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  • "Tenth Shifting Frontiers in Late Antiquity Conference" Ottawa, Canada, 21-24 March 2013
  • Geoffrey Greatrex

The tenth Shifting Frontiers in Late Antiquity/Fluctuation des frontières dans l'Antiquité tardive conference took place at the University of Ottawa, Canada, from 21 to 24 March 2013. The meeting was held under the aegis of both the Society for Late Antiquity and the Canadian section of the Association pour l'Antiquité Tardive, based in France, and took as its focus "Shifting Genres in Late Antiquity." As the first Shifting Frontiers conference to be held outside the USA, the meeting provided a forum for useful exchanges particularly between scholars from Europe and North America, as well as allowing for greater Canadian participation than usual.

About seventy participants assembled from Europe, Africa, North America, and Australasia; there were forty-four papers and three plenary lectures. The panels organized over the four days covered such topics as martyr acts, literary sources (e.g. Procopius, church historians and chronicles), legal evidence, technical genres, epigraphy, monuments, and Christian literature more generally. A consistent theme that emerged was the need to reconsider the nature of literary genres in particular and how works should be read in the light of this. Papers were given in French and English; the program offered versions of all the abstracts in both languages.

The first keynote lecture was delivered by Eric Rebillard of Cornell University, who spoke on North African martyr acts and how they should be read. The second was given by Wendy Mayer of the Australian Catholic University, who lectured at Carleton University (which, alongside Trent University, supported the conference) on links between medicine and the church fathers in the fourth century. John Matthews of Yale University was the final keynote speaker; his wide-ranging lecture dealt with the issue of autobiography and self-awareness in Late Antiquity.

The conference also held an exhibition of coins from the extensive collection of Richard Burgess; a catalogue was included in the conference book of abstracts, which itself may be found on-line at [End Page 184]

The next Shifting Frontiers in Late Antiquity conference is scheduled to take place in the USA in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, in March 2015. Readers are encouraged to keep an eye open for the call for papers. [End Page 185]

Geoffrey Greatrex
University of Ottawa (Canada)


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