lunes, 17 de noviembre de 2014

Late antique hagiography as literature (Colloquium at the University of Edinburgh, 20th-21st May 2015) Call for papers

Texts about ‘holy’ women and men grew to be a defining feature of the culture of Late Antiquity. There is currently an increasing interest among scholars from different disciplines (history, theology, languages, and literature) in these hagiographical writings. But more can be done to find ways to systematise our understanding of the literary affiliations, strategies and goals of these extraordinarily varied texts, which range from the prosaic and anonymous narrations of the martyr passions to the Classicising poems of Paulinus of Nola and the rhetorically accomplished sermons of John Chrysostom.

This colloquium is designed to bring together students and scholars working on a range of aspects of literary hagiography, to share insights, and to consider approaches for the future. We hope to situate late antique biographical production in relation to Classical literary sensibilities, as well as considering non-classical influences, and thus to identify areas of continuity and gradual development as well as areas of abrupt change in the form and function of such literature. While our emphasis is deliberately literary, historical and theological questions which feed into the significance of these works should not be ignored.

We understand ‘hagiography’ in the non-technical sense of ‘writings about (the lives of) saints’. The concept of ‘saints’, likewise, is here taken in a broad way to mean remarkable and exemplary Christian figures (whether real or fictional); the field is not restricted to those who at some point were officially canonised by the Church. This colloquium is seeking to explore issues like the following:

* The definition of sainthood, e.g. through comparisons with texts about non-Christian saint-like figures (the ‘pagan martyrs’, Apollonius of Tyana).
* The portrayal of a saint in different texts; how are saints portrayed in their own writings compared to those of other authors about them?
* Characterisation, e.g. individuality and stereotyping: to what extent can a reader empathise or identify with a saint?
* Life imitating hagiography and resulting problems.
* What can hagiography tell us about non-elite ‘popular’ literary culture?
* How have different genres given shape to hagiographical texts (from Damasus’ epigrams to the epic poems of Fortunatus and Paulinus of Périgeux), as well as texts resisting generic categorisation? E.g. is the so called Life of Malchus a vita or a diegesis?
* Intertextuality as an aesthetic and ideological strategy.
* The emergence of stable hagiographical conventions, whose influence grew so powerful that it is often difficult to distinguish one saint from another.
* What, if anything, can hagiography learn from panegyric?
* Literary approaches to un-saintly behaviour (trickery, committing suicide, etc.) of saints.
* To what extent does a text’s rhetorical purpose undermine the author’s credibility as an honest record-keeper?
* Assessing the historicity of hagiographical texts.
* Transmission and textual problems of hagiographical texts.
* Reception and changes in the perception of authority (e.g. saints who wrote about saints, such as John Chrysostom and Augustine).

Proposals for 25-minute papers, in the form of abstracts between 200 and 400 words in length, should be submitted to Thomas Tsartsidis ( or Christa Gray ( by 15th January 2015.

Postgraduate students are particularly encouraged to contribute to this event.

martes, 11 de noviembre de 2014

Epigraphy on Ceramics (Gante, 17-18 de diciembre de 2015): Call for Papers

Ghent University, in cooperation with the Université libre de Bruxelles, plans to organise on the 17th and 18th December 2015 a conference on the specific problems of Epigraphy on Ceramics. The aim of this conference is to prepare a synthetic volume on this topic of research. The contributions should provide a first basis for a collective analysis of this particular type of inscriptions. The acts of the conference will thereafter be structured as a single and detailed companion to Epigraphy on Ceramics.

In all periods from the Bronze Age to the Late Antiquity, throughout the Mediterranean Basin, ceramics were frequently used as a material support for inscriptions. Precise genres of texts used to be written on ceramics, painted or engraved either before or after firing, as for example economic or more widely speaking administrative data, religious dedications, marks of property. These so-called minor genres are well documented, but, partly because the corresponding texts are short and often difficult to read, the inscriptions of ceramics have not been as thoroughly studied in past research as other epigraphic genres, especially monumental inscriptions.

At least five kinds of approaches should be followed in the analysis of inscriptions on ceramics. First of all, the texts whose content can be broadly classified as administrative provide important data for the history of ancient economies. Furthermore, as many of these texts were written on the behalf or within the frame of ancient armies, they are also a major source for military history with all its components, from the study of Rangordnung to the analysis of the movements and strategies of ancient states. A third approach takes into account the inscriptions found in sanctuaries, mainly religious dedications, as a source for the history of religion. Two other genres, marks of property and gift dedications, allows for significant conclusions on the social structures and relationships in various societies. Last of all, independently from the epigraphic genre of the texts, inscriptions on ceramics are also an important source for the linguistic and sociolinguistic study of ancient societies.

The conference and the subsequent volume should include synthetic reports on the main aspects of these topics of research in the geographical and chronological frame of the Mediterranean Basin in antiquity. Keynote speakers will read general introductions to each of these five issues. Scholars who should be interested in any of these five paths of research are kindly invited to submit an abstract for a synthetic talk, taking into account either a wide geographical area or a particularly relevant period or a significant transversal feature shared by all or by many of the inscriptions in question. As the conference is organised as a preliminary step to the publication of a collective synthesis, the participants should send a first version of their paper to the organisers before the conference itself; this preliminary text should circulate among the participants, in order to develop further discussion, before the participants provide a definitive version of the chapter they have undertaken to write.

Gent, the 6th November 2014
Wim Broekaert (UGent), Alain Delattre (ULB), and Emmanuel Dupraz (ULB)


Submitting of the abstracts: 31th January 2015
Selection of the abstracts: 31th March 2015
Submission of a preliminary text (to be circulated): 30th November 2015

Conference: 17th and 18th December 2015

Definitive version of the papers: before the 31th January 2016

lunes, 3 de noviembre de 2014

Early Medieval Archaeology Student Symposium, Oxford 23rd - 25th April 2015: Call for Papers

The University of Oxford is delighted to announce the first Call for Papers for the ninth Early Medieval Archaeology Student Symposium, EMASS 2015. Please find the details attached.

EMASS 2015
23rd - 25th April 2015
The Ioannou Centre for Classics and Byzantine Studies
University of Oxford

EMASS is an interactive forum run for, and by, graduate research students. Our focus is the archaeology of the Early Medieval period, roughly the period between the 4th-12th centuries AD in Europe and further afield. This period, often overlooked by traditional archaeological periodisation, is a fascinating and exciting subject for research.

The annual EMASS conference has become a major event at which new and interdisciplinary research is presented in a constructive and encouraging atmosphere. EMASS brings together graduate research students, post-doctoral researchers, independent researchers, and academics from the UK, Europe, and beyond to the benefit of study of the Early Medieval period.

EMASS has always been an inclusive institution and we encourage papers from a range of disciplines, community-led projects, museum based studies, and commercial ventures.

Please note the deadline for abstract submissions is Friday 27th February 2015.
EMASS 2015 is calling for:
    • Individual Papers: 20 minutes long and followed by a 10 minute discussion
    • Sessions: We welcome session proposals for 2 or 3 papers linked by a common theme.
    • Posters: A1 or A2 in size.
Symposium registration will open on Monday 2nd March and close on Wednesday 1st April; the symposium fee is £ tbc. Details to follow.

For further information, email us at or visit our Facebook Page for updates, including the link to our new website (currently under construction).

We look forward to welcoming you to EMASS 2015

The Organising Committee, EMASS 2015:

Abigail Tompkins, Andreas Duering, Sarah Mallet, and Victoria Sainsbury (St Cross College, University of Oxford).