CFP Reception of Aristotle’s Topics in medieval Islamic, Jewish and Christian traditions

The XXVIth annual SIEPM colloquium will take place on 4-6 April 2022 at Bar Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel. The subject of the colloquium is: Dialectic in the Middle Ages: Between Debate and the Foundation of Science. Dialectic played a central role in medieval Islamic, Jewish, and Christian intellectual cultures as both a tool for knowledge making and an object of study in its own right. Medieval intellectual cultures saw dialectic, often associated with Aristotle’s Topica, as crucial for describing and defining philosophy and science, as well as characterizing and inculcating religious beliefs. Debates and discussions, which played a large role in medieval education systems in all three traditions, were also frequently associated with Aristotle’s Topica. Indeed, Aristotle’s chief text on dialectic was associated with teaching the masses religious ideas, constructing arguments for various forms of debate, imparting religious, scientific, and philosophical concepts to the intellectual elite, and discovering the grounds of scientific arguments and their basic premises. At the same time, the text enabled a study of the methods themselves, viz. a study of arguments based on opinions, generally accepted premises (as opposed to demonstrations), induction, and the groundwork of debate itself. The forms of disputations and debate that we encounter in medieval Islamic, Jewish, and Christian intellectual cultures varied among intellectual and religious climates and so did the historical understanding of dialectic.
In the frame of this conference, we would like to explore the various intellectual endeavors associated with dialectic, particularly with Aristotle’s Topica, among different cultures, with a view to how this concept changed and developed through time, place, intellectual context, and religion. The colloquium will be held in-person with roughly 20-25 lectures, each forty minutes in length with a subsequent discussion period of twenty minutes. To submit a lecture proposal for the colloquium, kindly send a title with an abstract of no more than 300 words and your c.v. by December 20, 2021 to the Colloquium Organizer Yehuda Halper at:
Academic Board: Nadja Germann (Islamic thought), Steven Harvey (Jewish thought), Katja Krause (Christian thought), Charles Manekin (Jewish thought), Tim Noone (Christian thought).
Stipends: A limited number of travel stipends will be awarded through the Israel Science Foundation. Scholars under the age of 35 or from select countries may also apply for Brepols-SIEPM stipends (

Consuming the Middle Ages: 2022 Medieval Studies Student Colloquium

The Medieval Studies Program at Cornell University is pleased to announce its thirty-second annual graduate student colloquium (MSSC), which will focus on the theme of ‘Consuming the Middle Ages’. The conference will take place on the 23rd of April, to be held virtually over Zoom. The colloquium will be preceded by a small lecture series.

We invite 20-minute papers that investigate consuming the Middle Ages as defined within a range of different disciplines and perspectives. Consuming can denote both physical consumption as well as the act of consuming and making sense of the medieval past through scholarly productions, creative media, and cultural phenomena and practices. How were medieval feasts organized and what socio-cultural function did food and the act of consuming it serve? What are possible connections between the life cycle stages of consumed goods (e.g., from cultivation to processing, to consuming, to disposal, etc.) and climate, migration, economics, etc.? What material and immaterial substances were subject to consumption and what religious or cultural roles did they play? How do postmedieval writers and thinkers configure the medieval? What are the ramifications of consuming the past and is this the nature of periodization? How are the traces, artifacts, or influences from the medieval past consumed by later or contemporary individuals, communities, and cultures? Papers may respond to (but are not limited to) one of these questions.

Preference will be given to papers from underrepresented backgrounds and disciplines. We strongly encourage submissions that expand these themes and categories of inquiry beyond Christian, Western European contexts. We invite submissions in all disciplines allied to Medieval Studies, including Asian Studies, Africana Studies, Critical Race Studies, Indigenous Studies, Near Eastern Studies, literature, history, the history of art, archaeology, philosophy, classics, theology, and others. Abstracts on all topics will be considered, though priority will be given to those which address our thematic strand.

Please send abstracts by January 30, 2022, to Sarah LaVoy at

Byzantium at Early Modern Courts. Reception, Confrontation and Projects

Date: November 10 -12 , 2022
Location: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Organised by: Jan Kusber, Klaus Pietschmann, Matthias Schnettger, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Sponsored by: Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Byzantium between Orient and Occident
Compact Summary:
This conference aims at examining the different dimensions of the presence of Byzantium at early modern courts. It will therefore cover, amongst other topics, the treatment of artefacts of Byzantine provenience, the reception of Byzantium in the representation of power, and the knowledge of Byzantium which was available at court. This conference also seeks to examine the competition for the Byzantine heritage and to what degree attempts were made to revive this heritage and make use of it.
Extended Summary:
“Byzantium at Early Modern Courts. Reception, Confrontation and Projects”
Byzantium was present at early modern courts in different ways. Not only the classical Roman period, but also the late antiquity and early Byzantine period, i.e. the era of Christian emperors, offered multiple points of reference for the representation of early modern rulership. Women such as the saint Empress Helena offered points of reference to princesses, as can be seen in the foundation of the order of the Starry Cross by the then Dowager-Empress Eleonora Gonzaga-Nevers in 1668. Byzantine themes were also present at courts in the fine arts as well as the court opera.
An entirely different area of engagement with the Byzantine heritage was the confrontation with the Ottoman Empire, which saw itself as a successor to the Byzantine Empire. The sultans not only resided in the capital of Constantinople since 1453, they also laid claim to the imperial office, which they, in turn, denied the Habsburgs until the 17th century. From the second half of the 17th century onwards the military balance of power shifted significantly. The Ottoman Empire was now in a more defensive position and at times the renewal of the Byzantine Empire was envisaged, like with the “Greek project” of Catharine II of Russia in the 1780s.
Without question, the Orthodox Church stood in the Byzantine tradition. Early modern rulers also found opportunities and necessities to confront and discuss the Byzantine heritage on this level. The most obvious examples are the Muscovite Tsars and their claim to a Third Rome based on the translatio imperii from a Second to a Third Rome, but also Western European powers ruling over an Orthodox population did this, such as, since the 13th century the Republic of Venice and, especially since the 1680s, the Habsburg Empire. The Patriarch of Constantinople’s claim to be an “Ecumenical patriarch” posed a bothersome limitation to the papal primacy of the Roman Curia, while Protestant rulers and their theologians might have perceived the patriarch as a potential ally against Rome.
This conference aims to examine these and other dimensions of engagement of early modern courts with Byzantium and its heritage up to the 18th century.
Possible fields of research might include:
– The various forms (fine arts, opera, literature etc.) of representation of rulership and propaganda
– Knowledge of Byzantium
– Influence of Byzantium/reception on politics
This call for papers invites established as well as young researchers working on the topics discussed above to submit their contributions. The conference will be held in German and English. Travel and accommodation expenses will be covered by the Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus: Byzantium between Orient and Occident.
We invite you to send a proposal for a possible contribution in the form of a one-page abstract and a short biography to Deadline is January 10 , 2022. A publication of the conference contributions is planned.

Editing the Greek Psalter, Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities and Zoom, December 1–3, 2021

“Editing the Greek Psalter” signals the launch of the Editio critica maior des griechischen Psalters project at the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities. The aim of the project is to explore the tradition and textual history of the Greek Psalter, and to prepare a new critical edition of the Septuagint Psalms and Odes for the Göttingen series, which will substitute the outdated edition by Alfred Rahlfs (1931). At the end, the critically reconstructed text will appear in a hybrid edition, printed as a book and presented online.

Cappadocia Through Time: from Byzantium to the Ottoman Empire (4-5 Dec 2021)

Cappadocia Through Time: from Byzantium to the Ottoman Empire (4-5 Dec 2021)
Zoom link/Σύνδεσμος zoom:
Saturday 4 December
16.45 Welcome
16.50 PAGONA PAPADOPOULOU (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece) Cappadocia Through Time: An Introduction
17.00 ROBERT OUSTERHOUT (University of Pennsylvania, USA) Imagining a Cappadocian Future
17.30 ANASTASIOS ΤANTSIS (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece) Architectural Planning in the Built and Rock-cut Churches of Cappadocia: Construction and De-construction
17.50 Break
18.10 ANDREA DE PASCALE, ANDREA BIXIO, ROBERTO BIXIO (Centro Studi Sotterranei, Genoa, Italy) Hypogeal Works of Defence Among the Rock-cut Churches of Göreme
18.30 ANDREA DE PASCALE, ANDREA BIXIO, ROBERTO BIXIO (Centro Studi Sotterranei, Genoa, Italy) Updated Report on Hydric Facilities in the Rocky Cappadocia
18.50 SOPHIA GERMANIDOU (Newcastle University, UK)
Covering Subsistence Needs in Byzantine Cappadocia: Comments on Its Agro-pastoral Products
19.10 Discussion
Sunday 5 December
17.00 SCOTT REDFORD (SOAS, University of London, UK) The Human Geography of Medieval Cappadocia
17.30 OYA PANCAROĞLU (Boğaziçi University, Turkey) New Institutions for Ancient Topographies: Danishmendid Architectural Ventures in Twelfth-Century Caesarea/Kayseri
17.50 SUZAN YALMAN (Koç University, Turkey) Of Saints and Fairies: A Seljuk Queen Mother’s Patronage in Cappadocia
18.10 PASCHALIS ANDROUDIS (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece) In Search of Greek and Greek Origin Patrons, Painters and Craftsmen in Thirteenth-Century Seljuk Cappadocia
18.30 SARA NUR YILDIZ (Università degli studi, Firenze, Italy) Mongol Qishlaqs on the Cappadocian Steppe
18.50 Discussion

54th Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies

The 54th Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies: Material Religion in Byzantium and Beyond – 18-20 March 2022, Corpus Christus College & All Souls College, Oxford (deadline 10th December)
The 54th Annual Spring Symposium in Byzantine Studies will be held in Oxford on the theme of Material Religion in Byzantium and Beyond. The Symposium brings together Byzantine studies with a series of innovative approaches to the material nature and realities of religion – foregrounding the methodological, historical and archaeological problems of studying religion through visual and material culture. Taking a broad geographical and chronological view of the Byzantine world, the Symposium will range across Afro-Eurasia and from Antiquity to the period after the fall of Constantinople. Panels will be arranged around the themes of ‘Objects in motion’, ‘Religion in 3D’, ‘Religious landscapes’, ‘Things without context’, ‘Things and their context’ and ‘Spatial approaches to religion’.
In addition to the customary panel papers, an inaugural lecture and a closing lecture for a wider public, we now invite Communications of 10 minutes in duration on current research in fields linked to the theme of the Symposium. Please send your abstract (of not more than 300 words) to Ine Jacobs ( by 10 December 2021.

Call for Papers, Historiography and Life Writing in the Late Antique World

Historiography and Life Writing in the Late Antique World
Call for Papers
Proposals for papers are sought for a hybrid conference (participation possible both in person and online) on June 16th–17th 2022 exploring the writing of historiography in context of the developments in biographical literature during late antiquity.
The relationship between historiography and biography in antiquity has always been an uneasy one. Despite their mutual interest in strong characters, the writing of history and the writing of lives were regarded by ancient authors as two distinct genres. This separation proved influential too among modern scholars, but there have long existed voices suggesting that the boundaries between the two were much more blurred in practice (Momigliano 1971; Geiger 1985; Kraus 2010). Such considerations are particularly important for the later period because of the dynamic literary transformations it catalysed. The changing literary landscape from the fourth century on, in East and West, was shaped not only by the rise of new genres but also by the shift, redefinition, and even breakdown of established generic boundaries (Greatrex/Elton 2015).
Recent scholarship has shown the fruitful interrelationships with contemporary literature of both later historiography (Blaudeau/van Nuffelen 2015; van Nuffelen 2019; Conterno/Mazzola 2020) and biography (Urbano 2013, Hägg/Rousseau 2000). But the link between the two remains largely unexplored. With the emergence of new biographical sub-genres – like hagiography or heresiology – and the blossoming of old ones – such as panegyric or philosophical biography – historians could draw on a hitherto unmatched spectrum of different models when incorporating the lives and deeds of individual characters into their historical narratives. This conference aims to investigate how historians adjusted to this increasing diversity of life-writing and what impact this development had on the evolution of historiography.
We invite scholars of varied specialisms and disciplinary backgrounds interested in the history and literature of the late antique world to submit 500-word abstracts for 30-minute papers. Papers might treat, for example:
  • the factors that influenced historians’ choice of a particular model of biographical presentation over another;
  • the incorporation and adaptation of biographical source material (including translations) into historiography;
  • how historians played with their readers’ expectations by both alluding to and breaking the generic conventions of different types of biographical literature;
  • the differences in the presentation of lives across the historiographical traditions of alternative writing cultures, like Syriac or Coptic;
  • how imagined audiences determined the stylistic and compositional choices of historians narrating the life of a historical character.
We are happy to announce Peter van Nuffelen (Ghent University) and Anne Alwis (University of Kent) as confirmed keynote speakers of the conference.
Applications from all scholars, including postgraduate students, are welcome. Abstracts of 500 words should be sent to by 5.00pm on 14th January 2022.

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