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CALL. 15.05.2016: International Conference "Living the End of Antiquity - Individual Histories



LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Kollegienhaus (Basel, Switzerland)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: The SNSF-Project: "Change and Continuities from a Christian to a Muslim Society -- Egyptian Society and Economy in the 6th to 8th Centuries" (2016 - 2018)

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At this conference, internationally established experts as well as young scholars will focus on change and continuity from late Antique to early Islamic Egypt through individuals’ experience, putting particular emphasis on continuities and disruptions during transition from the Classical to the post-Classical world. By focussing on individuals we aim to combine a ‘compartmented’ analysis (based on categories such as religion, administration, economics, etc.) with a trans-categorical approach (individuals). The purpose of the conference is therefore to insist on the plurality that is inherent to the dialectic of change and continuity. The adoption of an individual-centered perspective allows, on one hand, to exemplify a system and, on the other, to concentrate on aspects of diversity inside that system and, consequently, to better mirror the circumstantial character of change and/or continuity.

The envisaged collaborative effort enjoys the best conditions for filling this gap by closely focusing on individuals within Egyptian society, and, for the first time, giving as much attention to the Byzantine period as to the early Islamic instead of using the first one as a mere introduction to the second or, at the opposite, alluding to the second only in the conclusion. In the end, participants will be able to assess if and why these transformations are of such significance to mark the end of Antiquity and the beginning of the Middle Ages.

We invite scholars from any discipline, subfield, or methodological approach, including (but not limited to) the following themes:

- Servants to the rulers, masters of the land: governors, local authorities, and great landowners

- Serving God: bishops, clergy, monks, and nuns

- Working to survive in a time of change: families of peasants, merchants, and craftsmen

- Being part or being apart: village communities, strangers, and outcasts

Each panel will reflect upon different perspectives in a final open and summarizing discussion round, which again gives opportunity for interdisciplinary exchange among the participants.

Abstracts should be no more than 400 words (exclusive of title and biographical note), describing a 20-minute paper to be delivered in English. Please include the full title of your paper and a brief biographical note on your academic affiliation and previous research. We plan to publish an edited volume based on the conference proceedings in an international peer-reviewed series.

Qualified junior researchers and recent PhD graduates are encouraged to apply. The deadline for full consideration is May 15, 2016.

Please submit your abstract by email to:

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