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CfP: What Place for Minorities: Spaces, Norms, and Representations (Europe and Mediterranean)

Thursday, February 8, 2018   (0 Comments)

Call for applications

International doctoral workshop

What Place for Minorities: Spaces, Norms, and Representations (Europe and Mediterranean, 14th–19th centuries)

Rome, École française de Rome, 11–15 June 2018

At a time when Europe is constantly confronting the question of what place can and should be made for extremely diverse minorities (national, ethnic, religious, longstanding or newly arrived, etc.), it seems necessary to reflect critically today on the place of minorities over the long term. That means, first, a critical reflection on the concept of “minority”, too commonly accepted without examination. That concept will be at the heart of this five-day workshop, which will examine the place of minorities in different spaces and times.

Of course, one single term cannot apply in the same way across a broad range of realities and experiences, depending on whether one considers medieval societies, often thought of (even at the time) as organic and homogeneous, or modern societies, considered more open and at least more diverse. We must also consider the differences between (pre- )national spaces, subject to a strong unifying design, and other political spaces, which we can provisionally define as imperial, more likely to be able to cope with diversity, or know how to organise it.

The “place” of minorities will be considered first in a literal and therefore spatial sense (the minorities are “present”: where, in which places, in which neighbourhoods or regions, in which relations with the majority and/or the other minorities?). But the workshop will also examine their place in the intellectual system, whether legal, theological, cultural or political, in order to understand better what made it possible for a minority to be present in any given society and what did or did not constitute a minority in that context. We will reflect on the settlement strategies and relations between the minorities and the often hostile majorities that have accepted them, and on the complexity of the phenomena of inclusion/exclusion and tolerance/discrimination.

The geographical area covered, Europe and the Mediterranean, is to be understood in the broadest sense, from the West to the Slavic, Balkan and Arab-Muslim worlds. Candidates should consider openness, connection and comparison in the presentation of their research. All applicants are encouraged to propose research that benefits of this comparative approach and of the opportunity to broaden their perspectives by adopting an interdisciplinary method.

The doctoral workshop will begin on Monday, 11 June 2018 at 5:00pm with an inaugural conference by Professor Sanjay Subrahmanyam (Collège de France-UCLA). The following days (12–15 June) will feature lessons with instructors from the working group, seminars focused on the PhD students’ presentations, in-depth discussions and a series of workshop visits (archives, museums and neighbourhoods of Rome). Conferences, presentations and discussions will be held in either Italian, French or English.

The École Française de Rome is providing 12 scholarships for PhD students of any nationality and university working on the central topics of the workshop. The scholarships will cover the costs of staying in Rome exclusively (accommodation, food and use of the residence’s community kitchen); individual participants are responsible for travel expenses. Applications should be sent by email no later than 31 March 2018 to Ms. Grazia Perrino: The application must include:

  • an application letter
  • a short cv, including the applicant’s language skills and a list of publications
  • a summary of the applicant’s doctoral project (two pages, 6,000 characters, maximum)
  • a cover letter

Candidates from universities unable to cover travel expenses with their funding are urged to advise us of the problem in a further letter and to provide a documented estimate of expected costs. The Scientific Committee will select applicants based on the presented projects. Selected candidates will be informed of the scholarship decision by 15 April 2018 and will then send a basic text of 10 pages (30,000 characters) in one of the working languages (French, Italian or English) by 15 May 2018.

Each project will be introduced prior to the general discussion by another doctoral student, designated by the Scientific Committee. The best papers will be recommended for publication in the Mélanges de l’École Française de Rome ( Candidates accepted to the seminar are required to participate in all the scheduled initiatives.

Organization and Scientific Committee: Serena Di Nepi (Sapienza Università di Roma), Fabrice Jesné (École française de Rome), Pierre Savy (École française de Rome). Inaugural Conference Sanjay Subrahmanyam (Collège de France-UCLA). Speakers Nirit Ben-Aryeh Debby (Ben-Gurion University), Serena Di Nepi (Sapienza Università di Roma), Mathieu Grenet (Institut national universitaire Jean-François Champollion-Albi), Fabrice Jesné (École française de Rome), Pierre Savy (École française de Rome), Claire Soussen-Max (Université de Cergy-Pontoise).

École française de Rome
Pierre Savy, directeur des études (Moyen Âge),
Grazia Perrino, assistante scientifique de la section Moyen Âge,

Piazza Farnese, 67 I – 00186 Roma
Tel. (+39) 06 68 60 12 48

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