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.”
The conference will take place at The University of Notre Dame March 12–25, 2015.
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.
The conference will take place at the Univeristy of Cyprus October 16–18, 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 American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting will be held in San Diego, CA, November 22–25, 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. The conference will take place in Nicosia in 12-14 December 2014. 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 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
May 16–17, 2014
Alexander Library, Rutgers University, and Beth Mardutho Research Library, Piscataway, NJ
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.
Writing Semitic: Scripts, Documents, Languages in Historical Context: The Sixth International Society for Arabic Papyrology (ISAP) Conference
Munich, October 7th–10th, 2014
During the last years, Arabic papyrology has started to contribute significantly to Arabic and Islamic studies: we now dispose of a number high standard editions of documents; scholars working on the Islamic World up to the 16th century counterbalance literary tradition with documentary evidence; and cooperation with Demotic, Greek, and Coptic papyrology has steadily improved.
The thematic framework of the "Sixth International Society for Arabic Papyrology (ISAP) Conference" in 2014 will be somewhat wider. We intend to bring together scholars using documentary evidence for the history of the Early Islamic world (including Arabic, Coptic, and Greek papyri, inscriptions and coins) with scholars working on Semitic languages and writing systems in general. About one third of the contributions will be devoted to this wider perspective.
The Sixth ISAP Conference will be hosted by the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities and be organized by the Academy's Committee of Semitic Philology, ISAP, and the Munich Institute of Near and Middle Eastern Studies. The conference will start on the morning of Tuesday, October 7, 2014, and continue through the afternoon of Friday, October 10, 2014. The programme will include 20-minute lectures, evening lectures, and a poster exhibition of current PhD projects, as well as a visit of the Bavarian State Library with its holdings in Oriental manuscripts (and Sabaic wood sticks). Optional visits will include the newly reopened Egyptian Museum and the State Museum for Ethnology. Conference languages will be English, German, French and Arabic. However, all lectures will be given in English.
Giving a lecture and/or presenting a poster
Please send a 400-word abstract to Dr. Kathrin Müller no later then end of December, 2013. Notification regarding the acceptance of proposals will be made by end of March, 2014.
Participation with no lecture
Please send a notice of intent to participate to Dr. Kathrin Müller no later then end of August, 2014. There will be no conference fee charged. Yet, participants will be asked, on spot, to be or become members of ISAP. Information on membership can be found on the ISAP website.
It is hoped that the Conference will be able to offer a few awards for scholars not able to get institutional subventions for travel to Munich. Please let us know as soon as possible whether you will be in need for such sponsoring.
If you have any further questions about the Conference, please contact Dr. Kathrin Müller, Professor Andreas Kaplony, or Dr. Daniel Potthast.
In 2016, the journal Mediterranean Studies will publish a special volume entitled Mediterranean Voyages.
The Mediterranean, as Fernand Braudel taught us to see it, is a world in itself, a single great body of water connecting mountains, deserts, valleys and plains to one another. To speak of the Mediterranean, then, is to refer simultaneously to geology, geography, history, art, architecture, languages, literature, technology, sociology and anthropology, all within a space that has been transformed into a concept by the human experience of it. That experience is synonymous with the voyage, for our knowledge of the Mediterranean has emerged from the movement of people through its lands and across its waters. As they move, Mediterranean voyagers leave fragments of themselves, of their material cultures, of their ideas, as records of their travels, their points of departure, their various courses, their many purposes, their possible meanings. These fragments, too, move ceaselessly through and beyond the Mediterranean, making it into a culture of migration and mobility, even as whole populations within it remain sendentary.
The purpose of this special issue of Mediterranean Studies is to generate a discussion of the Mediterranean voyage as a way of eludicating the field of Mediterranean Studies today.
The deadline for articles of 15 to 25 pages in English is January 1, 2014. Submissions will be peer-reviewed by an interdisciplinary panel of scholars using a double blind process. Final drafts of accepted articles are due on June 30, 2015.
The FIRB research project Beyond the Holy War is inviting scholars to submit papers for a three-session international workshop titled "Christian-Islamic Interactions: Mobility, Connection, Transformation (1450-1800)", which will take place at the Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa (Italy), on 10-11 February 2014.
The workshop is devoted to the topic of interactions. In particular, our aim is to shed further light on Christian-Islamic relationship in the early modern world, in order to better understand how, in a situation of contained conflict, Christians and Muslims crossed political and religious borders, experiencing social contacts, cultural exchanges, and transformations. We are also concerned with the role of other religious groups (Jews, Hindus, Eastern Christians) as brokers and go-betweens. The workshop encourages a global comparative approach, linking the Mediterranean area, sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Proposals from Ph.D. and post-doc students are particularly welcome. The languages of the workshop are English, Italian and Spanish.
The Research Centre for the Humanities of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Department of Turkish Studies, Oriental Institute, Eötvös Loránd University announce the 21st conference of the Comité international des études pré-ottomanes et ottomanes (CIEPO). The conference will take place in Budapest, October 7–11, 2014.
The organizers encourage thematic panels (generally 4 15-minute papers), but proposals for individual papers may also be submitted. The languages of the conference are English, French, German, and Turkish. The conference does not have a specific theme, but the organizers encourage panels and individual papers which fall under the following main topics
- Political, ethnic and religious transformation in Anatolia from the 11th to the 13th century
- Ottoman military history: strategies, logistics and conduct of war
- Ethnic and cultural acculturation in the Ottoman Empire
- Conversion and confessionalism in the Ottoman Empire
- Autonomies in the Ottoman Empire
- The historical relationship between the Ottoman Empire and Europe
- Central and provincial elites in the Ottoman Empire
- Nomads and semi-nomads within the Ottoman economic and administrative system
- Literature, art, architecture and science in the service of constructing Ottoman identity
In 2017, the journal Intellectual History of the Islamicate World will publish a special volume on medicine edited by Leigh Chipman (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Peter E. Pormann (The University of Manchester), and Miri Shefer-Mossensohn (Tel Aviv University).
Medicine in the medieval and early modern Middle East was an arena of multi-faith activity, as the pagan authorities of late antiquity were transformed in the writings and actions of a variety of practitioners and theoreticians. We reject the 'classical' Orientalist view of Islamic medicine as mere Arabization of Hellenistic works. We seek here to show how Christians, Jews, Muslims and others, writing in many different languages such as Syriac, Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, and Turkic recast medicine on the basis of earlier books, not necessarily Greek ones, through translations, commentaries, epitomes and other forms of re-writing. While there is place for textual studies of ninth- and tenth-century translations in this volume, the emphasis will be on the so-called 'post classical' period, after Ibn Sina (Avicenna, d. 1037), and up to the massive irruption of the European tradition in the late eighteenth century. Aiming to contribute not only new knowledge in the field, but also fresh and up-to-date methodology, we are particularly interested in contributions studying the following topics
- the role of epitomes and commentaries on Galen and other Greek authors, as well as of commentaries and super-commentaries on the *Canon of Medicine* (*Qanun fi al-Tibb*) and other canonical works in the development of medical theory and practice
- the under-researched Persian and Ottoman-Turkish medical traditions
- the connections - intellectual and social - between medicine and other fields of knowledge, such as philosophy and law, taking into consideration the polymathic interests of many authors living in the Muslim world
- the role of institutions in the shaping of the medical traditions
- the role of non-human agents
Those interested in contributing to the volume should contact editors as soon as possible. Article submissions due June 1, 2015.