CFP: The ‘School of Gaza’: Literary Space and Cultural Identity in Late Antiquity

Conference Announcement and Call for Papers
Centre d’Histoire et Civilisation de Byzance (UMR 8167) 52 rue du Cardinal Lemoine 75005 Paris May 24-25, 2013
The ‘School of Gaza’: Literary Space and Cultural Identity in Late Antiquity
(source: Calenda)

Guiding line


The study of literary activity in V-VI c. AD Gaza is in full bloom. In recent years, new editions of Procopius of Gaza, Chorikios and John of Gaza have been published or are in preparation as well as a bibliography of the literature covering the period 1930-2012, to appear in Lustrum. This is a good moment for an international conference in which senior specialists and young researchers of the period will be able to exchange views and to advance research on the topic.

Building on the results achieved by two previous conference (Christian Gaza in Late Antiquity, ed. B. Bitton-Ashkelony, A. Kofsky, Leiden-Boston 2004 and Gaza dans l’Antiquité tardive. Archéologie, rhétorique et histoire, ed. C. Saliou, Salerno 2005), the present occasion intends to surpass the designation ‘School of Gaza’ invented by K. B. Stark in 1852, a certainly convenient formula, but which runs the risk of screening the perception of a reality rich in nuance. Our focus will be on the common characteristics that define as such the authors of Gaza.
The confront of these authors and texts defines a specific literary space that resonates with the spirit of the period, as part of the thread of a more general trend which bridges Antiquity and Byzantium. This literature is crossed and inspired by the practice of Rhetoric, Poetry, History and Science. It produces a unique cultural identity inscribed in the heritage of Gaza, one of the first cities mentioned in the Bible and still present in the news of the modern world.

Scientific organization
A scientific committee composed of both experts of the period and scientific personalities chosen for their ability to provide an outside view on the matter was formed. The following professors have agreed to participate: Prof. Jean Bouffartigue, Luciano Canfora, Béatrice Caseau, Raffaella Cribiore, Vincent Déroche, Denis Feissel, Pierre-Louis Malosse, Enrico Maltese, Lorenzo Perrone and Jacques Schamp. At least ten nationalities will be represented. Around thirty interventions of twenty minutes, presented in three languages (French, Italian, English = official languages of the conference) will be divided into eight sessions (1. Texts, authors, structures. – 2. Epistolography. – 3. History. – 4. Spiritual literature. – 5. Poetry. – 6. Rhetoric. – 7. Science and Philosophy. – 8. Background and posterity. Each session will be introduced and chaired by a scholar who has authority on the subject. Several moments of discussion will also take place, as well as partial and general conclusions that will punctuate the progress of the scientific debate. Finally, the proceedings
will be rapidly published. Each article will be peer-reviewed. The publishing house and collection will be indicated at a later date.

Material organization
Participation in the conference fee is set at 50 euros per person (25 euros for students) and includes the conference materials, two buffet lunch and refreshments. Accommodation costs (two nights, on the basis of a single room) will be covered by the conference organization for invited participants only. Transport costs are borne by participants.


Call for Papers


People who wish to submit a paper are requested to send an abstract of ca. 500 words to the organizers by June 15, 2012. The themes which will be more welcome are Philosophy of the School of Gaza (Theophrastus of Aeneas and Ammonius of Zacharias) and the author Zacharias Scholasticus in general. The decisions taken by the Scientific Committee will be sent to the interested parties prior to July 15, 2012.
Contacts For any correspondence concerning the conference, you are cordially invited to write to: Delphine Lauritzen delphinelauritzen@gmail.com
with copy to: Eugenio Amato eugenio.amato@univ-nantes.fr
Aldo Corcella aldo.corcella@unibas.it

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