Saturday, 27 July 2013

Call for papers for two sessions at Leeds IMC July 2014


*Empire between Empires: Understanding Empire in the long seventh century*

*Session at the International Medieval Congress (IMC), Leeds, 7-10 July 2014*

Much of the history of the seventh century is dominated by struggles between empires; between the Sassanians and Byzantines in the earlier years and between those two and the rising power of the Islamic caliphate later on.  One of the great empires of antiquity, the Persian, ends in this period.    

How did seventh century peoples conceptualise empire in a period where it no longer had a clear meaning?  Did universal empire retain power as a political/ideological goal?  Was the meaning of empire transformed in the period?  Was empire an aspiration among peoples of the time?  Did visions of past and future empires colour understandings of the present?

*Empire between Empires: Understanding Empire in the long seventh century* proposes to examine the ways in which seventh century peoples conceptualized Empire across cultures and seeks to find meaningful common points as well as divergencies between the visions of Empire in the period.   This examination will take place within the context of the 2014 IMC.

The IMC, an annual conference running continuously since 1994, is the biggest humanities event in Europe, attracting over 1800 delegates in 2013, and provides a unique forum for sharing and comparing approaches across a wealth of disciplines.

Responding to the 2014 theme ‘Empire’, *Empire between Empires: Understanding Empire in the long seventh century* will offer further opportunities for fruitful exchange between scholars working on concepts of imperialism, ideology, apocalyptic and historiography across a broad range of languages and cultures but within a narrow chronological period.

Proposals for papers are warmly invited from new and established researchers in the field, and topics may include:

• Imagining empire: the idea of empire in the seventh century Latin west

• Islam and Empire: the early Islamic view of Roman and Persian empires

• Empires and the End: the idea of empire in seventh century apocalyptic

• Salvaging Empire: the idea of empire and Byzantine survival

• New Empires of the Mind? The idea of empire as ideology in previously non-imperial societies (Franks, Goths, Arabs, etc)

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*The Empire Never Ended?  Letting go of Roman identity in the post-Imperial world*

*Session at the International Medieval Congress (IMC), Leeds, 7-10 July 2014*

Dating the end of the Roman Empire has long been a popular parlour game.  Numerous years can be proposed as date of the ‘fall’ of the empire.  Yet all of these ignore the obvious question of when did the peoples of the Roman Empire themselves come to think of themselves as living in a post-imperial era?

The answer seems far from simple and varies from region to region but it is clear that, whenever people ceased to think of themselves as living within the Empire, it was long after the Empire had ceased to rule over them.

The strand *The Empire Never Ended?  Letting go of Roman identity in the post-Imperial world* proposes to examine when and how that rupture in thinking occurred within the framework of the IMC 2014.

The IMC, an annual conference running continuously since 1994, is the biggest humanities event in Europe, attracting over 1800 delegates in 2013, and provides a unique forum for sharing and comparing approaches across a wealth of disciplines.

Responding to the 2014 theme ‘Empire’, *The Empire Never Ended?  Letting go of Roman identity in the post-Imperial world* will offer further opportunities for fruitful exchange between scholars working on concepts of identity, community, and authority throughout the post-Roman world.

Proposals for papers are warmly invited from new and established researchers in the field, and topics may include:

• Being ‘Roman’ along the frontier: the formation of Roman ‘ethnic’ identities in post-Roman environments

• The Empire as a thing of the past: literary identification of the Roman Empire as a historical subject in the early middle ages

• Waiting for the Restoration?  Continuing Roman identity long after the legions have left

These are only a few possible ways of looking at the question.  Researchers looking at all aspects of it are strongly encouraged to join the discussion.


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If you are interested in offering a 20-minute paper within either session please send a title and a brief abstract of 100 words by 1 September 2013 to Thomas J. MacMaster at empireatleeds@gmail.com

Please note: Speakers invited cannot present a paper in another session at the IMC. All speakers will have to pay the appropriate IMC registration fee to attend.

For more information on the IMC see http://www.leeds.ac.uk/ims/imc/, and for the call for papers for the 2014 Congress, see http://www.leeds.ac.uk/ims/imc/imc2014_call.html

The twentieth International Medieval Congress will take place on the University of Leeds campus in Leeds from 7-10 July 2014.

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