CFP: Performance in Late Antiquity, APA Chicago, 2-5 Jan. 2014

Seen on the Classics list:

The Role of "Performance" in Late Antiquity
Organizer: Ralph Mathisen, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Sponsored by the Society for Late Antiquity

The 2014 panel sponsored by the Society for Late Antiquity at the annual meeting of the American Philological Association, to be held in Jan. 2-5 in Chicago, will be devoted to the topic of "performance" in all of its manifestations: administrative, bureaucratic, political, social, and religious. Late Antiquity was a world of ceremony, ritual, and performance. Performative rituals greased the wheels of interaction between patrons and clients, bishops and laity, officials and populace, and emperors and subjects. Manifestations of performance cropped up everywhere, in mime and pantomime, in circus factions, in religious liturgy, in the audience halls of the rich and powerful. Symbolic actions were manifested in verbal cues and gestures that were understood only by other participants in the performance. Different forms of expression had to be decoded in order to be understood. Meaning often lay beneath the surface. Things were not always as they seemed. Wheels moved within wheels. This panel will look at different kinds of manifestations of "performance" in Late Antiquity, and consider why the concept of performance was so well suited to Late Antiquity as a uniquely defined period of history.

We invite the submission of abstracts offering new approaches to the many-sided issue of the role of "performance", broadly writ, in Late Antiquity. One-page abstracts (ca. 400 words) for papers requiring a maximum of 20 minutes to deliver should be sent no later than March 1, 2013 by email attachment as .doc or .rtf files to Ralph Mathisen at ralphwm AT or ruricius AT All submissions will be judged anonymously by two referees. Those whose papers are accepted must be members of the APA for 2013 and must attend the 2014 meeting in Chicago. For further information, please contact Ralph Mathisen, History, Classics, and Medieval Studies, the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, at the email address above.

CFP: Networks in the Roman Near East (ASOR Panel)

seen on various lists:

Call for papers: New member-organized session at the ASOR 2013 annual meeting, november 20-23

Sinews of Empire: Networks in the Roman Near East

Most of the Near East was under Roman rule for almost seven centuries,
representing the longest period of political stability in the history
of the region. Since the 1990s there has been an explosion of
scholarly interest in the field, with studies moving emphasis from the
metropolitan to regional and local points of view, but arguably most
contributions have continued to cast representatives of imperial rule
as protagonists or antagonists in narratives of domination,
resistance, integration and fragmentation. In this session we aim to
move the focus of attention to the everyday ties of trade, religion
and day-to-day regional politics connecting people and places in the
Roman Near East. How did networks develop? What where the institutions
underpinning interaction and fostering integration on local, regional
and imperial levels? What impact did formal and informal rules have on
economic, social and political activities within these networks? How
did networks react to stress on imperial level, such as invasions,
economic crisis or civil war? We especially welcome papers situating
empirical data within theoretical frameworks such as Social Network
Analysis or New Institutional Economy, in order to facilitate
comparison between groups, over time and between different parts of
the Roman Near East.

Details can be found here:

Please contact <eivind.seland AT> for any queries.

The Quotable Mary Beard

In her latest post marking the New York Review of Books’ fiftieth anniversary, Mary Beard reminisces and inter alia mentions something which should be part of our collective mission statement (do universities still have those):

“if we were to amputate the classics from the modern world, it would mean more than closing down some university departments and consigning Latin grammar to the scrap heap. It would mean bleeding wounds in the body of Western culture—and a dark future of misunderstanding.”

Classical Words of the Day