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Citizenship Discourses in the Early Middle Ages

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Call for Papers – International Workshop MUROS ET MOENIA: CITY WALLS, URBAN BOUNDARIES, AND THE ARTICULATION OF THE CITY IN THE FIRST MILLENNIUM CE

16-17 April, 2020
Utrecht University

In the ancient, late antique, and the early medieval worlds, city walls both projected strength and indicated insecurity. These impressive and prominent constructions dominated the urban landscape and oriented the movement of citizens. Likewise, these enclosures sought to delineate those who did and did not belong, physically marking the inclusion of its citizens as well as signifying the exclusion of whoever and whatever threatened to harm the physical, symbolic, and ritual integrity of the city. City walls were visible from afar, drawing visitors in and advertising the city’s status from a distance. At the same time, the wall’s overlapping layers of legal, ritual, and symbolic significance structured narrative and normative texts across these epochs.

This international workshop seeks to bring together an international and interdisciplinary group of scholars to work on these interrelated aspects of ancient and early medieval walls in the Mediterranean and northwestern Europe throughout the first millennium CE. Our keynote address will be given by Hendrik Dey, and our confirmed speakers include Rachele Dubbini, Penelope Goodman and Nicholas Purcell. We invite proposals for 20 minute papers from specialists working in various disciplines, including archaeology, history, literary studies, and art history. This workshop will examine the commonalities and discrepancies across these disciplines, both in terms of their methodological and theoretical approach as well as querying the extent to which city walls functioned in a variety of different contexts present throughout the ancient and medieval world.

Please send an abstract of no more than 300 words, plus a short bibliography to the organizers Saskia Stevens and Megan Welton at murosetmoenia@gmail.com by January 31st, 2020.

Muros et Moenia is generously supported by the NWO-VICI Project “Citizenship Discourses in the Early Middle Ages, 400-1100,” the Utrecht Center for Medieval Studies, Ancient History and Classical Civilisation at Utrecht University, and OIKOS – the Dutch National Research School in Classics.