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CALL. 21.07.2017: Borders, Boundaries, and Barriers - London (England)


The Postgraduate and Early Career Late Antiquity Network would like to invite contributions to its fourth workshop, to be convened around the theme of ‘Borders, Boundaries, and Barriers’, held at the Institute of Classical Studies, London, on Friday, 15th September 2017.The workshop, generously supported and hosted by the ICS, aims at providing an informal, but focused and constructive, environment for post-graduate and early career researchers to present their work, meet others working in the field, and discuss current trends and issues. The Network brings together and provides a single platform for those working on diverse areas within the period of Late Antiquity, including history, archaeology, patristics, and literature. Applications from those early in their PhD, as well as MA students, are particularly encouraged.



LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Institute of Classical Studies, London (England)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Rebecca Usherwood (Durham); Taylor FitzGerald (Exeter), Stuart McCunn (Nottingham).



The theme of this workshop, ‘Borders, Boundaries, and Barriers’, is here taken broadly, including as many perspectives as possible, whilst providing a focused environment for discussion. We are particularly interested in exploring the ‘middle ground’ between diametrically opposed concepts, places, ideas, arguments, people or peoples, time periods, and institutions, but also the circumstances in which these dichotomies should be challenged. We likewise welcome papers which examine the borders between these ideas and the barriers which are set up around or between them. To this end, the workshop will end with a roundable discussion on ‘periodization’, and the borders, boundaries, and barriers that are encountered within the study of Late Antiquity itself. Papers should be approximately 20 minutes to ensure enough time for questions and discussion.

Papers are invited on (but are not restricted to) any of the questions below, though should aim to closely follow the workshop’s theme in order to ensure cohesion:

  • RELIGIOUS: In what areas did the boundaries between secular and religious shift in Late Antiquity? Where did the borders between orthodoxy and heresy lie, and what role did rhetoric and perspective play in these definitions?

  • ETHNIC & LINGUISTIC: In what ways were different ethnic groups distinguished in this period? What are the interpretative barriers to our understanding of cultural identity?

  • LITERARY: Were there decisive changes in literary cultures and practices in the later empire, and if so when? In what ways did the literature of this period exploit the borders between genres and audiences?

  • POLITICAL & IMPERIAL: What were the boundaries to holding political office in Late Antiquity? How clear was the boundary between legitimacy and illegitimacy, and how had this changed from the earlier empire?

  • SPACIAL & TOPOGRAPHICAL: What sort of liminal buildings and other spaces thrived in Late Antiquity? How did borders function both physically and conceptually in the later empire? How defined were the regions that were created?

  • ADMINISTRATIVE: Where did the margin lie between local and centralized administrations? Which offices were restricted by borders or boundaries, and which could move between them?

  • EAST & WEST: Perhaps the most significant dichotomy of Late Antiquity, ‘east and west’ can have implications that are geographical, cultural, ethnic, linguistic, political, etc. How clear was this border? What lay in the middle?

The deadline for abstracts (300 words) is midnight on Friday, July 21st. Please indicate in your submission your affiliation (though independent scholars are welcome), and your level of study (or years post-PhD). Please submit your abstracts and any queries to

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