CFP: “Syriac Studies in the UK: Past, Present, Future”

On behalf of Alberto Rigolio (Durham University):

Call for papers: Conference “Syriac Studies in the UK: Past, Present, Future”

When: 21-23 March 2024

Where: Durham University

Abstract submission deadline: 31 October 2023

We are delighted to announce that the conference “Syriac Studies in the UK: Past, Present, Future” will take place at Durham University, on 21-23 March 2024. The conference focuses on the history of Syriac Studies in the UK and aims to celebrate and reflect on the work of scholars in this field across the past centuries.

A series of papers will focus on specific aspects of the history of Syriac Studies in the UK, including the biographies and intellectual contributions of scholars in/from the UK, the history and development of the field, the discovery, circulation and study of Syriac manuscripts, and the formation of Syriac library collections in the UK. Confirmed speakers include Siam Bhayro (Exeter), Sebastian Brock (Oxford), Chip Coakley (Cambridge/Jericho Press), Lindsey Davidson (Bristol), Susan Harvey (Brown), Kristian Heal (BYU), John Healey (Manchester), Erica Hunter (Cambridge), Christa Müller-Kessler (Jena), George Kiraz (IAS Princeton/Gorgias Press), Salam Rassi (Edinburgh), Alison Salvesen (Oxford), David Taylor (Oxford), Francis Watson (Durham), and John Watt (Cardiff).

In addition, we invite abstract proposals for 15-minute papers, illustrating the ongoing or future research by contemporary scholars in the field of Syriac Studies. We invite proposals from doctoral students, early and mid career researchers, and established academics for papers on any topic related to Syriac Studies, such as ongoing or future research projects, forthcoming or recent publications, or ideas for public outreach – and we also especially welcome papers on the history of the field.

We aim to create a space to learn about and discuss past, present, and future research directions in our field. There will be abundant opportunities for discussion in a supportive environment, and we hope that this will be a useful venue for dialogue and exchange. We kindly encourage you to circulate this call among students and those who might not be on this mailing list.

Proposals for 15-minute papers (max. 350 words + short bibliography) should be sent to by October 31st, 2023.

In order to support the participation of doctoral and early-career researchers, a limited number of college rooms in Durham will be available free of charge for doctoral and early-career speakers who may not be eligible for full support from their home institution. If this applies to you, please indicate it when you send your abstract, and add your academic CV in attachment. In addition, meals for all speakers will be covered.

The conference is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Durham Centre for Early Christianity, the Department of Classics and Ancient History at Durham University, and the British Academy.

Please address any query to Andy Hilkens ( or Mara Nicosia (

We hope to see you all in Durham!

Organizing and Scientific Committee

Andy Hilkens (British Academy Newton International Fellow, University of Oxford)

Mara Nicosia (British Academy Newton International Fellow, Durham University)

Alberto Rigolio (Associate Professor, Durham University)

Francis Watson (Chair in Early Christian Literature, Durham University)

Ted Kaizer (Professor in Roman Culture and History, Durham University)

Karl Heiner Dahm (Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, Durham University)

CFP: “Matter, Materiality and Pilgrimage in Pre-Modern Times: Production, Staging and Reception”

We invite proposals for the session CIHA202400192 Matter, Materiality and Pilgrimage in Pre-Modern Times: Production, Staging and Reception” at CIHA (Lyon, France, 23-28 June 2024).

Session description
This 180-minute paper session aims to explore the materiality of objects and places in pilgrimage sites from various cultures and religions during pre-modern times. The aim is to evaluate the converging and diverging features of materials such as gold, silver, bronze, glass, wood, bone, skin, hair, nails, precious stones, pigments, stone, soil, wax, printed matter, water and other liquids, plants, leather, fabric that were used, formed, experienced, perceived and variously appropriated by pilgrims as well as by the local actors and devotees. Pilgrims habitually travelled in well-established routes dotted with sacred sites and shrines, occasionally with overlapping stops, allowing for comparative perceptions of material properties. Their movement adopted ritual attributes that extended to the symbolization of natural and artificial objects, whose materials became incorporated in a symbolic perception of space. Organic and inorganic relics and their containers, painted panels, frescoes, liquids, tombs, buildings, natural elements were encountered by the pilgrims, and their attributes, whether material or immaterial, animated their experience. The staging strategies employed in specific visual and spatial sceneries to ensure the objects’ cultic success, prompted further interactions among pilgrims, objects, and places. At the same time, the afterlives of pilgrimage objects and sites raise questions about their staging and reception in the present day.
To promote a comprehensive exploration of the subject from a transregional and transreligious perspective, we invite submissions that centre on – but are not restricted to – the following questions:
– In what ways do pilgrims’ experiences, practices, and expectations shape the production and materiality of objects and places, and how is this recorded/experienced by pilgrims?
– How are specific media, materials and techniques established and connected to the objects in question?
– How do materials connect to and are altered by pilgrims (e.g. the effects of the visual, tactile, and more generally sensorial interactions with objects, such as touching, kissing, lighting, incorporating etc.)?
– How does pilgrims’ movement impact their perception of objects, buildings, and landscapes?
– In pilgrimage sites, specific objects/spots acquire symbolisms. Is this translated in their material context and by which processes?
– How do natural objects, e.g. mountains, plants, rocks etc., become incorporated in a symbolic perception of space and how is their materiality expressed, experienced and valued?
– How are staging devices employed in cultic settings and what materials and techniques are typically used in their construction?
– How have museums and collections curated and displayed pilgrimage objects and artifacts?
– What are the challenges and opportunities in representing the materiality of pilgrimage practice in a museum context, considering the ethical implications of the extraction, trade, and ownership of pilgrimage objects and materials?
We welcome proposals (350-500 words) from professionals, independent researchers, doctoral students, junior researchers, senior researchers in art history or related disciplines, from all over the world. The deadline for submissions is 15 September. Please submit your contribution via the following link:
If you have questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to any of the session organizers:
Vesna Scepanovic:
Sofia Zoitou:
Ivan Foletti:

SAMR Zoom Flash Conference

Religion and Material Culture in Late Antiquity, April 25-27, 2023

The Society for Ancient Mediterranean Religions (SAMR) is hosting a zoom flash conference discussing evidence for and methodological issues in the study of materiality and late antique religion.


Tuesday, April 25, 6:00 pm Eastern Time

The Space of a Stylite: Columns and their Topographical Contexts,
Dina Boero (The College of New Jersey)

Wednesday, April 26, 6:00 pm Eastern Time

Desire in the Archive: A 1934 Excavation in Antioch’s Southeastern Nekropolis,
Sarah Porter (Gonzaga University)

Thursday, April 27,  6:00 pm Eastern Time

Animating Attachments: An Affective Archaeology of Late Antique Monastic Refectories,
Camille Angelo (Yale University)

For more information and to sign up:

The 25th International Congress of Byzantine Studies (2026)

Following the online meeting of the Organizing Committee of the 25th International Congress of Byzantine Studies -Vienna 2026 with the members of the AIEB Bureau on 16 March 2023, we would like to inform you about the preliminary profile and structure of the Congress program and to appeal to all National Committees to send us their proposals for Round Tables by 31 December 2023. The call for Free Communications will be sent in spring 2025. You may find below the main theme of the Congress, the themes of six Plenary Sessions, as well as the timetable and procedures for Round Tables, to be confirmed and approved at the Inter Congress meeting in Athens on 12 April 2024.



The 25th International Congress of Byzantine Studies will be held on 24 to 29 August 2026 in Vienna, Austria.

Main Theme:

“Byzantium beyond Byzantium”, “Byzance au-delà de Byzance”, “Το Βυζάντιο πέρα από το Βυζάντιο”

General Rule:

Scholars can participate in no more than two sessions throughout the Congress. (i.e., as speaker in two sessions, or as speaker in one session plus as convener, or as convener in two sessions).

Plenary Sessions:

There will be six Plenary Sessions. The list of Plenary Session themes and speakers will be approved at the Inter-Congress meeting in Athens on 12 April 2024. National Committees will be informed about the details shortly before the meeting. The themes for Plenary Sessions are:

  1. Byzantium lost and found
  2. Romanitas beyond Byzantium. Diffusion and impact of ideas of Rome in a „post-Roman”world
  3. The beasts, the crops and the bones. Biological perspectives on the Byzantine world
  4. Byzantine Diversities
  5. Reading Byzantine literature across the centuries
  6. Byzantium in Central Europe

Round Tables:

General rules

  1. Round Tables must be proposed through the National Committee of the proposer. There is also the option of joint proposals by more than one National Committee.
  2. Round Tables are allocated 90 minutes. They should consist of no fewer than four and no more than six speakers, plus the convener(s), in order to ensure adequate time for discussion.
  3. The professional affiliation of the speakers should represent at least two countries. We particularly encourage the inclusion of young researchers.
  4. We strongly encourage those who propose Round Tables to follow the Congress main theme.
  5. The most important criterion for accepting a Round Table proposal will be its innovative scholarly contribution.
  6. The number of proposals, including joint proposals by each National Committee is limited to ten.
  1. Proposals should include a title, an abstract of 250 words, 5 key words, the names of the convener(s) and speakers as well as the name of the person sending the proposal, his/her affiliated institution and his/her mail address.
  2. Proposals should be written in English or French. Timetable
  • The deadline for submission of Round Table proposals by National Committees to the Organizing Committee is 31 December 2023. Any Round Table proposal sent after the deadline will not be accepted. The proposals should be sent to
  • Conveners of Round Tables will be informed about the decision of the Program Committee (in accordance with the Bureau of the AIEB) in mid-February 2024. Proposed Round Tables will either be accepted or rejected or the option of an Organized Session will be offered.
  • Conveners of accepted Round Tables will be asked to confirm their participation and the organization of their Round Tables by 31 March 2024.
  • The list of Round Tables will be presented at the Inter-Congress meeting in Athens on 12 April 2024.

Vienna, March 2023
The Organizing Committee

Byzantinist Society of Cyprus: Fourth International Conference on Byzantine and Medieval Studies

We invite you to the Fourth International Conference on Byzantine and Medieval Studies, organized by the Byzantinist Society of Cyprus (Βυζαντινολογική Εταιρεία Κύπρου), in the Nicosia Multipurpose Municipal Center (Πολυδύναμο Δημοτικό Κέντρο Λευκωσίας), between the 17th and 19th of March 2023.

Academics, researchers, and post-graduate students will present their ongoing research, work-in-progress or fieldwork reports on aspects of
the history, archaeology, art, architecture, literature, philosophy and religion of Cyprus and the broader Mediterranean region, during the Byzantine, Medieval and Ottoman periods.

The Conference is dedicated to the memory of the Society’s founding member Dr Athanasios Papageorghiou. His work – an invaluable legacy for
Cypriot and Byzantine studies – will be presented by Dr Chalarambos Bakirtzis, on Friday, 17 March, at 18:15.

The Conference keynote speaker is Professor Emeritus Asher Ovadiah – Tel Aviv University. The keynote lecture, titled: The images of the Early
Byzantine church and its architectural elements in the mirror of patristic literary sources, will be on Friday, 17 March, at 18:30.

The Honorary President of the Conference is Professor Emeritus Costas N. Constantinides – University of Ioannina. His lecture, titled: Ελληνική
παιδεία: από τη σύγκρουση στη συμφιλίωση και την αρμονική συνύπαρξη με τη χριστιανική θρησκεία, will be on Saturday, 18 March, at 10:15.

Byzantinist Society of Cyprus Executive Committee

Call for Sessions: Mary Jaharis Center Sponsored Panel, 49th Annual BSC

As part of its ongoing commitment to Byzantine studies, the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture seeks proposals for a Mary Jaharis Center sponsored session at the 49th Annual Byzantine Studies Conference to be held at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada, October 26–29, 2023. We invite session proposals on any topic relevant to Byzantine studies.

The conference will be in-person only.

Session proposals must be submitted through the Mary Jaharis Center website. The deadline for submission is April 3, 2023.

If the proposed session is accepted, the Mary Jaharis Center will reimburse a maximum of 5 session participants (presenters and chair) up to $800 maximum for scholars based in North America and up to $1400 maximum for those coming from outside North America. Funding is through reimbursement only; advance funding cannot be provided. Eligible expenses include conference registration, transportation, and food and lodging. Receipts are required for reimbursement. Participants must participate in the conference in-person to receive funding. The Mary Jaharis Center regrets that it cannot reimburse participants who have last-minute cancellations and are unable to attend the conference.

For further details and submission instructions, please visit

Please contact Brandie Ratliff (, Director, Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture with any questions.

OUBS 25th International Graduate Conference

We are delighted to announce that registration for the Oxford University Byzantine Society’s 25th Annual International Graduate Conference for the 24th – 25th February ‘Passing Judgement: Distinctions, Separations, and Contradictions’ is now open!

Please use the links below to register for in person attendance (at the History Faculty, George Street OX12BE) or online. All papers will be delivered in-person, with the proceedings broadcast on a Zoom link that will circulate via email. We are greatly indebted to our sponsors and co-organisers and the team who have put their hard work into the two-day event.

The costs for attendance are as follows: 

In person attendance: £15 for students / £20 for non-students

Online attendance: £5 for students / £6 for non students

You can view the programme and abstracts of speakers at The programme may change at short notice due to unforeseen circumstances, but we will endeavor to keep the programme on our website up to date to minimise disruption.

Please note, there is the option to pay either in advance through Eventbrite, or to pay on the day The second option is preferable as it saves the Eventbrite fee. Eventbrite charges 6.95% and £0.59 per ticket sold (plus VAT on the fee), which is almost £2 of each ticket. We now accept both card and cash (and have fixed our card machine). Please use the ‘Pay at Door’ option to register your interest even if not paying in advance, as this helps gauge participant numbers.

The conference is run on a tight budget and all funds go into its running, from the bursaries for travelling speakers, the lunches, refreshments, and the speakers’ dinner.

Please see above the programme, and we look forward to welcoming you to Oxford to celebrate a quarter-century of postgraduate Late Antique and Byzantine research with the OUBS. Long may it continue.

Best wishes,

Nathan, Tom, Jamie, and Yan.

OUBS Conference Committee


Oxford University Byzantine Society

Bringing the Holy Land Home

Bringing the Holy Land Home: The Crusades, Chertsey Abbey, and the Reconstruction of a Medieval Masterpiece (Jan. 26 – April 6, 2023)
Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery, Prior Performing Arts Center, the College of the Holy Cross, 1 College St., Worcester, MA

“Bringing the Holy Land Home” explores the impact of art objects manufactured in the eastern Mediterranean on the visual culture of medieval England and western Europe. At its center are an iconic set of mold-made tiles, discovered at Chertsey Abbey outside of London, but probably commissioned for London’s Westminster Palace around 1250. These include a famous pair of roundels showing the English king Richard the Lionheart and the Ayyubid sultan Saladin (Salah al-Din) in combat. Excavated from the ruined site of Chertsey Abbey in the 19th century, the original composition of the fragmented tiles has been reconstructed, including their lost Latin texts. The reconstruction has demonstrated not only that the entire mosaic addressed the theme of the crusades, but also that its design evoked that of imported Byzantine and Islamic silks.

Carried home by crusaders, Byzantine and Islamic silks as well as ceramics, metalwork and other items were highly valued by European audiences, who incorporated them into sacred objects, displayed them in places of esteem, and imitated their designs – as was the case with the Chertsey tiles. The composition of the Chertsey floor relies on visual traditions of textiles developed by Muslim and Orthodox Christian artists in the eastern Mediterranean, even while the iconography attends to the theme of English victory over foreign opponents. By pairing the Chertsey tiles with contemporaneous European and eastern Mediterranean objects, this exhibition endeavors to illuminate the specific and complex contexts that informed the tiles’ production and design.

Along with the Chertsey tiles, on loan from the British Museum, this exhibition also displays the Morgan Library’s Crusader Bible and medieval objects from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, the Worcester art Museum, Dumbarton Oaks, and Harvard Art Museums.

Exhibition website at

Exhibition catalogue with contributions from Michael Wood (OBE), Andrea Achi, Paroma Chatterjee, Meredith Fluke, Eurydice Georganteli, Sean Gilsdorf, Sarah Guerin, Cynthia Hahn, Eva R. Hoffman, Richard A. Leson, A. L. McClanan, Nina Masin-Moyer ’22, Grace P. Morrissey ’22, Suleiman Mourad, David Nicolle, Scott Redford, Euan Roger, Alicia Walker, and Elizabeth Dospel Williams, available at

Thurs. Jan 26, Opening Lecture & Reception
Thurs. Jan 26, 4pm, Rehm Library
Dr. William Purkis, “Bringing the Holy Land Home: Crusaders, Relics, and the Transformation of Latin Christendom’s Sacred Material World.” Dr. Purkis is Head of School of History and Cultures at the University of Birmingham.
5:30pm, Opening Reception, Cantor Gallery
Sat. March 25, 8:30am-7pm, “Bringing the Holy Land Home” conference, held in association with the NEMC (New England Medieval Consortium) 

Registration details will be posted at in the coming weeks.

Lloyd de Beer, the British Museum
Paroma Chatterjee, University of Michigan
Paul Cobb, University of Pennsylvania
Matthew Gabriele, Virginia Tech
Sarah Guerin, University of Pennsylvania
Cynthia Hahn, Hunter College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York
Eva Hoffman, Tufts University
Richard Leson, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Amanda Luyster, College of the Holy Cross
Suleiman Mourad, Smith College
Nicholas Paul, Fordham University
Matthew Reeve, Queen’s University
Euan Roger, National Archives, Kew
Naomi Speakman, the British Museum
Elizabeth Williams, Dumbarton Oaks

Finally, if you would like to bring a group to visit the show on any date that the gallery is open (M-F 10 a.m. – 5 pm | Sat noon – 5 pm, Jan. 26-April 6), just email me to make arrangements.  Admission and parking are free.

Conference: Multilingual Literary Practices In A Multicultural World, From Archaic Greece To The Byzantine Empire

Conference: Multilingual Literary Practices In A Multicultural World, From Archaic Greece To The Byzantine Empire
November 14, 2023 – November 15, 2023


Multilingualism in the ancient world has been of great interest to linguists and literary scholars alike. Linguists investigate borrowings and structural convergences between two or more languages and explore broader sociolinguistic questions such as regional diversi­fication and linguistic ideologies (e.g.  Adams et al. 2002; Bentein 2016; Clackson et al. 2020; Hogeterp 2018; Kaimio 1979). Literary scholars look into the socio-cultural context within which literary works were produced and received and the linguistic background that Greek-speaking and writing authors had – including the linguistic norms and stan­dards that they tried to uphold in the Greek language itself – framing it in the broader question of (the struggle for) cultural identity (Adams 2020; Andrade 2013; Bozia 2018; Goldhill 2011, Lee at al. 2014). For both research strands, Archaic Greek dialectal variety and its literary manifestations, as well as multidialectal and multilingual contacts in Classical Greek, have been of interest. Similarly, the Post-classical period (including the Hellenistic, Roman, and Late Antique periods) has been of particular relevance as a time of parti­cularly intense language contact.

Scholars working in these two research strands tend to focus on different types of sources – literary and non-literary sources such as papyri and inscriptions – and adopt different methodologies, focusing on different types of research questions. The main aim of this conference is to bring together researchers, methodologies, and sources with the objective of developing a more integrated ap­proach toward multi­lingual practices in various ways:

  • by developing a diachronic approach to the study of Greek and its contact languages, from the Archaic to the Byzantine period,
  • by including types of sources traditionally neglected, such as translations and bilingual metalinguistic sources like grammars & dictionaries,
  • by situating multilingual literature in its socio-cultural context, looking at people with multilingual competencies, the intellectual communities in which they operated, and the factors driving particular linguistic and literary choices,
  • by integrating new theoretical approaches, such as cognitive and socio-pragmatic ones, to create a framework for the study of multilingualism in the ancient Greek world.
  • The general goal of the conference is to understand better what the linguistic repertoire of multilingual speakers and writers looked like, how and why writers brought together features (ranging from specific linguistic patterns to larger and more abstract cultural forms such as genres) from different cultural traditions, and what the intended effect was, or, vice versa, why they consciously resisted them. Importantly, under ‘multilingual competencies,’ we also understand the existence of different linguistic registers and dialects inside a single language. Finally, the conference focuses on literary sources, but it is also interested in overlaps with genres that have traditionally been defined as ‘non-literary,’ a distinction that recent research has problematized (e.g., Fournet 2013).


  • Systematic studies of multilingualism in the ancient Greek and Byzantine worlds:
    • Cognitive and socio-pragmatic approaches to ancient Greek, its evolution, and contact languages
    • (Re)-definitions and applications of concepts of linguistics and sociolinguistics on Greek linguistic competencies
  • Consideration of different forms of multilingualism (translations, “errors” in translations, lexica, etc.)
  • Studies of linguistic varieties in different literary genres (such as dialectal varieties) as forms of multilingualism
  • Analysis of multilingual lexica/grammars
  • Studies of private writings and others meant for public consumption to determine levels of multilingualism
  • Considerations of multilingualism in literature in conjunction with multiculturalism (lexical and social variations, multilingual literary practices alongside multicultural ones)
  • Insights into the reception of ancient texts through translations.

A thematic issue with selected contributions will be published by The Journal of Literary Multilingualism. Leiden: Brill.

JAMES CLACKSON, University of Cambridge
MARK JANSE, Ghent University

Interested scholars are invited to submit proposals (500 words max) by December 15th, 2022 to Eleni Bozia (, Klaas Bentein (, and Chiara Monaco (

Adams, J. N., Mark Janse, and Simon Swain. 2002. Bilingualism in Ancient Society: Language Contact and the Written Text. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press.

Adams, Sean. 2020. Greek Genres and Jewish Authors. Negotiating Literary Culture in the Greco-Roman Era. Baylor University Press.

Andrade, Nathanael J. 2013. Syrian Identity in the Greco-Roman World. Greek Culture in the Roman World. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Bentein, Klaas. 2016. Verbal Periphrasis in Ancient Greek: Have- and Be-Constructions. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Bozia, Eleni. 2018. “Immigration as acculturation: voluntary displacement in the Roman Empire.” In D. Arroyo (ed.) Displacement in language, Literature and Culture – 2016 CMLL Symposium, Selected Proceedings. Benalmádena, Málaga, Spain. 49-82.

Clackson, J., Patrick James, Katherine McDonald, Livia Tagliapetra, and Nicholas Zair. (eds.) 2020. Migration, Mobility, and Language Contact in and around the Ancient Mediterranean. Cambridge University Press.

Fournet, Jean-Luc. 2013. “Culture Grecque et Document Dans l’Égypte de l’Antiquité Tardive.” Journal of Juristic Papyrology 43: 135–62.

Goldhill, Simon. 2011. Being Greek under Rome. Cambridge, GBR: Cambridge University Press.

Hogeterp, Albert L. A. 2018. Semitisms in Luke’s Greek: A Descriptive Analysis of Lexical and Syntactical Domains of Semitic Language Influence in Luke’s Gospel. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen Zum Neuen Testament 401. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck.

Kaimio, Jorma. 1979. “The Romans and the Greek Language.” Commentationes Humanarum Litterarum 64: 1–379.

Lee, B.T., Ellen Finkelpearl, and Luca Graverini (eds.) 2014. Apuleius and Africa. Routledge.

ELENI BOZIA, University of Florida
KLAAS BENTEIN, Ghent University
CHIARA MONACO, Ghent University

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