La formation et la définition des frontières locales

By way of I learn about an interesting conference going on today in Poitiers:

Information signalée par Renaud Alexandre

La formation et la définition des frontières locales
(paroisses, communautés d'habitants)

Cycle de journées d'étude « Frontières et limites ». Session 3


9 h 30
Ouverture de la journée par Cécile Treffort, directrice adjointe du CESCM et par Stéphane Boissellier, professeur (Université de Poitiers, CESCM)

Paroisses, présidence Cécile Treffort, professeure (Université de Poitiers, CESCM)

9 h 50
Les actes de délimitations paroissiales dans les diocèses de Rennes, Dol et Saint-Malo, entre les XIe et XIIIe siècles
Anne Lunven, doctorante (Université de Rennes II)

10 h 20
Limites de paroisses et de villae dans le nord du Portugal
Christophe Tropeau, doctorant (Université de Poitiers)

10 h 50
La délimitation des paroisses de l'ancien diocèse de Liège ( XIIe -XVe siècles)
Julie Dury, doctorante (Université de Liège)

11 h 20 Discussion

12 h 00 Repas (buffet sur place)

Autres circonscriptions, présidence Luc Bourgeois, maître de conférences (Université de Poitiers, CESCM)

13 h 30
Les frontières des territoires locaux dans l'espace gaulois de Sidoine Apollinaire à Grégoire de Tours
Pierre-Eric Poble, post-doctorant (Université de Paris IV)

14 h 00
Villa, ban, court et mairie Formation et définition des frontières locales dans les seigneuries de l'abbaye de Stavelot-Malmedy (XIe - XVe s.)
Nicolas Schroeder, doctorant (Université libre Bruxelles)

14 h 30
Réflexions autour des limites des agglomérations à la fin du Moyen-Âge en Basse-Bretagne,
Régis Le Gall, doctorant (Université de Poitiers)

15 h 00
Délimiter l'espace maritime dans la Bretagne de la fin du XVe siècle, d'après les archives ducales
Frédérique Laget, doctorante (Université de Nantes)

15 h 30

16 h 20

Source : Centre d'Études Supérieures de Civilisation Médiévale

The Historian in the Future of the Ancient World: A View from Central Eurasia

ISAW has announced the third annual Leon Levy Lecture, to be held on November 5, 2009 at 6 p.m in the Oak Library, 2nd floor of the ISAW building, located at 15 East 84th Street in New York. The speaker will be Professor Nicola Di Cosmo of the Institute for Advanced Study. The lecture is free and open to the public but seating is limited. Interested individuals are requested to RSVP by calling 212.992.7818, or emailing

More information (including abstract) is available on the ISAW events page. There is also an NYU press release with more details.

David Klotz: The Temple of Osiris in Abydos during the Late Period

2009-2010 Visiting Research Scholar Lecture Series
The Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, NYU

The Temple of Osiris in Abydos during the Late Period
Presented by: David Klotz, Visiting Research Scholar

Although the city of Abydos was one of the most important religious centers of Egypt from the Predynastic  Period through the New Kingdom, little remains of its monuments from the Late Period (c. 1000-300 BC).  In the early twentieth century, W.F. Petrie discovered meager traces of an Osiris temple dating to the reign of Amasis (Twenty-Sixth Dynasty, c. 570-526 BC), and recent New York University excavations have uncovered another temple built by Nectanebo I and II (Thirtieth Dynasty, c. 378-341 BC). Nonetheless, the intervening period - the era of Persian domination - remains a mystery, and the earlier temple of Amasis seems to have completely vanished.

Two new sources provide valuable information on this obscure chapter in the history of Abydos.  The first  is a statue in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MMA 1996.91) belonging to a prominent Egyptian general from the Thirtieth Dynasty.  This object includes a difficult autobiographical inscription text in which the owner narrates how he defended Egypt from invading Persian armies and restored massive damage inflicted upon Abydos. At Sohag, meanwhile, the church of St. Shenoute at the White Monastery (c.450 AD) incorporates Pharaonic and Graeco-Roman spolia reused from earlier monuments.  The Yale White Monastery Church Documentation Project (2007-2009) recorded over twenty granite blocks from the reign of Amasis, and the decoration indicates they derive from the Osiris temple at Abydos.

The archaeological and epigraphic record suggests the Osiris temple was badly damaged - if not completely destroyed - during the period of Achaemenid rule in Egypt.  Similar accounts of Persian looting are attested at multiple Egyptian sites, but they are often dismissed as mere propaganda intended to legitimize the subsequent Ptolemaic dynasty.  The case of Abydos leads us to reevaluate our assumptions concerning the religious policies of the Great Kings of Persia.

Date: Tuesday, October 20th
Time: 6:00pm
Location: Lecture Hall
The Institute for the Study of the Ancient World
15 East 84th St.
New York, NY  10028

*This event is free and open to the public

David Taylor: A Greek-speaking Eastern Roman Empire?

A Greek-speaking Eastern Roman Empire? The View from New York
presented by
David Taylor,
Visiting Research Scholar
2009-2010 Visiting Research Scholar Lecture Series
Institute for the Study of the Ancient World

Tuesday, 6:00 pm
October 6th, 2009

Lecture Hall
ISAW Building
15 East 84th Street
New York, NY 10028

*This lecture is free and open to the public

The overwhelming majority of the surviving epigraphic texts of the Late Antique Roman provinces of Syria and Mesopotamia are written in Greek, and in a number of recent books and articles it has been argued that Greek was in fact the ordinary daily language of the local populations. By examining examples of the full available range of ancient linguistic evidence, and drawing on sociolinguistic theory about multilingualism and diglossia, this thesis will be challenged, and a more complex pattern of language usage will be sketched out. The consequences of this for issues of local identity and culture will then be explored.

David Taylor is the University Lecturer in Aramaic and Syriac at the University of Oxford, and during 2009-2010 he is a Visiting Research Scholar at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, NYU.

The next lecture of the series will be given by David Klotz on October 20th.

ISAW Job: Systems Administrator / Web Master

We have an immediate opening for a full-time web master / systems administrator at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World. Job description and application instructions:

Position Summary:
Design, develop, program and manage websites, databases, departmental servers and other computing and office automation systems for the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW).  Formulate policies, establish priorities, independently resolve routine and non-routine technical matters; provide technical analysis, user support and oversee repairs/upgrades for the full range of ISAW's computing and office automation needs; manage administrative and technical functions for the Institute; collaborate with central Information Technology Services and other university departments to ensure a complete, up-to-date and smoothly functioning IT infrastructure. Provide direct IT support for events and other special requirements.

Qualifications/Required Education        
Bachelor's degree in computer science, information science, computer engineering or a closely related field. 

Preferred Education    
Master's degree in computer science, information science, computer engineering or a closely related field. 

Required Experience    
Four years of relevant experience and/or combination of education. Must include administration of Macintosh servers, website creation and maintenance, and design, deployment and management of databases. 

Preferred Experience
Customization and administration of Plone-based web applications. 

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities    
Macintosh and PC network and systems administration. XHTML+CSS, Filemaker Pro plus one or more of the following programming skills: Python, SQL, JavaScript/AJAX. Ability to communicate policies and procedures to a diverse population at all levels. Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of information technology applications in complex networked/on-line system environments. Ability to make decisions independently and without direct supervision. Ability to work cooperatively as a member of an interdisciplinary team, communicate effectively and persuasively to senior IT and administrative management, and represent the Institute in internal and external interactions. Excellent organizational, interpersonal and problem-solving skills. 

Preferred Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities    
Management of a major website re-engineering or information systems development project. Experience as a consultant working with clients to identify IT needs and developing a system responsive to those needs. 

Projected Position Start Date     10-15-2009  

Principal Duties:
1. Modify, maintain and update all ISAW websites and web applications including the Institute's legacy website, as well as existing "minisites" for excavations, exhibitions, conferences and other ISAW-related projects.  Train staff how to update sites and monitor results for quality and technical integrity. Plan for and implement upgrades and technology transitions to ensure all web assets remain functional and accessible, and reflect positively on the Institute's public image. Adapt existing or create new minisites for ISAW projects, excavations, exhibitions and conferences.

2. Collaborate with staff and leadership across the Institute to design, develop, program, deploy and administer a next-generation content management system, events management system and associated web application. Collaborate with Digital Projects staff in directing subcontractors working on programming and design tasks to support the effort, evaluate their work, communicate effectiveness to leadership and ensure on-time project completion. Manage the migration of content from the legacy website to the new system and the decommissioning of the legacy website. Assume primary responsibility for the systems administration, software upgrade and maintenance of the new site and associated systems.

3. Perform system and network administration duties for Macintosh server (file sharing and centralized backup services) and  Apple and PC laptop and desktop computers.  Ensure security, performance and optimal uptime of all systems. Ensure availability of network, internet access, printing and other services for guests as appropriate. Monitor and analyze system performance and resource usage to identify areas for improvement and potential economies.

4. Support the computing and office automation needs of staff, faculty, students, visiting scholars and other guests in accordance with Institute policy. Establish a help desk system and associated process for request submission and task management. Train personnel on its use and monitor it to provide quick and effective response to all tickets. Handle inquiries and requests in a congenial, professional and efficient manner. Assess nature and complexity of requests, responding to inquiries and resolving problems immediately whenever possible. Promptly report conflicts or other difficulties to the Administrative Director and Associate Director for Digital Programs. Provide "how-to" guides and other training and reference materials via internal web pages, emails and other means.

5. Ensure efficient and innovative flow and processing of information throughout the faculty and administrative staff and offices (to include non-local affiliates). Train staff in use of database and web applications for information management. Identify bottlenecks, research appropriate solutions and communicate recommendations to management. Design, develop, program, install and configure databases and web applications to support information management and processing.  Maintain and improve software and hardware for scanning and desktop publishing functions. Administer email lists.

6. Manage inventory, procurement and proper operation of computer and office automation hardware, software, licenses and associated supplies. Oversee supply closet, retain keys and authorize access to supply closet. Respond to requests about office equipment. Schedule both regular and emergency maintenance of shared equipment (fax, copy machines, printers, etc.) as appropriate.  Maintain inventory database in a complete and up-to-date fashion. Track expenditures and report to Administrative Director on budget concerns and major purchases.

7. Serve as liaison between ISAW and ITS, Telecomm, Asset Management and other University departments, as well as external service vendors to ensure that installations, upgrades, repairs and policy changes are implemented in a timely manner and perform as expected.

8. Ensure the smooth, professional and on-time execution of ISAW public and internal events (e.g., lectures) by conducting routine checks and preventative maintenance on all required audio-visual systems, laptops, projectors and the like; by ensuring all systems are set up in advance of each event; by liaising with presenters in advance to ensure their slides are properly prepared for presentation and loaded on appropriate machines; and by attending (or ensuring a subordinate attends) all appropriate events to assist in the event of difficulties. Smooth functioning of technology at these events, and ready access to technical assistance, is highly visible and has a significant impact on ISAW's reputation.

9. Supervise staff; identify and prioritize assignments to ensure deadlines are met and review work for accuracy.

Conference this weekend: The Sarcophagus East and West

October 2-3, 2009

The Institute for the Study of the Ancient World
15 E. 84th Street
New York, NY 10028
(212) 992-7800

RSVP: (please indicate day(s) attending)

This conference, organized by Wu Hung and Jas' Elsner, focuses mainly on decorated stone sarcophagi from around the second century BCE to the third century CE, when this type of burial equipment not only continued to develop in the parts of Europe dominated by the Roman Empire, but also enjoyed considerable popularity in East Asia. Whereas the chronological and formal developments of each regional tradition remain an important research goal, this conference encourages comparative observations and interpretations of ancient sarcophagi in broader geo-cultural spheres and more specific ritual/religious contexts. It is hoped that by addressing these two research objectives simultaneously, this conference will help open new ways to think about the development of art and visual culture in a broadly defined ancient world, where the art historical materials available are subject to comparable methodological constraints both from archaeological excavation and from known literary and historical contexts.

This event is free and open to the public, please RSVP.


Friday, October 2, 2009

9:00 Opening remarks: Roger Bagnall (Director of ISAW)

Panel 1   Chair: Roger Bagnall

9:20 Introductory Lecture 1
    Wu Hung (University of Chicago) - “Consistency and Variations in Han Sarcophagi”

10:00 Introductory Lecture 2:
    Jas Elsner (Oxford University) - “Rhetoric in Pagan and Christian Sarcophagi”

10:40   Coffee Served in Oak Library

Panel 2   Chair: Jonathan Hay (IFA, New York University)

11:10 Paul Zanker (Scuole Normale Superiore di Pisa) - “Understanding Images Without Texts”

11:50 Alain Thote (Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes) - “The Chinese coffins from the first millennium BC and the early images of the after world”

12:30   Lunch Break

Panel 3   Chair: T. J. Clark (U.C. Berkeley)

2:15 Richard Neer (University of Chicago) - "The Polyxena Sarcophagus from Ilion"

3:00 Eugene Wang (Harvard University) - “The Jouissance of Death: Mapping the Bodily Cosmos on Chinese Sarcophagi”

3: 40 Tea Served in Oak Library

Panel 4   Chair: Wu Hung

4:10  Discussion: Barry Flood (IFA, New York University)

4:40  Discussion: Chris Hallett (U. C. Berkeley)

5:10  Open floor discussion

6:00   Reception


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Panel 5   Chair: Barry Flood

9:00 Verity Platt (University of Chicago) - "Horror Vacui: Framing the Dead on Roman Sarcophagi"

9:40 Zheng Yan (Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing) - “Sarcophagus Tombs in Eastern China and the Transformation of Han Funerary Art”

10:30   Coffee Served in Oak Library

Panel 6   Chair: Chris Hallett

11:00 Janet Huskinson (Open University, UK) – “Roman Strigillated Sarcophagi and 'How Societies Remember'”

11:40 Bjoern Ewald (University of Toronto) – “Sarcophagi in the Roman World: a Comparative Approach”

12:30   Lunch Break

Panel 7   Chair: Jas Elsner

2:15 Lillian Tseng (Yale University) - “Funerary Spatiality: Wang Hui’s Sarcophagus in Han China”

3:00  Edmund Thomas (Durham Center for Roman Culture) – “Inside and Outside: Roman Sarcophagi as Public and Private Monuments”

3:40   Tea Served in Oak Library

Panel 8   Chair: Jas Elsner

4:10  Discussion: Jonathan Hay

4:40 Discussion: T.J. Clark

5:10 Open floor discussion

ISAW now accepting applications for visiting research scholars 2010-2011

Each year the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World makes about 9 appointments of visiting research scholars... Academic visitors at ISAW should be individuals of scholarly distinction or promise in any relevant field of ancient studies who will benefit from the stimulation of working in an environment with colleagues in other disciplines. Applicants with a history of interdisciplinary exchange are particularly welcome. They will be expected to be in residence at the Institute during the period for which they are appointed and to take part in the intellectual life of the community.
ISAW is now accepting applications for 2010-2011. The deadline for submissions is December 14, 2009. 

Full details and application instructions are on the ISAW website.

grad student conference: Database, Archive, and Knowledge Work in the Humanities

By way of a tweet from Brett Bobley, I learned about this call for papers:

***Deadline Extended to September 30th***

The Past’s Digital Presence:
Database, Archive, and Knowledge Work in the Humanities

A Graduate Student Symposium at Yale University
February 19th and 20th, 2010
How is digital technology changing methods of scholarly research with pre-digital sources in the humanities? If the “medium is the message,” then how does the message change when primary sources are translated into digital media? What kinds of new research opportunities do databases unlock and what do they make obsolete? What is the future of the rare book and manuscript library and its use? What biases are inherent in the widespread use of digitized material? How can we correct for them? Amidst numerous benefits in accessibility, cost, and convenience, what concerns have been overlooked? We invite graduate students to submit paper proposals for an interdisciplinary symposium that will address how databases and other digital technologies are making an impact on our research in the humanities. The graduate student panels will be moderated by a Yale faculty member or library curator with a panel respondent. The two-day conference
will take place February 19th and 20th, 2010, at Yale University.
Keynote Speaker: Peter Stallybrass, Walter H. and Leonore C. Annenberg Professor in the Humanities, University of Pennsylvania
Colloquium Guest Speaker: Jacqueline Goldsby, Associate Professor, University of Chicago
Potential paper topics include:
  • The Future of the History of the Book
  • Public Humanities
  • Determining Irrelevance in the Archive
  • Defining the Key-Word
  • The Material Object in Archival Research
  • Local Knowledge, Global Access
  • Digital Afterlives
  • Foucault, Derrida, and the Archive
  • Database Access Across the Profession
  • Mapping and Map-Based Platforms
  • Interactive Research
Please email a one-page proposal along with a C.V. to Deadline for submissions is September 30th, 2009. Accepted panelists will be notified by early October. We ask that all graduate-student panelists pre-circulate their paper among their panels by January 20th, 2010.
Please contact Molly Farrell, Heather Klemann, and Taylor Spence at with any additional inquiries.

ISAW Exhibition: Lost World of Old Europe (opens 11 November)

ISAW has announced its next exhibition (and associated public programming schedule).

The Lost World of Old Europe: The Danube Valley, 5000-3500 BC
November 11, 2009 -April 25, 2010
The Lost World of Old Europe brings to the United States for the first time more than 160 objects recovered by archaeologists from the graves, towns, and villages of Old Europe, a cycle of related cultures that achieved a precocious peak of sophistication and creativity in what is now southeastern Europe between 5000 and 4000 BC, and then mysteriously collapsed by 3500 BC. Long before Egypt or Mesopotamia rose to an equivalent level of achievement, Old Europe was among the most sophisticated places that humans inhabited. Some of its towns grew to city-like sizes. Potters developed striking designs, and the ubiquitous goddess figurines found in houses and shrines have triggered intense debates about women’s roles in Old European society. Old European copper-smiths were, in their day, the most advanced metal artisans in the world. Their intense interest in acquiring copper, gold, Aegean shells, and other rare valuables created networks of negotiation that reached surprisingly far, permitting some of their chiefs to be buried with pounds of gold and copper in funerals without parallel in the Near East or Egypt at the time. The exhibition, arranged through loan agreements with 20 museums in three countries (Romania, The Republic of Bulgaria and the Republic of Moldova), brings the exuberant art, enigmatic ‘goddess’ cults, and precocious metal ornaments and weapons of Old Europe to American audiences.

Get complete information and schedule at Other ISAW-sponsored events at