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CFP: Late Antique Italy (11–14 May, Kalamazoo)

Papers are being sought for two panels on Late Antique Italy entitled “Conflict and Resolution” and “The Transformation of Leadership”, to be held at the 52nd International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, on 11-14 May 2017. These panels are sponsored by the Central European University (CEU).

The deterioration of political authority in the western half of the Roman Empire and the emergence of Rome’s successors remains one of the most contentious and most interesting historical issues in the field of late antique and early medieval history. Various interpretations have been advanced to explain these phenomena; some have emphasized the essential continuities that prevailed during the period, while others have proposed something akin to a ‘clash of civilization’ model that highlighted the conflict in Italy and its ultimate conquest by ‘barbarian’ invaders. In 2007, the Central European University held a summer program entitled The Birth of Medieval Europe: Interactions of Power Zones and their Cultures in Late Antique and Early Medieval Italy at which an international and interdisciplinary collection of scholars and graduate students convened to discuss and debate the issues associated with the ‘Fall of Rome’ and its aftermath. Focusing on the relationships between different centres of power, authority, and culture in Late Antique Italy, The Birth of Medieval Europe considered new ways of thinking about late Roman imperial administration, the economy, the ‘barbarian’ invasions and the arrival of new ethnic groups into Italy, the nature and evolution of ethnicity and ethnic identity, and ultimately the ‘fall’ of the Roman Empire. These were contentious subjects then, and remain so today.

Organized to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the original CEU program, these two sessions will examine new developments in the field and reassess the conclusions of the original 2007 program. More specifically, the organizers invite contributions that (re)consider the relationship between different centres of power, authority, and culture, in Late Antique Italy. These include but are not limited to the cities of Ravenna and Rome, the Roman Church and secular power, the Roman Empire in Italy and its relationship with the East/the Provinces, and the Ostrogothic, Lombard, and ultimately Carolingian successor kingdoms established in Italy. Following the plan of the original program, contributions are welcome from scholars studying ancient and medieval history, Italian studies, Byzantine history, Mediterranean history, archaeology, and church history.

We seek scholars to present their original research in one of our two sessions. If you wish to participate, please submit a paper title, a short abstract (no more than ~250 words) and a CV to the organizers at by Thursday, 15 September 2016. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact one of the organizers, listed below.
We look forward to hearing from you.

Your Organizers,
Samuel Cohen (
Laurent Cases (
Edward M Schoolman (

Source: Samuel Cohen


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