“Shifting Cultural Frontiers in Late Antiquity”


2-5 APRIL 2009

Indiana University (Bloomington, IN, USA)

Organizers: Deborah Deliyannis, Edward Watts


Conference volume: David Brakke, Deborah M. Deliyannis, Edward Watts, eds., Shifting Cultural Frontiers in Late Antiquity (Ashgate, 2012)





The Eighth Biennial

"Shifting Cultural Frontiers in Late Antiquity"
Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana

April 2-5, 2009


Wednesday, April 1

7:00-8:30 pm Pre-conference lecture by Robin Lane Fox (sponsored by the Indiana University Program in Ancient Studies)


Thursday, April 2

12:00 - 6:00 pm Registration

1:00-1:30 Welcome


1:30-4:00 pm SESSION I: Shared Intellectual Space

Chair: Linda Hall, St. Mary's College of Maryland                  

Maja Kominko (University of York, UK) “The Puzzles of Universe: Inspirations of Syriac Cosmography”

David Michelson (University of Alabama) “"It is not the custom of our Syriac language’ ": Reconsidering the Role of Translation in the Polemics of Philoxenos of Mabbug”

Ellen Muehlberger (DePauw University) “Negotiations with Death: Ephrem's Control of Death in Dialogue”

Aaron Johnson (University of Chicago) “Three Hellenized Phoenicians under Rome: A Reassessment of the Interpretatio Graeca”

Kathleen Gibbons (University of Toronto ) “Natural Law and Human Freedom in Bardaisan's Book of the Laws of the Countries”

4:00 - 4:30 pm Coffee

4:30 - 6:00 pm SESSION II: Epistolographic Culture

Chair: Scott Bradbury, Smith College                  

Jennifer Ebbeler (University of Texas, Austin) “Augustine, the Donatists, and the Epistula Pacifica”

Robin Darling Young (University of Notre Dame) “Urbane Exile in the Letters of Evagrius of Pontus”

Michele Renee Salzman (University of California, Riverside) “Varro and his Influence in Late Antiquity”

6:00 - 8:00 pm Reception, Indiana University Art Museum     

Friday, April 3

7:00 - 11:00 am Registration

7:30 - 8:30 am Continental Breakfast

8:30 - 10:00 am SESSION III: The Culturally Contested Body

Chair: Young Richard Kim, Calvin College                  

Linda Honey (University of Calgary) “Glycerios and the Dancing Virgins”

Kyle Harper (University of Oklahoma) “Shame and Sin: Prostitutes in Late Antique Culture”

Sofie Remijsen (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) “The Transformation of Athletics in Late Antiquity”

10:00 - 10:30 am Coffee

10:30 - 12:00 pm SESSION IV: Jewish, Christian, and Roman Cultural Negotiation

Chair: Hagith Sivan, University of Kansas                  

Harold Drake (University of California, Santa Barbara) “Where High and Low Culture Meet: The Legend of the Cross”

Rachel Neis (University of Michigan) “The Rabbi as Icon”

Anne Kreps (University of Michigan) “The People of the Earth in Roman and Jewish Legal Discourse”

12:00 - 1:30 am Catered Lunch

1:30 - 3:30 pm SESSION V: Roman and Non-Roman Identity

Chair: TBA�                 

Jonathan P. Conant (University of San Diego) “Return to the Periphery: The The African Response to the Byzantine Reconquest” African Response to the Byzantine Reconquest”

Michael Kulikowski (University of Tennessee, Knoxville) “Murranus: Transcending Barbarism in the Later Roman Empire”

Andrew J. Welton (Grove City College) “As Far as the East is from the West: A comparative Study of Ghassanid Ethnogenesis”

Ralph Mathisen (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) “Loan Words, Hair Styles, and Cross-Dressing: Negotiating the Culture Wars in Late Antiquity”

3:30 - 4:00 pm Coffee

4:00 - 5:30 pm SESSION VI: Cultural Manifestations in Christian Ritual

Chair: Tina Sessa, Ohio State University                  

Eric Fournier (West Chester University) “Rebaptism as a Ritual of Cultural Integration in Vandal Africa”

Dayna S. Kalleres (University of California, San Diego) “Idiom of Demonic Affliction as Cultural Resistance in Late Antique Cities”

Scott F. Johnson (Washington and Lee University) “Pilgrimage and Archive in Egeria”

5:30 - 6:30 pm Keynote Address: Jas' Elsner, Oxford University

6:30 - 7:30 pm Reception, Lilly Library


Saturday, April 4

7:30 - 8:30 am Continental Breakfast

8:30 - 10:00 am SESSION VII: Commemoration in an Urban Context

Chair: Bella Sandwell, University of Bristol                  

Dennis Trout (University of Missouri) “Damasus, Bassa, and Bethesda: Borrowed Verse and Broken Narratives”

John Matthews (Yale University) “Viewing the Column of Arcadius at Constantinople”

Jinyu Liu (DePauw University) “Fora and Public Honor in the Western Cities (IV-V Centuries)”

10:00 - 10:30 am Coffee

10:30 - 12:00 pm SESSION VIII: Literary Culture

Chair: Scott McGill, Rice University                  

Raymond Capra (Seton Hall University) “Dioskoros of Aphrodite's encomium on Duke Kallinikos (H5, P. Cair. Masp. III 67315)”

James A. Francis (University of Kentucky) “Late Antique Visuality: Blurring the Boundaries between Word and Image, Pagan and Christian”

Gillian Clark (University of Bristol) “The Ant of God: Augustine, Scripture, and the Curriculum”

12:00 - 1:30 pm Lunch Break

1:30 - 3:00 pm SESSION IX: Material Culture

Chair: Bailey Young, Eastern Illinois University                  

Scott DeBrestian (College of Wooster) “Home Cooking: Culinary Trends in Late Antique Hispania”

Kate da Costa (University of Sydney) “Shining a Light on Shifting Fontiers: Cultural Uses of Ceramic Lamps during Late Antiquity”

Leslie Dossey (Loyola University of Chicago) “Sleeping Arrangements and Private Space in Late Antiquity”

3:00 - 3:30 pm Coffee

3:30 - 5:30 pm SESSIONS X a and b

SESSION X a: Cultural Representation in Historiographical Texts

Chair: Anthony Kaldellis, Ohio State University                  

Cristiana Sogno (University of California, Irvine) “Curiositas nihil recusat: "High" vs. "Low" Views of Historiography”

Peter Van Nuffelen (University of Exeter) “Late Antique Historiography between Fragmentation and Integration”

Jan Willem Drijvers (University of Groningen) “Ammianus Marcellinus and the Decline of Political Culture”

Jacqueline Long (Loyola University Chicago) “Culture-Vultures of the Historia Augusta, Circling over Roman Emperors”

SESSION X b: Presenting Imperial Power

Chair: Sviatoslav Dmetriev, Ball State University                  

Joel Walker (University of Washington) “From Heaven and the Sea: Pearls in the Arts and Imagination of Late Antiquity”

Susanna Elm (University of California, Berkeley) “"Trans-lating" Hellenism: Gregory of Nazianzus and the Claim to Romanitas and Logoi”

Chuck Pazdernik (Grand Valley State University) “"How then is it not better to prefer quiet, than the dangers of conflict?": The Imperial Court as the Site of Shifting Cultural Frontiers”

Susannah McFadden (Fordham University) “History vs. Art History, When Textual and Visual Evidence Disagree: The Case of Late Roman Thebes”

6:00 - 9:00pm Banquet, Tudor Room, Indiana Memorial Union

Keynote Address: Seth Schwartz, Jewish Theological Seminary


Sunday, April 5

8:00 - 8:30 am Continental Breakfast

8:30 - 10:30 am SESSION XI: Negotiating the Imperial Frontier

Chair: Deanna Forsman, North Hennepin Community College                  

Scott McDonough (New York University) “The "Warrior of the Lords": Smbat Bagratuni at the Center and Periphery of Late Sasanian Iran”

Guido M. Berndt (Universitat Paderborn) “Living on the Roman-Persian Border: the Suani”

Matthew Canepa (College of Charleston) “Roman and Persian Identity Beyond the Borders of Empire: Client King Poaching, Ceremony and Gift Giving”

Christine DeLaPlace (University of Toulouse-II Le Mirail) “The So-called "Conquete de l'Auvergne" (469-475) in the History of the Visigothic Kingdom. Relations between the Roman Elites of Southern Gaul, the Central Imperial Power in Rome and the Military Authoritity of the Federates on the Periphery”