The deadline for proposals for the 20th Australasian Association for Byzantine Studies Conference, with the theme of Dissidence and Persecution in Byzantium, has been extended to 15 February. The conference will take place at Macquarie University, Sydney, July 19-21 2019.
Professor David Olster (University of Kentucky)
Title: The Idolatry of the Jews and the Anti-Judaizing Roots of Seventh- and Early Eighth-Century Iconoclasm
Associate Professor Jitse Dijkstra (University of Ottawa
Title: The Avenging Sword? Imperial Legislation Against Temples in the Fourth and Fifth Centuries
The Byzantine empire was rarely a stable and harmonious state during its long and eventful history. It was often in strife with those outside its borders and with those within them, and with so much power invested in its political and ecclesiastical structures it was ready to implode at times. This could result in persecution and the silencing of dissident voices from various quarters of society. The mechanisms by which the authorities controlled civil disorder and dissent, as well as discouraging criticism of imperial policies, could be brutal at times. In what sense was it possible, if at all, to enjoy freedom of speech and action in Byzantium? Was the law upheld or ignored when vested interests were at stake? How vulnerable did minorities feel and how conformist was religious belief at the end of the day? The theme of the conference aims to encourage discussion on a number fronts relating to the use and abuse of power within the history of Byzantium. Individual papers of 20 mins or panels (3 papers) will be accepted on the following or related themes:
. The rhetoric of persecution in hagiography and historiography
· Monastic dissidence and dissidents
· The persecution of minorities
· Dissension in the military
· Imperial usurpation and sedition
· Discourses of violence and tyranny in literature
· Popular uprisings and civil disobedience
· Satire and literary subversion
· Laws relating to prosecution and capital punishment
· Depictions of persecution in Byzantine art
· Slavery and manumission
· The forced baptism of Jews and others
· Heresy and the imposition of religious orthodoxy
· The suppression and oppression of women
· Persecution of philosophers and other intellectuals
· Anti-pagan policies
· Forced migrations and resettlements – Manichaeans and Paulicians
· The liturgical celebration of martyrdom
Abstracts of 500 words should be emailed to the President of AABS, Dr Ken Parry: firstname.lastname@example.org by the due date of 15 February 2019.
Panel convenors should outline briefly their theme (100 words), and (a) add all three abstracts to their application, or (b) list the three speakers on their panel with their own abstract, plus (c) nominate a chairperson. Panelists should indicate clearly the title of their proposed panel if submitting their abstracts individually.
See the conference website for further information.