The Transformation of Poverty, Philanthropy, and Healthcare in Late Antiquity
Iowa City, IA, March 26-29, 2015. The eleventh biennial Shifting Frontiers in Late Antiquity conference will take place at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, IA, March 26-29, 2015. The period of Late Antiquity (A.D. 200-700) witnessed great changes in respect to attitudes towards poverty, philanthropy, and healthcare. The conference aims to bring together scholars in order to explore these issues amidst global concerns over poverty and the provision of healthcare, and questions over the role of private philanthropy in effecting change within these areas. Two events in particular, the ascendency of Pope Francis to the papacy and the debate over the federal provision of healthcare in the United States, helped to inspire the conference’s goal of surveying how early Christians, Jews, early Islamic communities, and others within the Mediterranean viewed, wrote upon, depicted, and grappled with these issues, and how they shaped the late antique world economically, socially, politically, and topographically. Questions that we may wish to address are: What were elite attitudes towards the poor? What do we mean by the “economy of charity”? How did monasticism shape healthcare in the later empire? What is the interaction between religion and science? We hope to receive proposals for papers concerning all aspects of poverty, philanthropy, and healthcare, which approach these issues from textual, archaeological, numismatic, papyrological, or epigraphic standpoints. The conference aims to serve as an interdisciplinary forum for specialists throughout the Mediterranean, Middle East, and Africa during the period of Late Antiquity, and as such, welcomes a broad interpretation of the theme.
Two keynote speakers will be taking part in the conference: Professor Ramsay MacMullen, Dunham Professor Emeritus in History and Classics, Yale University (U.S.A.) and Professor Susanna Elm, History Department, University of California, Berkeley (U.S.A.).
The deadline for proposals is 15 November 2014. Abstracts should be 200-300 words in length. Papers should be in English. Proposals from graduate students are welcome, but they should indicate on their submission whether they have discussed their proposal with their supervisor or not. We encourage international applicants, and may be able to provide a limited number of speaker subvention grants primarily for registration. Please note that the submission of an abstract carries with it a commitment to attend the conference should the abstract be accepted.