paper proposals to email@example.com by May 1, 2014.
Greek Medical Texts and Their Audience. Perception, Transmission, Reception, Université Libre de Bruxelles, December 12–13, 2014
The idea that every text is meant to appeal upon a certain audience is not a new one, but it is only recently that it has engaged much scholarly discussion, especially in light of the application of reception theory to literary works. This conference seeks to examine the interplay between Greek medical texts (e.g. Hippocratic corpus, Dioscorides, Galen, Rufus of Ephesus) and their contemporary readers. Papers concentrating on the reception of these texts in later periods (e.g. Late Antiquity, Byzantium), including the Syriac and Islamic tradition, are also welcome.
We are interested in contemplating, inter alia, the following questions/subjects:
- How do medical authors adjust their text according to the needs and expectations of their audience? (structure of medical texts and medical subgenres as aspects determining wide vs specialised readership)
- Other conditions that may regulate, control, or limit the reception of medical writings (e.g. background of author and reader, degree of shared memory between them)
- Deciphering medical texts; mechanisms for activating or enhancing the reader’s memory (e.g. rhetorics, visual representations, diagrams)
- Cognitive and emotional responses to medical works¬Translators/editors and their role in the transmission and reception of medical texts
- Commentaries, scholia, paraphrases
Prof. Vivian Nutton (London)
Prof. David Engels (Brussels)
Dr Antoine Pietrobelli (Reims/Paris)
Dr Chiara Thumiger (Berlin)
Dr Laurence Totelin (Cardiff)
Dr Uwe Vagelphol (Warwick)
Byzantine Culture in Translation, Australian Association for Byzantine Studies 18th Biennial Conference, University of Queensland, November 28–30 2014
Byzantine culture emanated from Constantinople throughout the Middle Ages, eastwards into Muslim lands and central Asia, north into Russian, Germanic and Scandinavian territories, south across the Mediterranean into Egypt and North Africa and westwards to Italy, Sicily and the other remnants of the western Roman empire. Byzantine culture was translated, transported and transmitted into all these areas through slow or sudden processes of permeation, osmosis and interaction throughout the life of the Empire, from the fourth century to the fifteenth and far beyond. Various literary aspects of Byzantine culture that were literally translated from Greek into the local and scholarly languages of the Medieval West and Muslim Middle East include dreambooks, novels, medical and scientifica texts and works of Ancient Greek literature. Yet translation was a phenomenon that stretched far beyond texts, into the areas of clothing and fashion, the visual arts (especially icons) and architecture, military organisations, imperial court ceremonial, liturgical music and mechanical devices. This conference celebrates all aspects of literary, spiritual or material culture that were transported across the breadth of the Empire and exported from it. Papers are welcome on all aspects of Byzantine culture that exerted some influence – whether lasting or fleeting – and were translated into non-Greek-speaking lands, from the early Byzantine period to the present day.
Confirmed speaker: Maria Mavroudi, University of California – Berkeley
Two bursaries of $500 each will be offered to postgraduate students or postdoctoral fellows who present papers and are not residents of Queensland.
Collected Volume on Color in Ancient Global History (3000 B.C.- 600 A.D.)
Recently the subject of color in antiquity has found a voice and has received considerable attention in scholarship. The reconstruction of ancient monuments and material culture has been one aspect of this discussion. Studies of race and color in the ancient world have also been considered. The subject of color, however, may also be considered from a global viewpoint that addresses world historical approaches and the complex interconnections that exist in trade. Areas such as Mesopotamia, India, Africa, China and the New World may shed light on the subject of color and its importance in ancient times.
We are seeking papers to be published as a collected volume on the subject of Color in Ancient Global History (3000 B.C.- 600 A.D.). Papers that address the following topics will be considered:
1. Color as a geographical marker or trope
2. The manufacture and manipulation of color
3. The global effect of color production (e.g. Silk Road studies)
4. Color-term studies in literature, particularly from religious texts
5. Color and the senses
6. Color and food
7. Color and textiles
The volume will consist of 12-15 essays to be published in the next two years.
Please submit a 250 word abstract with your C.V. to Rachael Goldman.
Courtauld Research Forum Summer Term 2014: Religion, Art and Conflict: Disputes, Destruction and Creation
Throughout history religion and belief have been the catalyst for the creation of great buildings and works of art. However, religious art has frequently been disputed, despised and destroyed. Members are sought for a research group that will examine the role of reform, ideology and conflict in the destruction and preservation of religious art and architecture. The group will also investigate how theological disputes and religious conflicts have been the impetus for new intellectual and creative approaches to the visual and material arts.
Prospective members are likely to be early career scholars and PhD research students. Applications are sought from scholars working with any methodology, on any period of art history, on any aspect of the material and visual arts and on any culture and world region.
Possible areas of scholarly specialism include but are not limited to:
- Byzantine iconoclasm
- Cultural encounters between Christianity and Islam
- Monastic reform movements in the Middle Ages
- The Reformation and Counter-Reformation, and the religious wars of the 16th and 17th centuries
- Antiquarians and efforts to preserve and record buildings and artefacts
- The Enlightenment, Napoleonic Wars and European revolutions
- Western imperialism and indigenous religious art
- Nationalism and religion
- Destruction and looting in the world wars
- Religious fundamentalism of the 20th and 21st centuries
Meetings and outputs
The research group will meet at The Courtauld for a one-day workshop on 20 June 2014. Discussions will inform a 1.5 day conference to be held at The Courtauld on 5-6 December 2014. Limited funds may be available to support participation from scholars based outside the UK. It is anticipated that the proceedings of the conference will be published (subject to quality and peer review).
103rd Annual College Art Association Annual Conference, New York, February 11–14, 2015
This year’s Call for Participation lists over 100 panels. Proposals for participation in sessions should be sent directly to the appropriate session chair(s). If a session is co-chaired, a copy should be sent to each chair, unless otherwise indicated.
Panels that may be of interest to Byzantinists:
The Material Imagination: Critical Inquiry into Performance and Display of Medieval Art
Elina Gertsman, Case Western Reserve University; and Bissera Pentcheva, Stanford University
The Market for Medieval Art in America
Christine E. Brennan, The Metropolitan Museum of Art; and Marianne Wardle, The Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University.
Biblical Archetypes in the Middle Ages
Meredith M. Cohen, University of California, Los Angeles; and Mailan S. Doquang, McGill University
The Art of Travel: People and Things in Motion in the Early Modern Mediterranean
Elisabeth Fraser, University of South Florida
Proposed Colloquium Session for the 2015 Archaeological Institute of America Annual Meeting, New Orleans, January 8–11, 2015
Sponsored by: AIA Medieval and Post-Medieval Archaeology Interest Group and the Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M University
Organizers: Rebecca Ingram and Michael Jones, Institute of Nautical Archaeology
Maritime activity played a vital role in the political and economic success of the Byzantine Empire. Recent fieldwork, both on land and underwater, offers a tantalizing glimpse into the complexity of the Byzantine maritime world. The 58,000 m2 rescue excavation of the Theodosian Harbor in the heart of Istanbul, begun in 2004, is perhaps the most significant of these new discoveries, yielding the remains of 37 Byzantine shipwrecks and tens of thousands of artifacts related to maritime trade, shipbuilding technology, and daily life in Constantinople from the late 4th to the early 11th century. However, because the Yenikapı finds are from the hub of a vast maritime network, they cannot be understood in isolation. Along with the finds from Yenikapı, results from recent studies involving shipwrecks, surveys and excavations of harbor sites, and studies of long-distance trade goods are poised to make a significant contribution to our understanding of Byzantine trade, society, and culture. In order to examine this new data within the proper overall context of late antique and Byzantine archaeology, this colloquium session, co-sponsored by the AIA Medieval and Post-Medieval Archaeology Interest Group and the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, will present new discoveries from a range of sites concerning maritime activity in this period. This session aims to bring together archaeologists who focus on topics such as ship construction, harbors, metrology, coastal settlement, and maritime trade goods in the Byzantine world. By seeking greater integration between research from terrestrial and nautical archaeological sites, this session will provide an appropriate venue for the dissemination of recent finds and will shed new light on our understanding of the Byzantine Empire and its neighbors.
Transformation and Adaptation - The Reception of Byzantium between the 16th and 21st centuries, University of Silesia in Katowice (Poland), September 5-6, 2014
Studies on the reception of the classical tradition have recently become an indispensable part of classical studies. Understanding the importance of ancient civilization means also studying how it was used subsequently. Students of the classical tradition research the influence of ancient literature, its use in political discourse, and its manifestations in films, TV series, graphic novels and computer games. A recent flood of publications, including companions, handbooks and dictionaries, now addresses these issues. The Eastern Roman Empire, however, has not been so lucky.
The aim of the conference is to bring together scholars interested in the reception of Byzantine culture in literature, political discourse, pop-culture (games, graphic novels, etc.). We would like to see how Byzantium was used and abused, how Byzantine motifs were transformed and adapted throughout centuries. Amongst the invited speakers are scholars from around the world.
The organisation of the conference is generously supported by the National Programme for the Development of Humanities. The organisers will provide free board and lodging. Transportation, however, remains the responsibility of a participant.
2015 Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America, University of Notre Dame, March 22–25, 2015
The Program Committee invites proposals for papers on all topics and in all disciplines and periods of medieval studies. Any member of the Medieval Academy may submit a paper proposal, excepting those who presented papers at the annual meetings of the Medieval Academy in 2013 or 2014; others may submit proposals as well but must become members in order to present papers at the meeting. Special consideration can be given to individuals whose specialty would not normally involve membership in the Medieval Academy.
Theme: “Medieval Studies across the Disciplines” will provide a conceptual focus for the meeting. The Medieval Academy welcomes innovative sessions that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries or that use various disciplinary approaches to examine an individual topic. To both facilitate and emphasize interdisciplinarity, the Call for Papers is organized in “threads.”
Miracles and Wonders in Antiquity and Byzantium, University of Cyprus, October 16–18, 2014
Tales of miracle and wonder decorate both ancient and Byzantine literature and seem to have had a great impact upon ancient and Byzantine thought. A strong interest in the wondrous is already apparent in the works of Homer and Hesiod. However, a more organized recording of marvels is detected much later, in Herodotus’s time, when marvelous stories and travel accounts of exotic places and peoples are increasingly produced. From the era of Alexander and onwards such stories are recruited by historians and rhetors in an attempt to apotheose the ideal ruler.
Between the third century BC and the third century AD, the genre of paradoxography, collections of stories relating strange events and phenomena, achieves great popularity, and influences another new genre, the Hellenistic novel. At about the same time, a number of stories circulate that relate the miraculous healings of suffering people who practice incubation in Asclepian temples. Later the practice of incubation is taken over by Christian pilgrims who are cured by saints. Miraculous healings and other types of miracles that are associated with a particular Christian shrine become the material of a new genre, the miracle collection which is cultivated throughout the Byzantine era. Miracle stories are included in all Byzantine hagiographical genres, since they constitute the strongest sign of holiness. Miracles and wonders are also found in profane Byzantine genres, such as chronicles and romances.
Despite the fact that marvel literature enjoyed such a high popularity in antiquity and Byzantium, it has been mostly dismissed by modern scholars as debased, boring and even unintelligible, an attitude that has condemned this literature to obscurity. The conference’s main aims are to bring to light miracle and wonder literature and to open up new avenues of approach.
Specialists are invited to submit a thirty-minute paper in English on a relevant topic. Due to budgetary constraints, the organizers cannot cover the speakers’ travel and hotel costs. There is no registration fee for participation or attendance.
Proposed session for 2014 American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, November 22–25, 2014
For its inaugural year, the Traditions of Eastern Late Antiquity Group is issuing an open call for papers on any topic within the boundaries of the program unit (the study of religious traditions that are rooted in Mesopotamia, Persia, and western Asia, particularly those parts that were outside the Roman cultural reach such as Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism, and Mandaeism). However, proposals are especially welcome on the subject of urban life and religious community in Eastern Late Antiquity. What do we know about how religiously-defined communities congregated (or not) in the big urban centers of the late antique east? How did they relate (or not) to cities, the other people that lived there and the folks that governed them? What do we know about, and what can we learn from, the study of traditions which thrived solely or primarily in urban (or rural) areas, and from the comparison of sources and material evidence related to those traditions which spanned the urban-rural divide?
The Art & Archaeology of Lusignan & Venetian Cyprus (1192-1571): Recent Research & New Discoveries, Nicosia, December 12–14, 2014
The art and archaeology of the Latin East have regularly been marginalised in broader accounts of medieval material culture, largely because they cannot fit within the restrictive parameters established for either the Byzantine East or the Latin West. Over the years, the art and archaeology of Lusignan and Venetian Cyprus (1192-1571) have attracted both western medievalists and Byzantinists, each group bringing its own methodological prejudices to the study of the subject. In the last twenty years, a number of international conferences, collaborative research initiatives and other events, culminating in last year’s exhibition Chypre entre Byzance et l’Occident IVe-XVIe siècle (2012-3) at the Louvre, have paved the way for a more fruitful interchange between scholars coming at the art and archaeology of Lusignan and Venetian Cyprus from a Byzantine or western medieval background.
Increasing specialisation within any given field being a virtual necessity in the modern academic world, students of medieval material culture West and East are called upon to broach the issue with an open mind to neighbouring fields, and to cooperate among themselves to bring about a synthetic, integrated vision of the complex history of Cypriot material culture in the later Middle Ages and of the society that produced it. Nevertheless, there is still much ground to cover. The brisk pace of current research activities has overtaken that of publication; a number of important excavations are still ongoing or under preparation for publication; and a host of new doctoral theses are in development. Now, more than ever, there is urgent need for the sustained exchange of new ideas and information regarding fresh discoveries, as well as for the rethinking of received knowledge and the renewal of approaches that this may entail.
This conference is the third in a series focusing on recent archaeological and art historical research on Cyprus from the Hellenistic period onwards. It aims at providing a forum for the discussion of the art and archaeology of Cyprus during the Lusignan and Venetian periods. Art historians and archaeologists engaged in research on this particular topic, both of the ‘eastern’ and ‘western’ persuasions, are encouraged to contribute by presenting the results of their recent work. We invite papers on subjects ranging from archaeological excavation, post-excavation finds analysis and field survey to monumental art (architecture, sculpture, painting), metalwork, ceramics, numismatics and other aspects of the island’s material life in the late medieval period.
We are planning a three-day event, with individual contributions up to 20 minutes in length. Due to budgetary constraints, the speakers’ travel costs cannot be covered by the conference, but every effort will be made to secure conference rates at hotels near the conference venue. There is no registration fee for participation or attendance.
The biannual journal Horti Hesperidum intends to devote the first issue of 2015 to “Living Images”. Literary texts can serve as a source for documenting an anthropological phenomenon during Classical Antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Modern Age: images perceived as living beings, capable of talking, acting and interacting with us.
Special attention will be paid to the following topics:
- The relationship between believers and devotional images
- Ekphrastic descriptions of living, talking, “real” images
- Iconoclasm, i.e. the desire to “kill” images in each historical age
Imagining Death and the Afterlife in the Middle East (c. 500–1800 CE), Middle East Association (MESA) Annual Meeting 2014 Washington, DC, November 22–25, 2014.
This panel brings together papers that investigate representations of death and the afterlife in the Middle East, the Balkans, and Central Asia. The focus of papers may lie on any pre-modern context from late antiquity to the early 19th century. Studies in history, religious studies, art history, and anthropology are all equally welcome in a panel that aims to produce an interdisciplinary dialogue around the theme of death and the afterlife, beyond our modern understanding and practices of dying. Relevant topics might include perceptions, conceptions, descriptions, and representations of death and the afterlife in Christian, Jewish, and Muslim contexts; funerary rituals and practices and displays of mourning; preservation of memory through the construction of shrines for rulers, the rich, and saints; urban space and cemeteries; pilgrimage and the use of relics; being unable to die (e.g. vampires); inheritance and its recording; disease and executions; and theological discussions of death and the afterlife. Papers may work with any combination of textual or material sources, ranging from elegies, funerary litanies, gravestones, foundation documents, and hagiographies to architecture, paintings, and textiles. At the theoretical level, work on death, burial, and relics in Islam (Leor Halevi, Brannon Wheeler), on the body in late antique and medieval Christianity (Peter Brown, Caroline Walker Bynum), and on shrines and pilgrimage (Pedram Khosronejad, Joseph Meri) are relevant points of comparison and methodological entry points.
Digital Classicist, Senate House, London, Fridays, June to mid-August, 2014
We welcome contributions from students as well as from established researchers and practitioners. We welcome high-quality papers discussing individual projects and their immediate context, but also accommodate broader theoretical consideration of the use of digital technology in Classical studies. The content should be of interest both to classicists, ancient historians or archaeologists, and to information specialists or digital humanists, and should have an academic research agenda relevant to at least one of those fields.
Aegyptiaca in Arabic Context - Pre-Modern Perceptions on Ancient Egypt’s History, Civilization and Cultural Heritage, panel at World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies in Ankara, August 18–22, 2014
For obvious reasons the medieval Egyptians, Arab pilgrims, and Muslim traders who travelled throughout Egypt in the pre-modern Islamic period were much more familiar with Ancient Egypt’s ubiquitous material remains than their European contemporaries. Egypt became the epitome of magic, marvels, and treasures. This fascination for the merveilleux, however, did not preclude a serious scholarly interest in Egypt’s ancient civilization, its history and cultural achievements. On the contrary, a very rich and diverse literature provides ample evidence for the manifold attempts to ‘decipher’ Ancient Egypt’s material culture and to shed light on its forgotten past. Although some preliminary research has been carried out already, the majority of Arabic manuscripts treating aspects of Ancient Egypt’s history and culture are still unpublished and will demand a detailed evaluation and investigation in the future.
This panel focuses on some of these Aegyptiaca in Arabic tradition by adopting an alternative perspective: while leaving aside dichotomies such as ‘authentic’ vs. ‘erroneous’ interpretations of Egyptian culture, the aim of this panel is to interpret the pre-modern Arab perception of Ancient Egypt in the light of a long-lasting cultural tradition of ‘Egyptianizing’ in the sense of doing Egyptian. Thus, Arabic treatises on Ancient Egypt’s history, civilization, and culture become unique testimonies to a remarkable continuity of traditional visions of Egypt firmly rooted in the region – including mistakes, misunderstandings and reinterpretations of well-known Egyptian motifs like hieroglyphs.
This panel pursues an interdisciplinary approach and highly welcomes contributions from scholars of disciplines such as Egyptology, Coptic, Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Studies.
The American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) 2014 Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, November 19–22, 2014
Members of the American Schools of Oriental Research are invited to present their research and new discoveries in one of four venues:
- ASOR Sessions: Present a paper in one of the ASOR Sessions, sponsored by the Program Committee to provide venues for the presentation of new research in the broad temporal, regional, and disciplinary areas represented in the ASOR membership.
- Member-Organized Sessions: Propose a new Member-Organized Session or present a paper in an existing Member-Organized Session, organized by ASOR Members who wish to explore a specific topic or theme at the Annual Meeting for a term of one to three years.
- Workshop Sessions: Propose an interactive Workshop Session organized around a tightly focused topic or theme or around an archaeological site; in these, oral presentations and/or demonstrations are kept to a minimum in favor of open discussion between workshop chairs, presenters, and members of the audience.
- Projects on Parade (the Poster Session): “Get the word out” about your research in this informal venue, designed to provide student and junior members an opportunity for greater involvement in the ASOR Annual Meeting.
The City & The Cities: From Constantinople to the Frontier, Oxford Universty Byzantine Society’s XVI International Graduate Conference, University of Oxford, February 28–March 1, 2014
The Classical Roman Empire has been described as an ‘empire of cities’, and both the reality and ideal of civic life remain central to its late-Antique and Medieval successor. Indeed, the term ‘Byzantine’ itself shows the importance placed by scholars on Constantine I’s refounding of Byzantion as the New Rome. Yet in 330 A.D. Constantinople was part of an urban landscape which included other, more ancient civic centres, whilst by 1453 A.D. little else remained but the City, itself a collection villages and the Theodosian walls the frontier. Across this Byzantine millennium Constantinople was inextricably linked to the other cities of the empire, from the Golden Horn to the ever-shifting frontiers. With the apparent seventh-century disappearance of city-life in the broad new Anatolian borderlands, the strength of the Greek mainland in the twelfth century, and the rise of post-Byzantine cities in the old western frontiers of southern Italy and Venice, the vicissitudes of urban life in the empire are undoubtedly linked to each moment of change. Constantinopolitan artistic and architectural forms are fleshed in the local materials of Ravenna in the sixth century, and in the eleventh and twelfth centuries provincially-born men, educated in the City, become the bright lights of the so-called Komnenian Renaissance. Yet how are we to understand this dialectic between the City, the cities, and the imperial frontier? Moreover, what are the methodologies and conceptual frameworks which we might use to approach these issues?
We are calling for papers which explore the myriad approaches towards these issues, in all fields of Late Antique and Byzantine studies, including history, archaeology, history of art, theology, literature, intellectual history, and philology. Possible themes might include:
- Constantinople’s Place in the Empire
- The Changing Urban Landscape
- Civic and Provincial Art
- The Bishops and the Cities
- Civic and Provincial Intellectual Life
- The Civic Ideal and Imperial Citizenship
- Garrisoning the Cities, Guarding the Frontiers
Please send an abstract of no more than 250 words, along with a short academic biography in the third person, to the Oxford University Byzantine Society by Friday, 29th November 2013. Papers should be 20 minutes in length, and may be delivered in English or French. For the first time the publication is in process of a selection of on-theme and inter-related papers from last year’s conference, having been chosen and reviewed by specialised readers from the University of Oxford’s Late Antique and Byzantine Studies department. We intend to do the same this year, and so any speakers wishing to have their papers considered for publication should try to be as on-theme as possible in their abstract and paper. Nevertheless, all submissions are warmly invited. More details will be sent to successful submissions soon after the deadline. Subject to funding, the OUBS hopes to offer subsidised accommodation for visiting speakers.
Hugoye Symposium III: Colophons in the Syriac Tradition, Alexander Library, Rutgers University, and Beth Mardutho Research Library, Piscataway, NJ, May 16–17, 2014
Scholars interested in submitting a paper proposal are asked to email a 2-page abstract outlining the main points of the paper and its main argument to Beth Mardutho. Papers on all aspects of colophons in the Syriac tradition are welcomed. The Symposium papers will be published in Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies.
Islands of the Medieval World: Stories of Isolation and Connectivity, the 31st Annual New England Medieval Studies Consortium Graduate Student Conference, Brown University, Saturday, March 15th, 2014
This year’s conference will engage with issues of isolation and connectivity, both real and imagined, from Late Antiquity through the late Middle Ages. Contributors are encouraged to interpret this theme broadly. We encourage papers from a variety of disciplines.
Potential topics may include but are not limited to:
- Culture, society, economy, religion and other aspects of life on actual islands in the Middle Ages (Crete, Cyprus, Sicily, Prince’s Islands, Aegean Islands, Britain, etc.)
- Physical and social isolation: pockets of sub-cultures, minorities
- Religious isolation: holy mountains, asceticism, monastic “islands” and desertum
- Islands of languages, such as particular dialects that emerge and are used only in specific contexts
- Reaching the isolated: medieval missionaries, travelers’ accounts
- Connectivity: social networks, trade/shipping networks and routes
- Urban islands in feudal seas: town and the countryside
- Legal isolation: laws enforced on various social groups
- Literary depictions and descriptions of isolation
- Archaeological approaches to isolation: GIS-based studies, topographical surveys
The keynote address, “Island Hopping: Trade, Ethnography, and Religion in the Indian Ocean World of Late Antiquity” will be presented by Joel Walker, the Jon Bridgman Endowed Professor of History at the University of Washington. His lecture will explore the intertwined ethnographic and mercantile traditions of the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, and Indian Ocean from the Hellenistic era into the medieval Islamic world.
Abstracts of no more than 300 words for 15-20 minute papers should be e-mailed to Alexis Jackson. In addition to the abstract, please include a Curriculum Vitae with full contact information. Deadline for submissions is Wednesday, November 20th, 2013.
Participants will be notified by December 10th.
For more information, please contact Alexis Jackson.