Citizenship Discourses in the Early Middle Ages

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POSTPONED Workshop and Seminar Opportunities for (R)MA students and Phd candidates

Muros et Moenia: City Walls, Urban Boundaries, and the Articulation of the City in the First Millennium CE

Utrecht University, 16-17 April 2020
New date to be announced

Workshop Organisers: Dr. Saskia Stevens and Dr. Megan Welton

Workshop Description

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. 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.

This workshop will be open to interested students to attend, and we encourage graduate students to participate in the workshop. Graduate students have two opportunities to become involved in our workshop. These options provide 1 ECTS each, with the possibility of acquiring a maximum of 2 ECTS if you enrol in both, namely a graduate seminar and a poster presentation.

Graduate Seminar (1 ECTS), 16 April 2020

Preceding the workshop, Prof. Hendrik Dey, Dr. Saskia Stevens, and Dr. Megan Welton will conduct a three-hour seminar on the morning of the first day of Muros et Moenia. Interested graduate students will be introduced to a wide range of surviving ancient and medieval archaeological and textual sources, as well as the central theoretical and methodological issues scholars have formulated to analyse ancient and medieval walls. At its core, this seminar will focus on the material and symbolic aspects of inclusion and exclusion that these walls represented. Students will be encouraged to discuss and debate the political, religious, and literary representations of these material structures, as symbols and concrete manifestations of the creation and delineation of the civic body. As part of the curriculum of the Onderzoekschool Mediëvistiek and OIKOS, this discussion will then culminate in a short written reflection on the seminar of ca. 1000 words to be handed in no later than May 4th. Further details and required reading materials will be provided after the registration deadline.

Poster Presentations (1 ECTS), 16-17 April 2020

R(MA) students are kindly invited to submit an abstract for a poster-presentation related to the workshop’s central themes. Successful candidates will be offered the opportunity to present their posters to the attending scholars and will be formally included in the workshop program. Abstracts should not exceed 200 words and should be submitted by 10 February 2020. Presenters will be awarded with 1 ECTS.

Poster Guidelines: 

• Please prepare a poster of A1 size: 841mm (height) x 594 mm (width).
• The title, as well as the student’s name, affiliation and contact information must be mentioned on the poster.
• The poster must be arranged and organized in a clear, orderly, and self-explanatory fashion. It would be advisable to label different elements as 1, 2, 3, or A, B, C., as it will enable the viewer to gain a quicker and better understanding of your arguments, and to use a font legible from a distance of 1.5 -2.0 meters.
• All authors are required to prepare a Flash Presentation (ca. 5 minutes) for their poster.
• Poster authors are personally responsible for printing and bringing the poster to the workshop
• Abstract deadline: 10 February 2020

For further enquiries and registration, please contact:

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