A d F o n t e s

(Latin: "to the sources")

Call For Papers

arch-of-titus-spoils-jerusalem.jpg

This is probably an odd topic for my first real post, but why not. We at Columbia University are hosting a graduate student conference on various expressions of periphery in the Graeco-Roman world. It’s entitled “Rome in Extremis: Outsiders and Incendiaries in the Roman World,” and will be held Sept. 29-30, 2007; abstracts due June 22 (though interested folks should contact me if they need more time). Susanna Elm of UC Berkeley will be our keynote. (click here for the flyer).

One thing probably requires mentioning, I think. Anybody who has been involved in Biblical studies, Jewish studies, early Christianity, or the like knows that this chosen topic has been done already; it’s been done a lot in the past two years, in fact. At the national SBL conference of 2005 probably half of the sessions were devoted to related issues–especially Jewish and Christian internal and external relations and identity formation. AAR and AJS of the same year also had numerous sessions. Several graduate student conferences at various institutions were also held–among them Yale and Princeton (I attended the former). So there’s a real question about whether there’s really any benefit in having yet another conference on periphery. Is there room for another?

Initially I doubted it, however since then have changed my mind. The reason is that there are a lot of other issues concerning “periphery” that haven’t really been brought up in this new wave of discussion, or at least could be more fully. The most of them come from thinking of periphery not in terms of “people groups,” but as phenomena that expose different “seams” in Graeco-Roman society(-ies). The following came to mind, for example:

-Sexual preferences and sexual identity
-Gender and civic roles
-Occupation
-Socio-economic status and social boundary formation and maintenance
-Literacy and illiteracy
-Language
-Geographical boundaries
-Roman law
-Taxation; tribute raising
-Colonization
-Founding poleis
-Philosophy

Of course, we do not intend to exclude, for instance, issues like religion or ethnos. Such are more than welcome. Rather, these are the kinds of that we are also self-consciously seeking to integrate which, I think, justify yet another conference on periphery. Put another way, we are trying to integrate certain topics more traditionally handled in classical studies into a discussion that has predominantly involved religions and people groups.

As for me, I think I’ll probably present. I’m not sure what though, but I’m thinking about either some of my studies on the confluence of Roman and Arabian law or Jewish paganism in Asia Minor.

So, here again is the Call for Papers.

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May 28, 2007 - Posted by | Academy

1 Comment »

  1. hmmmm…very interesting!
    Thanks google

    Comment by Acrows | January 15, 2008 | Reply


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