The Eighth Biennial
"* Shifting Cultural Frontiers in Late Antiquity* "
Indiana University

Bloomington, Indiana
April 2-5, 2009

The Society for Late Antiquity announces that the Eighth Biennial Conference
on Shifting Frontiers in Late Antiquity will be held at Indiana University
and will explore the theme "Shifting Cultural Frontiers in Late Antiquity"
[ca. 200 - 700 AD]. The confirmed plenary speakers will be Professors Jas
Elsner (Corpus Christi, Oxford) and Seth Schwartz (Jewish Theological

Beneath the familiar political and religious narrative of late antiquity
lies a cultural history both more complicated and more fascinating. Late
antiquity was a time of intense cultural negotiation in which new religious
communities and new populations sifted through existing modes of cultural
expression, adopting many elements for themselves and turning others aside.
This conference seeks to understand how cultural transformation occurred
amidst the political and religious disruption that can seem characteristic
of late antiquity. To this end, we seek contributions that explore three
distinct areas of late antique cultural history: 1) the interaction of
"high" and "low" culture, 2) the impact of changing and collapsing political
centers on their peripheries, and 3) the emergence of hybrid literary,
artistic, and religious modes of expression. Possible contributions to
these areas may highlight the permeable division between elite and
vernacular culture, the ease with which cultural memes were transmitted
across geographic and linguistic boundaries, the adaptability of established
cultures to new political and social realities, and the degree to which
newcomers were integrated into existing cultural communities.

As in the past, the conference will provide an interdisciplinary forum for
ancient historians, philologists, Orientalists, art historians,
archeologists, and specialists in the early Christian, Jewish, and Muslim
worlds to discuss a wide range of European, Middle-Eastern, and African
evidence for cultural transformation in late antiquity. Proposals should be
clearly related to the conference theme. They should state both the problem
being discussed and the nature of the new insights or conclusions that will
be presented.

Abstracts of not more than 500 words for 20-minute presentations may be
submitted via e-mail to Prof. Edward Watts,
shifting.frontiers.8 AT (Department
of History, Indiana University, Ballantine Hall, Rm. 828, 1020 East Kirkwood
Avenue, Bloomington, IN 47405-7103, USA). The deadline for submission of
abstracts is October 15, 2008. The submission of an abstract carries with
it a commitment to attend the conference should the abstract be accepted.