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International Conference "Town and Country in the Byzantine World: Social and Economic Perspectives"

CAS 09/01/2015

American Research Centre in Sofia
7-8 May 2015

Coming thirty-five years after the last symposium on the medieval town in Bulgaria (1980), this conference aims to include the discourse on the social, economic, and technological aspects of town-country relations in the Byzantine World into the broader historiographical debate about the role of towns for the advance of modernity in Europe. Objectifying the concept of town and country as two entities of the same system, the conference will organize presentations of recent scholarly research in archaeology and history in two panels, generally focused on urban and rural environment, from the seventh through the fifteenth century. In congruence with the institutional mission of the American Research Center in Sofia, this conference intends the intensification of scholarly cooperation and communication on both a regional and intercontinental scale. Scholars from more than 16 countries across Europe and North America are invited to present their recent research in archaeology, urban studies, social and economic history, Balkan and Byzantine studies, environmental history, history of technology, as well as questions of theory and methodology.

Anticipated conference themes include but are not limited to:
* Byzantine Economic History: theoretical and methodological considerations
* Socio-Property Relations in the Byzantine World
* Vertical and horizontal social structures in Byzantine Town and Country
* Institutional change and economic growth
* The medieval Balkan economies in the Mediterranean trade system
* Spatial representations of class and gender
* Climate, economy, and politics
* Commerce, markets, and money
* Ideology and Legislation

Conference language: English.

Keynote speaker: Florin Curta, University of Florida

Participants need to secure their own travel funding to participate in this conference. However, lodging, breakfast, and lunch during the conference are provided by the organizers. Successful candidates will be informed on April 1 and will be asked to send in their conference papers for distribution among the participants (on a CD), by April 15, 2015.

Presentations must be of 15 to 20 minutes in length. Further information about the general organization and the panel schedule of the conference will be made available in due time. The American Research Center in Sofia intends to publish a selection of conference papers, which must conform to Turabian 8th edition style and formatting specifications.

Please send an abstract of 200-250 words, together with biographical background information of 50- 100 words by March 1, 2015, to Pavel Murdzhev at:

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