Call for Papers, Timecraft: From Interpreting the Past to Shaping the Future

The Fourteenth Biennial Symposium organized by Graduate Students in Archaeology, Classics, and History of Art at Bryn Mawr College, November 10th-11th, 2023 

Deadline for Abstract Submissions: Friday May 5th, 2023, 5:00 PM EST. 

Past, present, and future are not universal truths but ideas that emerge in relation to human existence. The social construction of time takes many forms. From the collection of relics and repatriation of antiquities to the creation of memorials and the removal of monuments, traces of the past help us to make sense of the current moment. Performances of epics collapse the past into the present and wish-fulfilling rituals tie the present to the future. Questions about time are accordingly wide ranging. For instance, how do researchers identify the cultural strategies people use to define their own time? What does the archaeological record tell us about continuities with and breaks from the past? How do objects and texts reflect attitudes and anxieties about the future? 

Timecraft invites you to consider the ways in which people use the concept of time to understand the past, define the present, and envision the future. This will be the fourteenth biennial symposium organized by students in the Graduate Group of Archaeology, Classics, and History of Art at Bryn Mawr College. We encourage graduate students in relevant disciplines, working in any time period, to send us paper proposals on timecraft. Applicants may choose to present their research in the following formats: 

Several regular panels are intended for full-length paper presentations. 15- to 20-minute papers will be followed by individual, 10-minute Q&A sessions in these panels. While we are planning the regular panels as in-person sessions, we hope to provide space for remotely-delivered papers to those participants who are unable to travel to the area. 

One lightning panel is intended as an opportunity to share works-in-progress, and is geared towards fostering a hybrid mode of participation, allowing both remote and in-person participants to bring ideas into conversation. Five-to seven-minute introductions of the works-in-progress will be followed by a 10-minute Q&A after each paper. 

Application process: Applicants are encouraged to submit abstracts to either or both types of panels, provided that the two submissions are separate works. We will consider submissions from graduate students at any point in their degree. All proposals should be sent to the BMC Graduate Symposium Committee at by Friday May 5th, 2023, 5:00 PM EST. 

To apply for the regular panel please send an abstract of 300-words to us, specifying your preferred panel format in the subject line of your email. 

To apply for the lightning panel, please send a 150-word abstract to us, specifying your preferred panel format in the subject line of your email. 

Review and Acceptance Process: The committee will assess submissions through a blind review process. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their submission by Monday May 22nd, 2023. 

Please contact us with any questions regarding the symposium at

Please visit this link to see a list of some suitable topics for Timecraft.

Ph.D. Student Workshop, Textual Communities in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages: Formation, Influence, and Afterlife


Coined by Brian Stock as part of what he called “the rebirth of literacy” in the eleventh and twelfth centuries (Stock, The Implications of Literacy, Princeton, 1983, p.3), the concept of “Textual Communities” refers to groups of intellectuals which formed around texts. In these social and intellectual groups, texts defined the internal and external relationships of the members, and affected the hierarchical organization of the group. Ever since the term was coined, the notion of “Textual Communities” has served as a theoretical framework for many scholars in various disciplines. The term enabled scholars to explore different modes of interpretation of both canonical and non-canonical texts, the discourse around these interpretations, and the theological and intellectual outcomes they entailed. 

When it comes to Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages, much work still remains to be done. From Augustine’s intellectual community of Cassiacum, through the monks of Lérins, the Jewish Tannaim, and Columbanus’ followers, to the intellectuals of the Merovingian or the Visigothic courts, many intellectual circles were formed around texts and debated their interpretations. The aim of this workshop is to open up the discussion of textual communities in Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages, by offering a platform for PhD students from all over the world and from various disciplines to present their own research and discuss it with others.

We encourage proposals on a wide range of topics, including (but not limited to) the following:

• Textual Communities and the interpretation of texts:

   – Text canonization and authority

   – Textual interpretation and oral culture • Textual communities and class

   – Emerging notions of social hierarchies and group formation around texts

   – Forming intellectual networks and elite culture

   – Mitigating canonical texts to the non-literate • Textual communities and “the other”

   – Defining social borders via text

   – Excluding groups and\or individuals • Textual communities and Law

   – Negotiating law codes

   – Forming ecclesiastical dogmas

• Textual communities and liturgy

   – Establishing rituals based on texts

   – Reinterpreting the sacraments

   – The textual development of prayer

• The concept of Textual Communities

   – Textual communities as a methodology

   – Critical reflection on the term


The workshop will take place at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, on September 5-7, 2023. The workshop will be framed by two plenary lectures, one opening the workshop, and one concluding it. These lectures will be delivered by established scholars in the field. The organizers will be able to cover the cost of accommodation to a limited number of students. Interested students are requested to send an abstract (max. 250 words) and a short CV (max. 1 page) to The deadline for submissions is April 23th, 2023.

Deadline approaching – Call For Papers: Byzantine Studies Conference, (Vancouver, Oct. 26–29)

This is a reminder that abstracts for the 49th Annual BSC are due tomorrow, Friday, April 14

The Forty-Ninth Annual Byzantine Studies Conference (BSC) will be held at the Wosk Centre for Dialogue at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver from Thursday, October 26 to Sunday, October 29, 2023. The Local Arrangements Co-Chairs are Dimitris Krallis (Department of Humanities and SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies) and Lauren Gilbert, Simon Fraser University (Department of Global Humanities). This conference will be in-person only.

The Program Committee invites proposals for papers and thematic panels on all topics and in all disciplines related to Byzantine Studies, broadly construed. All proposals must be submitted via EasyChair, and must adhere to specific formatting requirements. To deliver your paper at the BSC, you must be a member of BSANA in good standing, enrolled in a graduate program at the time of submission, or hold a graduate degree. We encourage undergraduate attendance, but do not accept submissions from undergraduates. To join or renew your membership in BSANA, pay your dues according to your current status at:

For instructions on how to submit a proposal and to learn about funding opportunities, please see the attached PDF or visit the BSANA website:

Call For Papers

See here

Translating Byzantium and Byzantium Translating, Graduate Conference of Late Antique and Byzantine Studies, Vienna (2-3 June 2023)

Translation – the process of rendering a text from one language into another – is a well-observed feature of the Byzantine world. At the same time, reflecting on translation raises issues related to the interpretation, adaptation, and re-contextualisation of texts, ideas, as well as of images and material culture.
The first aim of this conference is to explore translation proper. The translation of letters, commentaries, and homilies into Armenian, Arabic, Coptic, Georgian, Latin, Church Slavonic, and Syriac points to an intense interest in the Greek literature produced inside and outside of the Byzantine Empire. In addition, the existing array of material copied from other languages into Greek demonstrates that translating in Byzantium was a multi-directional process. Whilst translations can help us to understand the transmission and dissemination of different textual traditions, they are also witnesses to the social, trans-cultural, and political environments in which they were produced.
The second aim is to treat translation in broader terms, using it to explore issues relating to multilingualism, the mobility of ideas and objects, as well as how we as scholars treat, categorise, and prioritise language in our respective disciplines. How did the Byzantines themselves deal with and reflect on the presence of multiple languages? How has the dominance of classical Greek in the curricula of ‘Western’ universities or the equation of Byzantium with Greek Orthodoxy impacted the way Byzantine history is told and conceptualised?

Possible topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Textual translations
  • Reconstruction of textual traditions through translations
  • Political, cultural and social context of translation
  • Reshaping narratives through translations and sources in different languages
  • Byzantine conceptualizations of and current approaches to multilingualism
  • Insider and outsider perspectives on Byzantium
  • Translating the visual culture of Byzantium
  • Performative and material translations of Byzantine ideologies

Keynote speakers: Prof. Claudia Rapp (University of Vienna / Austrian Academy of Sciences)
Prof. Baukje van den Berg (Central European University).

We invite applications from graduate students at MA and PhD level. Those wishing to have their 20-minute paper considered should send an email to, or with a paper title, a 200-word abstract, and an academic affiliation by 24th March 2023. Applicants will be notified by April 5th. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Organisers: Aleksandar Anđelović, Andrei Dumitrescu, Dunja Milenković, Osman Yüksel Özdemir, Cosimo Paravano, Lewis Read.

Call For Papers: International Conference at the University of Freiburg, 29.11.–1.12.2023

The Funerary Archaeology of Byzantine Constantinople

New Approaches, New Methodologies, and New Discoveries

Mortuary practices are cultural phenomena common to humanity, and therefore burials and the “archaeology of death” have long been recognized as essential sources for all archaeologies. This is also true of Byzantine archaeology, and in recent decades graves and tombs, cemeteries and burial churches have increasingly been the focus of historical, art historical, and scientific research. By reason of its importance and size, the Byzantine capital of Constantinople occupies a central place in the historical development of Byzantine burial practices, and its funerary archaeology can be recognized as an essential source for understanding society, religion, demography, and urbanism in the imperial city. However, despite this importance, in contrast to the funerary archaeology of Old Rome, that of Constantinople is relatively poorly documented and often badly preserved, with data scattered in disparate publications, and lack a theoretical base and detailed synthesis. Fundamental information is still lacking, and even what is known has never been systematically compiled and evaluated. This desideratum has been known for a long time, and as Alfons Maria Schneider once remarked, one may still ask, “Where were the cemeteries of Byzantine Constantinople?”

Our conference seeks to address these issues by focusing on new approaches, new methodologies, and new discoveries. We aim to synthesize and devise a new understanding of the funerary archaeology of Constantinople and its suburbs, moving beyond just the primary documentation of empirical data to consider challenges of its recovery and interpretation, and to build up a new diachronic understanding of the development of burial practices in the capital region from the 4th to the 16th centuries.

By using the term ‘funerary archaeology’ we wish to encourage the development of an inclusive, holistic, and multidimensional approach to this subject, one that brings together historical texts, archaeology, and scientific data in interpretive dialogue, and which is sensitive to theorizing in other funerary archaeologies. Our aim is to take a broader view than solely the prestigious and well-published monuments (imperial tombs, aristocratic burial churches), although they should be included in such a conference. Rather than just reprising what is well-known and well-published about such monuments, we aim to put these elite burial practices into proper relation with the rest of the funerary archaeology and written sources that document the other mortuary populations of Constantinople.

Without neglecting the obvious religious, artistic, and historical dimensions of the funerary archaeology of Constantinople, particular foci, in terms of papers and the desired outcomes of the conference, will be:

• To gain better understanding of the funerary archaeology itself, the historical development of grave and tomb types, and burial styles, by synthesizing old and new material.

• To explore the construction of individual and collective identities in death through burial by examining the mortuary practices of different social categories and groups, populations and ethnicities.

• To analyze the funerary archaeology of Constantinople through the intersection of social status, religious belief, gender, culture, and ideology.

• To develop a better understanding of the organization, administration, and spatial distribution of burials and cemeteries, and of the chronological development of the same inside and outside the city, and thus to gain a better understanding of burial as an institution at Constantinople.

• By doing so, to enhance our understanding of the roles of burial places and the topography of death in the urban history and development of Constantinople from its foundation by Constantine I through the Ottoman conquest.

• More broadly, to contribute to our understanding of the evolution and interpretation of Byzantine burial practices, and to the development of its archaeological methodology and theory.

• To promote and stimulate a greater awareness of the importance and potential of Byzantine funerary archaeology in archaeologists, historians, and Byzantine scholarship in general.

While recognizing the unique nature of Constantinople as the imperial capital, and gaps in our archaeological knowledge, we also aim to contextualize the funerary archaeology of Constantinople by reference to its immediate hinterland in Europe, Asia, and the Propontis, which one can consider as being within the immediate cultural, religious, economic, and political orbit of the capital, and by reference to that of the Byzantine provinces, which one can consider as being in dialogue with the imperial capital through shared imperial frameworks.

We wish to understand the role of Constantinople as a consumer, creator, trendsetter, and disseminator of burial styles, seeking to explore these processes through various mechanisms such as:

• The formation and institutionalization of Christian and other forms of burial at the new capital of Constantinople between the 4th and 6th centuries.

• The role of local workshop practices and traditions in the forms taken by tombs and graves.

• The roles of the Church and funeral liturgies in the development of burial styles, tomb types, and burial locations.

• The impact of empire-wide trends, such as the development of saints’ tomb-shrines and burial in and around churches ad sanctos in Late Antiquity.

• The role of imperial and canon law in the development of burial styles, tomb types, and the locations of burial places.

• The roles of political and social networks of the imperial elites of State and Church in the development of tomb types, burial styles, and burial locations at Constantinople.

• The impact of the relative economic growth and decline of Constantinople, and its population, on burial patterns over time.

• The roles of cultural changes and social developments over time in the evolution of tomb types, burial styles, and burial places and locations.

As regards the long-term outcomes of this conference, we wish to edit a volume of conference proceedings for publication, which we hope will have a transformative impact on the field of Byzantine funerary archaeology, with importance for other comparative archaeologies, and the fields of Byzantine art history, and Byzantine studies in general.

The conference is hosted by the department of Byzantine Archaeology at Freiburg University together with the Citiy University of New York and in cooperation with the Koç University Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations (ANAMED) and the German Archaeological Institute in Istanbul (DAI). It will take place November 29st to December 1st 2023 as a hybrid event (zoom and in person) at Freiburg University. The language of the conference will be English.

Interested scholars are invited to submit proposals (500 words max) by April 1st, 2023 to

Call for Prospoals: Individual Identity Formation among Christians in Antiquity

Michael Glowasky (Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, Berkeley / University of Ottawa) Theodore de Bruyn (University of Ottawa)

We know today that individual identity formation is an ongoing process involving a complex set of factors, including one’s life experiences, exposure to diverse worldviews, and affiliation with different social groups, as well as changes to one’s geographical location and cultural context. We also know that one’s sense of identity can be profoundly shaped by religious instruction, participation in ritual performance, and engagement in spiritual practices. However, while scholars in recent years have considered in detail the processes involved in social identity formation and individualization in antiquity, less attention has been given to processes used to shape or maintain individual identity within religious contexts during this time. What educational, ritual, relational, or other processes were used to cultivate individual identity in religious contexts? How did these processes interact with dimensions of an individual’s agency or sense of self? How were these processes shaped by specific contexts or factors?

Answering these questions about a period so far removed from our own requires not only careful consideration of the relevant source material, but also deliberate attention to both theory and method. We believe that it would be instructive and productive to bring together scholars who are currently seeking to draw out insights into individual identity formation by applying a particular theoretical approach to materials relating to Christianity in antiquity (2nd to 7th centuries CE). Various theoretical approaches could be relevant, bearing on cognition, education, affect, identity, ritual, performance, gender, or class, to name a few. Whatever the theoretical approach, there are common questions that could be the basis of a fruitful exchange, such as: (1) what aspect(s) of individual identity formation does a given theoretical approach illuminate? and (2) how does one deal with the evidence from antiquity in applying that theoretical approach?

We are hoping to organize such a discussion at the Oxford Patristics Conference (August 5 – 9, 2024), ideally in the form of a workshop, with the goal of publishing the papers in Studia Patristica(subject of course to the review processes of the conference organizers). If you are interested in participating in such a workshop and contributing a paper, we invite you to contact us by April 30, 2023 (emails below). In your reply, please specify: (1) the aspect of individual identity formation you are working on; (2) the theory or theories you are drawing on; and (3) some methodological considerations entailed in applying this theoretical approach to the evidence you are working with. If you already have a provisional title for a paper, please state it as well.
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