IMC 2020: Sessions

Session 916: The Concepts That Confine Us, or, How is Research Framing Borders in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages? - A Round Table Discussion

Tuesday 7 July 2020, 19.00-20.00

Organiser:Jakob Ecker, Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut, Freie Universität Berlin
Moderator/Chair:Jakob Ecker, Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut, Freie Universität Berlin

This round table discussion will engage with some of the widely used concepts and paradigms in modern scholarship concerning borders and their transgression in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. The most prominent example of such a paradigm may be the ubiquitous dualism of change versus continuity, but other concepts should receive a critical review as well. From seemingly necessary distinctions like centre versus periphery and ecclesiastical versus secular to categories and concepts of in and out (of territory, groups, or discourses), there are many seldom questioned frameworks shaping current and future research. We want to assess how some of these help us to better understand the transition from a Roman to a medieval Mediterranean – and how others are actually preventing us from doing that by causing distractions and by tying us to obsolete issues.

Participants include Ellora Bennett (Freie Universität Berlin), Michael Eber (Freie Universität Berlin), Mateusz Fafinski (Freie Universität Berlin), Nadine Viermann (Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg), Katherine Weikert (University of Winchester), and Robin Whelan (University of Liverpool).