Saturday, October 8, 2011


Apologies for Cross Posting BYZANTIUM, ITS NEIGHBOURS AND ITS CULTURES: DIVERSITY AND INTERACTION AUSTRALIAN ASSOCIATION FOR BYZANTINE STUDIES XVIITH BIENNIAL CONFERENCE 20-22 July 2012, Macquarie University, New South Wales, Australia Our understanding of Byzantium's external and internal interactions has shifted significantly as a result of recent scholarship. The significance of this state to a millennium of developments throughout Eurasia has been examined; more importantly, the nature of contacts between Byzantium and its Eurasian neighbours has been reconceived. Models for understanding Byzantium's interactions with its neighbours have moved from imperial centre and periphery, to 'commonwealth', to 'overlapping circles', to parallel and mutual developments in political and cultural identity. The Byzantine millennium now seems more connected, by commerce, diplomacy and common cultural heritage, than before. Artefacts and ideologies were acquired, appropriated or mediated amongst Byzantium and its neighbours in the Latin West, southeastern and central Europe, Iran and Dar al-Islam; even prolonged conflict did not preclude exchanges and indeed sometimes sprang from shared developments. At the same time, what we think of as the distinctively Byzantine milieu of Constantinople also interacted with regional cultures that at various times formed part of its empire. Coptic and Syriac cultures in Late Antiquity, Latin and Arabic regions in later periods, displayed both ambivalence and engagement with the culture of Constantinople and with its imperial and ecclesiastical leaders. As with Byzantium's external connections, 'centre and periphery' models of internal interactions are giving way to more dynamic models seeing metropolis and regions as parts of broader, common developments. The conference aims to explore these developments. Keynote Speaker: Professor Jonathan Shepard, University of Cambridge, former Lecturer in History at the University of Cambridge, Fellow of Selwyn College and of Peterhouse; his major publications include inter alia: Jonathan Shepard and Simon Franklin, 'The Emergence of Rus, 750-1200' (1996), Jonathan Shepard and Simon Franklin (eds), 'Byzantine Diplomacy' (1992), Jonathan Shepard, 'Byzantium's Overlapping Circles', Proceedings of the 21st International Congress of Byzantine Studies (2006), Jonathan Shepard (ed.), 'The Expansion of Orthodox Europe: Byzantium, the Balkans and Russia' (2007), Jonathan Shepard (ed.), 'The Cambridge History of the Byzantine Empire c. 500-1492' (2008). The Biennial General Meeting of the Association will be held during the conference. CALL FOR PAPERS Papers exploring any aspect of cultural and political interactions between Byzantium and its neighbours, or within regions of the Byzantine empire, are invited. Abstracts of up to 300 words for papers of 20 minutes' duration should be sent by 31 March to Postgraduate and Post-doctoral Conference Bursaries The AABS committee will give a limited number of bursaries of $500 each to postgraduate and postdoctoral members of AABS from outside Sydney who wish to present a paper. Please send an application letter with details of your circumstances along with your abstract to Conference Organisers Andrew Gillett Danijel Dzino Ken Parry Email: This conference is sponsored by the Macquarie University Ancient Cultures Research Centre. _

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