Global Late Antiquity About Global Late Antiquity ANNOUNCEMENT Upcoming Mizan Conference Panels on Late Antique Iran and Iraq Michael Pregill July 11, 2016 Share Aramaic incantation bowl from Sasanian Babylonia, 4th-7th c., currently held in the collection of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology (B2945; courtesy Penn Museum Blog). Mizan is sponsoring a pair of panels on “New Perspectives on Late Antique Iran and Iraq,” organized with the generous support of ILEX Foundation. The study of Late Antiquity has developed significantly in recent decades. Once the sole purview of scholars of the later Roman Empire, the term has come to signify the nexus of cultures, communities, and socio-historical phenomena and processes that converged in the Mediterranean and Near East from the time of Constantine the Great to the rise of Islam and beyond. The political, economic, cultural, and religious ramifications of this convergence are indisputably significant for any proper understanding of Western, indeed world, history. Moreover, although regions, events, and communities within the Greco-Roman cultural sphere still receive a disproportionate amount of attention in the study of this period, scholars are increasingly working to incorporate the study of Christian Oriental, Arabian, African, and Iranian communities in a more holistic approach to the discipline. Clearly the full integration of Iran and Iraq into this dynamically shifting field is overdue. Detail, The Construction of the Castle of Khavarnaq in Ḥīra (school of Kamāl al-Dīn Bihzād, c. 1494-1495; courtesy Wikimedia Commons). Scholars have recognized for some time that the major transformations of the period were stimulated by the centuries-long confrontation between the Roman and Sasanian Empires. Long the province of specialists in ancient Iran, Sasanian Studies has in recent years been revitalized by scholars seeking to shift focus and bring the field into conversation with other scholarly discourses. Further, over the last two decades a virtual revolution has been wrought in the study of Rabbinic Judaism on account of the integration of evidence from the Persian cultural sphere and the corpus of Middle Persian literature into the scholarly investigation of the Babylonian Talmud. Thus, specialists in numerous fields stand to benefit from the attempt to bring these fields into meaningful dialogue. The first of our panels on “New Perspectives on Late Antique Iran and Iraq” will be held on August 4 at the Eleventh Biennial Iranian Studies Conference in Vienna (August 2-5, 2016): Touraj Daryaee, University of California, Irvine “How the Sasanians Saw the Late Antique World: A Persianate View of the Interconnectedness of Eurasia” Isabel Toral-Niehoff, Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen “Al-Ḥīra: An Arab Late Antique Metropolis in Sasanian Iraq” Shai Secunda, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem “East LA: Margin and Center in Late Antiquity Studies and the New Irano-Talmudica” Teresa Bernheimer, SOAS, University of London “The Revolt of Qaṭarī b. al-Fujāʿa (d. 79/698) and the Kharijite Revolts of Early Islamic Iran: Social Change between Late Antiquity and Early Islam” Khodadad Rezakhani, Freie Universität Berlin Discussant Our second panel on the topic will be held November 18 at the Annual Meeting of the Middle Eastern Studies Association in Boston (November 17-20, 2016): Rahim Shayegan, University of California, Los Angeles “On Diachrony in Sasanian Studies” Jason Mokhtarian, Indiana University “Religious Polemics in Sasanian Writings” Thomas Carlson, Oklahoma State University “The Long Shadow of Sasanian Christianity: The Limits of Iraqi Islamization to 950” Mimi Hanaoka, University of Richmond “Authority and Identity in Early Medieval Persianate Islamic Historiography: Methologies for Reading Hybrid Identities and Imagined Histories” Richard Bulliet, Columbia University (Emeritus) Discussant The papers from these two panels will be published in 2017 in our new peer-reviewed journal, Mizan: Journal of Interdisciplinary Approaches to Muslim Societies and Civilizations. Please join us for our panels if you can, or contact the Interlocutor for more information here. Finally, sign up to join our community here for regular updates on our programming and publications, and to receive commenting privileges on our website.