Appel à contribution – Erasure in Late Antiquity

Leeds International Medieval Congress, 6th to 9th July 2020
The Postgraduate and Early Career Late Antiquity Network 

Various forms of erasure have attracted significant interest in recent scholarship. Whether reassessments of damnatio memoriae, temple desecration and redecoration, or the deliberate denial of links to preceding movements during processes of cultural and religious change, these concerns are particularly relevant to the late antique world. Censorship, the manipulation and alteration of space, and concepts of absence in theology and philosophy are also closely connected to notions of erasure, as well as more sudden processes of replacement and change. Yet there have been few attempts to consider erasure as a more general phenomenon in late antiquity. What were the means by which inclusion and exclusion took place? Were there commonalities in erasing processes? How can scholars recover the traces of what has been erased, and how can the academic community identify and assess its own erasures?

We invite postgraduate and early career researchers from a variety of backgrounds to present and discuss erasure across the field of late antiquity in a series of panels. The Late Antiquity Network was founded in 2012 to provide a unified platform for junior researchers working on a broad range of geographical and disciplinary areas within the period. We hold workshops and organise panels at larger conferences to provide opportunities for junior researchers to build connections with others in the field, present their research in a constructive environment, and discuss key current trends and issues. Participants in these panels are encouraged to interpret ‘erasure’ in a broad sense, thinking about how the theme intersects with their own research interests. Applications from masters students, those early in their PhDs, and individuals without current institutional affiliation are particularly encouraged. Papers should be no more than 20 minutes, leaving 10 minutes for discussion.

Some suggested topics for discussion, which we invite participants to read in relation to their own themes or bodies of evidence:

– ‘Remembering to forget’ and self-conscious erasure
– Narrative exclusion and literary erasure
– Physical and spatial erasure
Erasure and the dynamics of censorship
Erasure of boundaries (epistemological, ethnic, etc)
Erasure and changes in religion and culture
– Partial erasure, deliberate or accidental
Erasure in manuscripts and papyri
– The removal and replacement of individuals
Erasure and power dynamics
– Concepts of absence and erasure in philosophy and theology
– Sculptural, pictorial and visual inclusion and exclusion generally
Erasure and the problems of sources’ representation
Erasure in or by contemporary scholarship

The deadline for abstracts (300 words) is midnight on Friday, September 6th. Please include a brief bio noting your career stage.

Abstracts and queries can be sent to: lateantiquenetwork@gmail.com

Rebecca Usherwood (Trinity College Dublin), Becca Grose (Reading), and the Network Committee.

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