Byzness 13/05/18

The Byzness, 13th May 2018



CONFERENCE: Ekphrasis and Greek Literature: from the Second Century CE to the Byzantine Era, 5-6 July 2018, Grey College, Durham University



14:00-14:30: OPENING REMARKS

SESSION 1 – The Imperial Age

Chair: Calum Maciver
Lucia Floridi (Milan) – “Para-ekphrastic elements in Lucian’s Dialogues of the Sea-Gods”

15:00-15:15: Discussion

Chair: Arianna Gullo
Évelyne Prioux (CNRS, Paris Nanterre) – “The visual culture of Philostratus’ readers”
15:45-16:00: Discussion

16:00-16:30: COFFEE BREAK

SESSION 2 – Late Antiquity (I)

Chair: Lucia Floridi
Calum Maciver (Edinburgh): “Ekphrasis for the sake of ekphrasis in Late Antique Greek Epic”
17:00-17:15: Discussion

Chair: Andreas Rhoby
Laura Miguélez Cavero (Oxford): “Ekphrasis as a (non-)fictional mark: the test case of Nonnus’ Dionysiaca and Paraphrase”
17:45-18:00: Discussion

19:30: DINNER at The Cellar Door in Durham (41-42, Saddler Street)



SESSION 3 – Late Antiquity (II)

Chair: Beatrice Daskas
Mary Whitby (Oxford): “Christodorus of Coptus on the statues in the baths of Zeuxippus”
9:30-9:45: Discussion

Chair: Évelyne Prioux
Arianna Gullo (Durham): “Ekphrastic epigrams from the Cycle of Agathias and the reader’s response”
10:15-10:30: Discussion

10:30-11:00: COFFEE BREAK

SESSION 4 – The Byzantine Era

Chair: Laura Miguélez Cavero
Andreas Rhoby (Vienna): “What we saw and marveled at in the fields, my friend …”. Byzantine Descriptions of Hunts: Texts and Contexts
11:30-11:45: Discussion

Chair: Mary Whitby
Beatrice Daskas (Venice): “Cosmic metaphors in Byzantine ekphraseis of buildings (6th-12th c.)”
12:15-12:30: Discussion

12:30-13:00: CONCLUSIONS

13:00-14:00: BUFFET LUNCH

The conference is open to anyone and attendance is free, but online registration (by 20 June 2018) is compulsory. All conference attendants are also welcome to join the speakers for the conference dinner in the evening of 5 July, but this is at their own expense.

To register for the conference (and for the dinner as well), please follow the link to the website:

For further information or any queries, please send an email to


Centre for Gender, Identity & Subjectivity experimental workshop on sources: ‘New perspective on sources: What can historians learn from bridging across time periods and regions?’, 5 June 2018, History Faculty, University of Oxford

Deadline: 25 May 2018

CGIS is organising an exciting workshop on Tuesday 5 June 2018. Professor Lyndal Roper will be leading the session and facilitating discussions around how to approach sources for the study of gender, identity and subjectivity from different time periods and geographical areas.

We are looking for graduate students, ECRs and established academics to provide a short sample of their sources. On the day of the workshop, the participants will exchange their primary sources and confront their respective analysis. No preparation necessary apart from participants knowing their own primary evidence well.

This is an opportunity for you to learn new ways to conduct analysis on primary sources and to receive supportive feedback on your ideas so do still consider signing up even if you are at an early stage of your graduate studies. If you are simply curious about how others read your sources, join us!

Deadline for sign-up is 25 May 2018. As places are limited, we encourage you to sign up early.

Please email your chosen primary source on no more than two sides of A4 page (translated in English if necessary) with some basic historical details (who, when, where, why) and a 200-word max summary of your research to

The Twenty-Second Biennial Conference of the International Society for the History of Rhetoric (ISHR), 23-27 July 2019, New Orleans, Louisiana

Deadline: 1 June 2018

The Biennial Conference of ISHR brings together several hundred specialists in the history of rhetoric from around thirty countries.

Scholarly Focus of the Conference

The Society calls for twenty-minute conference papers focusing on historical aspects of the theory and practice of rhetoric. This year’s specific conference theme or focus is “populism.” From its beginnings, rhetoric has been criticized for its perceived focus on manipulation of popular thought and emotions. Rhetoric can thus be easily associated with “populism,” a political concept describing movements, both left and right, that vigorously claim to champion the interests of “the people” against those of privileged elites. From the Greeks to contemporary politics, many aspects of rhetorical theory and practice can be viewed in this light, whether in ideologically charged argumentation, in popular modes of style, or in delivery. At the same time, the concept of populism itself can be contested. Finally, the reaction to perceived populism is a rhetorical study in its own right.

The conference will be held in a state which was the home of one of the most notable populist movements in U.S. history – under the rule of governor and later senator Huey P. Long in the 1920s and 30s – and of course will be held at a time when populist movements have upset traditional political balances worldwide.

Besides papers dealing with the relationship of rhetoric to populism, submissions might also deal with the rhetoric used (usually by its opponents) to describe populism.

However, papers are also invited on all aspects of the history of rhetoric in all periods and languages, and the relationship of rhetoric to poetics, literary theory and criticism, philosophy, politics, art, religion, sport and other cultural areas.

Procedure for Submission

Proposals are invited for 20-minute presentations delivered in one of the six languages of the Society, viz. English, French, German, Italian, Latin and Spanish. Panel proposals are welcome, under the following conditions: the panel must consist of three or four speakers dealing with a common theme, so as to form a coherent set of papers. The person responsible for the panel, who may also be one of the speakers, has the task of introducing the papers and guiding the discussion. Each speaker in a panel must submit a proposal form for his or her own paper, and should send the finished paper to the panel organizer before the conference. Proposals for panel papers must specify the panel for which they are intended. In addition, the panel organizer must complete and submit a separate form explaining the purpose of the proposed panel and naming the participants. Please be aware that proposals for panel papers will be considered on their individual merits by the Program Committee, and there is no guarantee that all papers proposed for a panel will be accepted.

Only one proposal for presentation per person can be accepted, including also presentations as parts of panels. Each person may only appear once as a speaker on the program.  Multiple submissions will be automatically deleted. Persons serving as (non-presenting) chairs are not affected by that rule.

Proposals for papers and for panels must be submitted on-line. Please complete the on-line form carefully and fully. In exceptional cases (only), proposals may also be sent by regular mail to the following address:

Professor Malcolm Richardson
Department of English
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge
Louisiana 70803

Guidelines for the preparation of proposals are provided at the bottom of this message. The length of the abstracts must not exceed 300 words.

Deadline for Proposals

The deadline for the submission of proposals has been extended until 1 June, 2018.

Notifications of acceptance will be sent out before the end of August 2018. In a few cases participants may require an earlier acceptance date in order to secure funding. We will try to accommodate such requests if they are made with appropriate documentation.

Information about the Conference, including the conference hotel at special rates, will be provided during the academic year 2018-19. The conference registration fee is still to be determined, but the New Orleans organizers will endeavor to insure that this is kept as low as possible. Graduate students and scholars from underrepresented countries pay reduced registration fees and may be eligible for travel grants.

Guidelines for the preparation of proposals:

The members of ISHR come from many countries and academic disciplines. The following guidelines are intended to make it easier for us to come together and understand one another’s proposals. The Program Committee recommends that all proposals contain:

a definition – accessible to a non-specialist – of the field of the proposal, including its chronological period, language, texts and other sources;
a statement of the specific problem that will be treated in your paper; its place in relation to the present state of research in the general field under consideration; and its significance for the history of rhetoric;
a summary of the stages of argumentation involved in addressing the problem; and
conclusions and advances in research.

Conflicting Chronologies in the Pre-modern World: Measuring Time from Antiquity to the Middle Ages and Renaissance, 4-6 October 2018, University College, Dublin

Deadline: 15 June 2018

Since Antiquity the reckoning of days, months, years, and whole epochs has always involved degrees of fluidity. Classical poets divided the mythical past into five ages of man, while astronomers developed increasingly accurate observations of the movements of the sun, moon, and stars to mark the seasons, the calendar, and to predict the weather and eclipses. For dating historical events, multiple time-constructions were used, including Olympiads, political and religious office, regnal eras, generational reckoning, and the Julian calendar. Attempts at synchronisation often conspired with political agenda and could lead to conflicting chronologies. With Christianity came new temporal problems, as AD dating began to dominate previous methods of reckoning. In addition, medieval Christians needed certain time calculations for liturgical use, including the date of Easter and the hours of the day in prayer. At the same time, they calculated and recalculated the six ages of the world and developed an elaborate framework for the apocalypse, the end of all time. By the Renaissance, the rediscovery of ancient time-reckoning and the origins (and ends) of ancient civilisations presented fresh challenges: thinkers wrestled with different time-keeping systems as they sought to reconstruct a historical ‘origin identity’ for a place or a city alongside the practical realities of contemporary Christian life.

Questions of chronology in specific historical periods (e.g. ancient Greece, Augustan Rome, medieval England, the Renaissance) have received a lot of attention. This interdisciplinary conference will build on these studies by offering scholars a chance to come together and engage in comparative work. The plenaries and papers will consider problems of chronology and the varied mechanisms for measuring and marking time in the pre-modern world. We seek 20-minute papers that pursue the following lines of inquiry in any period from Antiquity to the Middle Ages and Renaissance

– conflicting chronological systems in historiography, poetry, annals, astronomy, chronicles, homilies, and saints’ lives;
– the temporal horizon between myth (or legend) and history in different ways of writing (e.g. historiography, poetry, annals, astronomy, chronicles, homilies, saints’ lives);
– questions arising from irregularities, competing chronological systems, record loss, falsification, or problems of interpretation in pre-modern chronology;
– how historical time is defined and mapped out in historiographical and/or literary space(s);
– the regulation or synchronising of time and construction of identity;
– the representation of time in historiographical and/or literary narrative;
– the Christianisation of the calendar in books, liturgy, observances, medieval chronicles, saints’ lives;
– considerations of end-times and salvation history;
– the rediscovery of ancient time-reckoning problems in the middle ages and Renaissance and attempts to resolve them.

Abstracts (max. 250 words) should be submitted by Friday, June 15, 2018 to All contributors and participants will be required to pay a conference fee. If you are an experienced academic willing to act as a chair of session please write to the conference organisers.

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