Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Shifting Frontiers Late Antiquity CFP

The Eighth Biennial
" Shifting Cultural Frontiers in Late Antiquity "
Indiana University
Bloomington, Indiana
April 2-5, 2009

The Society for Late Antiquity announces that the Eighth Biennial
Conference \on Shifting Frontiers in Late Antiquity will be held at
Indiana University and will explore the theme "Shifting Cultural
Frontiers in Late Antiquity" [ca. 200 - 700 AD]. The confirmed
plenary speakers will be Professors Jas Elsner (Corpus Christi, Oxford)
and Seth Schwartz (Jewish Theological Seminary).
Beneath the familiar political and religious narrative of late antiquity
lies a cultural history both more complicated and more fascinating.
Late antiquity was a time of intense cultural negotiation in which new
religious communities and new populations sifted through existing
modes of cultural expression, adopting many elements for themselves
and turning others aside. This conference seeks to understand how
cultural transformation occurred amidst the political and religious
disruption that can seem characteristic of late antiquity. To this end,
we seek contributions that explore three distinct areas of late antique
cultural history: 1) the interaction of "high" and "low" culture, 2) the
impact of changing and collapsing political centers on their peripheries,
and 3) the emergence of hybrid literary, artistic, and religious modes
of expression. Possible contributions to these areas may highlight the
permeable division between elite and vernacular culture, the ease with
which cultural memes were transmitted across geographic and linguistic
boundaries, the adaptability of established cultures to new political and
social realities, and the degree to which newcomers were integrated into
existing cultural communities.

As in the past, the conference will provide an interdisciplinary forum
for ancient historians, philologists, Orientalists, art historians,
and specialists in the early Christian, Jewish, and Muslim worlds to discuss
a wide range of European, Middle-Eastern, and African evidence for
cultural transformation in late antiquity. Proposals should be clearly
related to the conference theme. They should state both the problem
being discussed and the nature of the new 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 Prof. Edward Watts, shifting.frontiers.8@gmail.com
(Department of History, Indiana University, Ballantine Hall, Rm. 828,
1020 East Kirkwood Avenue, Bloomington, IN 47405-7103, USA).
The deadline for submission of abstracts is October 15, 2008. The submission
of an abstract carries with it a commitment to attend the conference
should the
abstract be accepted.

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