Tag Archives: call for papers

The Seventh North American Syriac Symposium

June 21-24, 2015

* * * The deadline for submission of abstracts is February 1, 2015 * * *

The Seventh North American Syriac Symposium will be held at The Catholic University of America on June 21-24, 2015. Held every four years since 1991, the North American Syriac Symposium brings together university professors, graduate students, and scholars from the United States and Canada as well as from Europe, the Middle East, and India, in particular from the State of Kerala. The Symposium offers a unique opportunity for exchange and discussion on a wide variety of topics related to the language, literature, and cultural history of Syriac Christianity, which extends chronologically from the first centuries CE to the present day and geographically from Syriac Christianity’s homeland in the Middle East to South India, China, and the worldwide diaspora.

The theme for the 2015 CUA Syriac Symposium will be ‘Ad Fontes: Sources for Syriac Studies’. Given the tremendous growth in Syriac studies over the last two decades, we would like to celebrate the rich and varied sources on which the field is built, from manuscripts and inscriptions to architecture, from objects of art to oral tradition. Thus, we encourage submissions that reevaluate well-known sources, investigate lesser-known sources, and bring to light entirely new ones. Submissions that reflect on disciplinary, theoretical, and methodological approaches to the sources are also welcome. No original submission will, however, be rejected on account of its subject, so long as it relates to Syriac studies and meets the scholarly standards established by the 2015 organizing committee.

Based on the response to this Call for Papers, a number of sessions, each consisting of three or four papers, will be put together. These may include some of the following:

(1) Syriac Christianity in its Greco-Roman context.
(2) Syriac Christianity and Judaism.
(3) The Syriac Bible: Old Testament, New Testament, and Apocrypha.
(4) Ephrem.
(5) Aphrahat.
(6) The fifth and sixth centuries and the development of separate West-Syrian and East-Syrian traditions.
(7) Syriac Christianity and early Islam.
(8) Syriac Christianity in the 11th-13th centuries and the ‘Syriac Renaissance’.
(9) Syriac Christianity in the modern period and its contacts with the West.
(10) The Syriac-Christian diaspora in the 20th and 21st century.
(11) Literary genres in Syriac Christianity, or more specifically: biblical interpretation, hagiography, historiography, poetry, philosophy.
(12) Asceticism in the Syriac Christian context.
(13) Syriac liturgical traditions.
(14) Syriac language and linguistics.
(15) The study of Syriac manuscripts.
(16) Art and material culture of Syriac Christianity.
(17) Connections between Syriac Christianity and Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopian, and Georgian Christianity.
(18) Christian Arabic as part of the Syriac heritage.

Papers will be 20 minutes plus 10 minutes of discussion. Submissions can be of one of two types:

1. Individual Paper. Anyone who is submitting a paper individually is required to submit an abstract of approximately 250-350 words in addition to contact information. The symposium organizers will assign accepted paper proposals to a session.

2. Panel. A panel consists of three or four papers dedicated to a specific topic or theme. Anyone who is organizing a panel is required to submit an abstract of approximately 250-350 words for each of the papers in the panel along with the contact information for each panel participant. The panel organizer should also submit a title for the panel as well as a suggestion for a moderator. Panel participants should send their abstracts to the panel organizer who will then submit all of the panel abstracts to the symposium organizers.

The submission of panels is especially encouraged. All submissions should be sent in an electronic version (both pdf and Microsoft word document) to nasyriacsymposium@gmail.com. The deadline for submission is February 1, 2015. In order to ensure the widest range of participation in the conference, individuals will be allowed to present only one paper at the symposium.

In addition to standard papers and panels, there will be four keynote lectures:

(1) Joseph P. Amar, Professor, Department of Classics, Department of Theology, University of Notre Dame
(2) Adam H. Becker, Associate Professor of Classics and Religious Studies, New York University
(3) Bas ter Haar Romeny, Professor of Ancient Mediterranean and Middle Eastern History, VU University Amsterdam
(4) Dorothea Weltecke, Professor of History of Religions, Universität Konstanz

Additional information for the Symposium can be found at the following website:


The website now contains information about housing and registration. Registration must be completed by Friday, April 24, 2015. Additional information will be posted on the website soon.

All papers presented at the 2015 CUA Syriac Symposium can be submitted for review for publication in a volume that will be published by CUA Press and edited by Aaron Butts and Robin Darling Young. The submission date for the final version of papers for consideration in this volume is Aug. 15, 2015. Submitted papers will be peer-reviewed both by the editors of the volume and by CUA Press.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to write to nasyriacsymposium@gmail.com.

We look forward to welcoming you to CUA in the summer of 2015!

Best regards,
Aaron Butts, symposium organizer

on behalf of the local steering committee:
Aaron M. Butts, The Catholic University of America (organizer)
Robin Darling Young, The Catholic University of America (chair)
Monica J. Blanchard, The Catholic University of America
Scott Fitzgerald Johnson, Dumbarton Oaks
Joel Kalvesmaki, Dumbarton Oaks
Stephen D. Ryan, Dominican House of Studies
Shawqi Talia, The Catholic University of America
Janet A. Timbie, The Catholic University of America
Lev Weitz, The Catholic University of America



Call for Papers: Ancient Religion, Modern Technology Workshop

Via James McGrath:

Via The Stoa Consortium, [he] learned of this call for papers:

Workshop Call for Papers
February 13-14, 2012
Brown University

The Program in Judaic Studies in collaboration with the Brown University Library’s Center for Digital Scholarship is pleased to announce plans for a two-day workshop devoted to investigating the ways in which the digital humanities has or can change the study of religion in antiquity. The workshop will take place on February 13-14, 2012, at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

We invite proposals for papers and presentations that explore the intersection of ancient religion and the digital humanities. We are particularly interested in presentations of projects that have the potential to open up new questions and avenues of research. Can digital tools not only allow us to do our work faster and more thoroughly but also enable entirely new kinds of research? How might different digital data (e.g., textual, geographic, and material culture) be used together most productively? The workshop will concentrate primarily on research rather than directly on pedagogy or scholarly communication. One session will be devoted to “nuts and bolts” issues of funding and starting a digital project.

The focus of the workshop will be on the religions of West Asia and the Mediterranean basin through the early Islamic period. Proposals relating to other regions, however, will also be considered.
Please submit proposals of up to 300 words by October 31, 2011, to Michael Satlow (Michael_Satlow@Brown.edu).

Workshop Themes

While all areas relating to the intersection of the ancient religion and the digital humanities are open, we anticipate focusing our discussions on four themes and encourage submissions that relate directly to them:

Corpus Development. While this has comprised the bulk of the effort to date, we welcome further discussion and investigation of best practices, challenges, and standards. How should data be structured?
Digital Tools. What resources that might apply to the analysis of our data already exist? Can they be easily configured to work with the data? We will be demonstrating some projects that might have applications to our data. What tools would we like developed?
Interoperability. How might data from different corpora operate together? How might data interoperability advance research?
Visions. In an ideal world, what would we like to see? What do we want to be able to do and what scholarly questions could these new approaches help to solve or open? We welcome presentations of prototypes or even mock-ups.

Workshop Accommodations

Attendance at the workshop is open to all. Travel subsidies may be available for presenters. Discounted accommodations are available at The Saunders Inn at Brown (http://www.brown.edu/Facilities/Saunders_Inn/). All workshop activities will take place within walking distance of the Saunders Inn.

For travel information, see http://www.brown.edu/Administration/Conference_Services/prov_travel.php.


The workshop is generously funded by the Ruth and Joseph Moskow Fund in the Program for Judaic Studies. It is co-sponsored by the Brown University Library as well as the Departments of Religious Studies and Classics and the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World.


Now all I need to do is sit down and write up a few proposals. Top on my list are:

  1. Anything relating to my work on the Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon (which can hit on all four foci in spades).
  2. The Mandaic Book of John project I’m working on with James McGrath and Charles Häberl and the software I’ve been developing for that.
  3. An article I’ve been working on and off about Unicode and how it is more of a hindrance than a help when dealing with encoding Aramaic languages in certain circumstances due to multiple encoding schemes for the same alphabet.

Now I must enforce the discipline to (read: get my Other Half to sufficiently kick me in the buttocks towards) getting on it, as with a deadline in October I shall surely procrastinate! 🙂