CEMS Graduate Conference 2013


Third CEMS International Graduate Conference

Budapest, May 30–June 1, 2013

The Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies (CEMS) at Central European University and its junior members are proud to announce the forthcoming third International Graduate Conference on “Tradition and Transformation: Dissent and Consent in the Mediterranean,” Budapest, May 30–June 1, 2013. This three–day conference intends to explore a broad spectrum of aspects regarding the appropriation and transformation of cultural and religious traditions that informed the spiritual and intellectual struggles and changes in the Mediterranean from Late Antiquity to the Early Modern period. Taking into account the dynamic sociohistorical setting of religious and cultural processes, it seeks to approach the manner in which the permanently competing communities questioned, structured and performed their own beliefs and religious practices by disclosing heresies and shaping their orthodoxies.

The vast dimensions of the intellectual and religious concord and strife between, but also within, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, which shaped their traditions and unveiled their dissenting interpretations, commend a persistent and multifaceted interdisciplinary research. Graduate students of Late Antique, Islamic, Jewish, Byzantine, Western Medieval, Ottoman studies as well as students in the field of philosophy, theology, history of religion, sociology of religion, anthropology, etc., are invited to present their research on particular themes that reflect and address the complex formation and development of cultural, intellectual and religious identities in the Mediterranean.

Please submit by March 25, 2013 a short abstract (300 words or less) together with a paragraph about your affiliation and academic/research interests, using the abstract submission form. For further information please contact the organizers at cemsconference@ceu.hu.

You can watch a video about the conference here.

Possible topics for papers might include, but are not limited to:

• Hellenic paideia and philosophy

• Late Antique monotheisms

• ‘Pagan,’ Christian, Jewish, Muslim controversies and polemics

• “authoritative” authors/texts, exegesis and the (re)writing of the past

• tensions between Word and Image and transformations of religious identity

• oral traditions as agents of dissent/consent

• religious persecution and martyrdom, strategies of resistance and dissent

• political power and religious debates

• witchcraft and magic

• networks and the diffusion of orthodoxies/heresies

• religious dissent and gender

• warfare and religion: bellum iustum and bellum sacrum

• the making and unmaking of elites in the changing religious landscape

• comparative and theoretical approaches to concepts of ‘heresy,’ ‘heterodoxy’ and ‘orthodoxy’


The conference committee aims at publishing a selection of interrelated papers, chosen both by quality and relevance to the theme of the conference, in one of the forthcoming issues of CEU Late Antique, Byzantine and Ottoman Studies series published by CEU Press.


Plenary speakers

• Albrecht Berger (Ludwig Maximilians University)

• Rubina Raja (Aarhus University)

• Philip Wood (Aga Khan University, London)


Senior Respondents

• Mihailo Popovic (Austrian Academy of Sciences)

• Johannes Preiser-Kapeller (Austrian Academy of Sciences)


Accommodation and Travel Grants

Accommodation for the participants will be provided for 3 nights at the CEU Residence Center. To encourage participation from a wide range of individuals and institutions, a small number of travel grants will be available to assist in partially covering travel expenses for participants with limited institutional support. Those who wish to be considered should include an additional justification in the relevant section of the abstract submission form.



CEU Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies

CEU Center for Religious Studies

The Henrik Birnbaum Memorial Scholarship Fund


Organizing Committee

Mihail Mitrea (Byzantine Studies)

Anna Adashinskaya (Byzantine Studies)

Vedran Bileta (Late Antique Studies)

Mircea Dulus (Byzantine, Late Antique Studies)

Sona Grigoryan (Arabic/Islamic Studies)

Dora Ivanisevic (Late Antique Studies)

Andras Kraft (Byzantine/Arabic Studies)