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.

Ewa Wipszycka’s Warsaw Late Antique Seminar on Thursday, 2 December (4.45 Warsaw time): Adam Łajtar (UW): A new piece of evidence in an old question: A Greek inscription from Tafah and the Christianisation of Nobadia

On Thursday, 2 November (4.45 Warsaw time), at Ewa Wipszycka’s Warsaw Late Antique Seminar, Adam Łajtar (UW) will present a paper A new piece of evidence in an old question: A Greek inscription from Tafah and the Christianisation of Nobadia. We are meeting in-person at the Library of Papirology and Roman Law (UW main campus) but Zoom participation will also be possible at the this link:
The subject of my presentation will be a Greek inscription painted on a wall of the church arranged in the so-called south temple at Tafa (Lower Nubia). Until quite recently, the text was known only through an imperfect facsimile made in 1819 by Franz Christian Gau, a French architect of German origin. Gertrud van Loon managed to identify among papers of an English aristocrat William John Bankes a much better facsimile of the inscription in question, made towards the end of 1818. Thanks to this facsimile, it is possible to establish that the inscription came into being on the occasion of the consecration of the church after its renovation. Retrospectively, the text mentions two further events: the original consecration of the church and the introduction of the Christianity to Nobadia, and gives the name of the then reigning king. Thus, it contributes considerably to a much debated question of the Evangelisation of Nubia.
Forthcoming papers
9.12: Jakub Łojszczyk (UW) Fragments regarding the alliance with ‘Turks’ as an example of ethnographic categories and Kaiserkritik in the History of Menander the Guardsman
16.12: Przemysław Nehring (Uniwersytet Mikołaja Kopernika), Praktyka i teoria epistolograficzna w listach Augustyna
13.01: Adam Ziółkowski (UW), A case of collective amnesia? Why did the Western Romans of the 4th century know so little about the 3rd century crisis of the Empire?
The full programme can be found at the seminar’s website:

Plekos – New Mailing List

Plekos is an online review journal, established in 1998/1999, which publishes reviews of new publications in the following fields: Classical Philology, Ancient History, Byzantine Studies, Patristics and Church History, as well as Roman, Late Antique, and Byzantine Art History, Archaeology, Philosophy, Epigraphy, and Numismatics.

The most recent as well as over 700 previous reviews can be found at

The journal is currently published and edited by Balbina Bäbler (Göttingen), Konstantin Klein (Bamberg), Ulrich Lambrecht (Koblenz), and Peter Riedlberger (Bamberg).

The editors would like to embrace the opportunity to alert you that from now on, there will is an additional mailing list for those who wish to receive the c. 50–60 reviews per year via e-mail. To remain up to date, please subscribe at the following link:

Byzantium in Mainz & Frankfurt lecture series – “Religious Conflict and Mobility, 700-900: Byzantium and the Greater Mediterranean in a New Project”

Byzantium in Mainz & Frankfurt lecture series
“Religious Conflict and Mobility, 700-900: Byzantium and the Greater Mediterranean in a New Project”
Dr. Federico Montinaro (Tübingen) und Joe Glynias (Dumbarton Oaks/Princeton)
30 November 2021, 6:15 p.m.
This talk was originally scheduled to take place in person, but will now be on Zoom; those interested in attending should register at The original description of the talk can be found in the attached brochure.

42nd Canadian Conference of Medieval Art Historians

The 42nd Canadian Conference of Medieval Art Historians will be co-hosted by University of Toronto Mississauga’s Department of Visual Studies and the Art Gallery of Ontario on March 25-26, 2022. We are planning to meet in person. Papers are invited on any topic relating to the art, architecture, and visual/material culture of the Middle Ages or its post-medieval revivals. Papers in English or French. Please submit a short abstract (250 words) and one-page c.v. to by December 17, 2021. Scholars at every stage of their careers are encouraged to submit proposals.

Passages from Antiquity to the Middle Ages VIII: Experiencing Space

Passages from Antiquity to the Middle Ages VIII

Experiencing Space

Tampere, August 17-19, 2022

The focus of the Passages conference series lies on society and the history of everyday life. This time we are concentrating on the social construction and experiences of space, aiming to understand how it affected social frameworks, built communities and shaped individual lives. The “Spatial Turn” has directed scholars’ interest towards the interconnection between communities, individuals and space, but larger comparisons between eras and cultures are still mainly missing. We aim to approach space as an analytical tool, “experience” offering a novel conceptual method for the study in this field.

We are interested in everyday interactions within and between communities, groups and individuals and their relations with the environment. How did people negotiate the borders between built and “wild” environments, urban and rural space, the public and the private, the secular and the sacred? How were ideas, ideologies and identities reflected in the built environment and how were they shaped by space and perceptions of it? How did bodily practices and emotions create spaces, and how did space shape rituals and produce emotions? What was the role of sensory perceptions when living in and moving through space? How was space imagined and how did spaces, landscapes, buildings and monuments occupy a place in the private and public imagination? How were space and memories/narrations interconnected: how were spatial experiences inscribed in the preserved sources? In which ways did the political and legal, but equally religious spheres play a role in the formation of social spaces? We invite papers that focus on social topography, the lived experience of space, the normative and legal construction of space, the sensory perceptions of spatiality, and participation in constructing and regulating spaces.

We aim at a broad coverage not only chronologically but also geographically and disciplinarily (all branches of Classical, Byzantine and Medieval Studies). Most preferable are those contributions that have a comparative and/or interdisciplinary viewpoint or focusing on a longue durée perspective. We particularly welcome papers, which have a sensitive approach to social differences: gender, status, health, and ethnicity.


If interested, please submit an abstract of 300-400 words (setting out thesis and conclusions) and a short biography (50-100 words) for a twenty-minute paper together with your contact details (with academic affiliation, address and e-mail) via The deadline for abstracts is January 31, 2022 and the notification of paper acceptance will be made in March 2022. Conference papers may be presented in major scientific languages, together with an English summary or translation, if the language of the presentation is not English. The sessions are formed on thematic coherence of the papers and on comparison between Antiquity and the Middle Ages, thus session proposals focusing on one period only will not be accepted. If the Covid-19 situation so requires, the conference has the option of participation via Zoom.

The registration fee is 130 € (post-graduate students: 60 €), online participation for presenters 50 €. For further information, please contact conference secretary The registration opens in April 2022.

The conference is organized by Trivium – Tampere Centre for Classical, Medieval, and Early Modern Studies (Faculty of Social Sciences/Tampere University) in collaboration with the ERC project Law, Governance and Space: Questioning the Foundations of the Republican Tradition (, University of Helsinki). This conference has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 771874).

Research Assistant, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters, Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Research Assistant position has been funded by the Giorgi Family Foundation to assist Andrea Myers Achi, Assistant Curator in The Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters with work related to the Museum’s Early Christian and Byzantine Collections. The primary project through 2024 will be the completion of the organization, installation and deinstallation of the exhibition “Africa and Byzantium” (working title) that opens October 30, 2023. The show will explore translations of Byzantine art and culture by local and foreign artists working in Africa from the fourth through fifteenth centuries and beyond. Additionally, the Research Assistant will be involved with the continuing development of the organization of the Museum’s Byzantine Egyptian collections; and assisting with the maintenance of the Early Christian and Byzantine portions of the Medieval Department’s permanent galleries. All of this is done in collaboration with C. Griffith Mann, Michel David -Weill Curator in Charge of the Department and other curators as relevant.

Dumbarton Oaks Byzantine Greek Summer School Announcement

2022 Byzantine Greek Summer School
July 5–29, 2022 | Directed by Alexandros Alexakis and Stratis Papaioannou
Designed to improve knowledge of Greek among Byzantinists and others interested in the world of Byzantium (especially since related courses are only taught in a very small minority of universities around the world), Dumbarton Oaks is hosting an intensive four-week Byzantine Greek Summer School program from July 5 to July 29, 2022. We will be welcoming 10 graduate students from schools across the globe.

Extended Early Registration & Request for Special Event Registration

Via Elizabeth S. Bolman, BSC Local Arrangements Chair

Greetings, Colleagues!
I am looking forward to seeing many of you in Cleveland soon.
I am extending the deadline for early registration to midnight on Monday, Nov. 29.
While this conference is free for graduate students and contingent scholars, it is going to be expensive! Therefore, donations are gratefully received. Please choose the Dept. of Art History and Art in the drop down menu. Thanks very much to those of you who have already given.
Please also be sure – those of you who have already registered, and those of you who have not yet done so – to click on the “Sign up for Conference Special Events” link.
I need to know how many people will be there in person for the two receptions (Thursday panel and Friday plenary), and breakfast Saturday (Cleveland Museum of Art). We are also offering some extraordinary experiences:
HoloLens Red Monastery
Up close and personal with Gerhard Lutz, CMA Medieval curator. (currently at capacity, but we have a waiting list)
Graduate students wanting to attend the Mary Jaharis events, which look amazing, also need to sign up so that there is enough food!
Very best wishes,

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