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“Late Antiquity Made New” Symposium schedule

Please note:  This Schedule is subject to changes and updates.

Thursday, April 11: 

5:30 PM: Registration begins outside of Doris Duke Center (Sarah P. Duke Gardens)

6:00 PM: Opening Reception (Sarah P. Duke Gardens — Doris Duke Center)

7:00 PM: Welcome from Representatives of Duke University

8:00 PM:  First Keynote:

Patricia Cox Miller (Syracuse University), “Caressing the Wolf’s Head: Reading Animals in Early Christianity”

Friday, April 12: 

8:00 AM: Coffee, tea, and continental breakfast available at the  Alumni Memorial Common Room (Westbrook Building)

9:00 – 11:00 Session #1: “Engendering Late Antiquity” (004 Westbrook Building)

Kyle Smith (University of Toronto), “Reading Renunciation: Gushtazad the Eunuch and Biblical Interpretation in the Acts of the Persian Martyrs”

Susanna Drake (Macalaster College), “Sin and Perfection: Pelagius, Augustine, and Melania the Younger”

Robin Darling Young (University of Notre Dame), “A Sibyl Among the Friends of God”

Rebecca Krawiec (Canisius College), “The Memory of Melania: Gender and Cultural Memory”

11:00 AM: Coffee Break (Alumni Memorial Common Room)

11:30 AM: Second Keynote:

Dale Martin (Yale University), “Armed and Not Dangerous: Jesus in Jerusalem” (0014 Westbrook Building)

12:30-2:00 PM:  Lunch (boxed lunches available for registered participants courtesy of the Duke Religion Department)

2:00-4:00 PM: Session #2: In Theory (0014 Westbrook Building)
Chair: Jeremy Schott (UNC Charlotte)

George Demacopolous (Fordham University), “History, Theory, and “Eastern Christian” Texts: What
Postcolonial Critics and Scholars of Later Byzantium can Learn from One Another”

Kathryn Lofton (Yale University), “The Sexuality of Heresy”

David Brakke (Ohio State University), “The Problem of ‘Monastic Literature’”

Susanna Elm (UC Berkeley), “Queering the Barbarian”

4:00 PM: Coffee Break

4:30-6:00 PM:  Session #3: Literary Texts, Ascetic Contexts (0014 Westbrook Building)
Chair: Kristi Upson-Saia (Occidental College)

Blake Leyerle (University of Notre Dame), “Imagining Antioch: or, the Fictional Space of Alleys and Markets”

Averil Cameron (University of Oxford), “Late Antiquity and Literature: What’s the Problem?”

Dennis Trout (University of Missouri), “Napkin Art: The Difference Satire Made in Fourth-Century Rome”

6:30 PM:  Dinner for Symposium Contributors

Saturday, April 13:

8:30 AM: Coffee, tea, and continental breakfast at the Alumni Memorial Common Room.

9:30-11:30 AM: Session #4: Melania (0014 Westbrook Building)
Chair: Carrie Schroeder (University of the Pacific)

Stephen Shoemaker (University of Oregon), “Sing, O Daughter(s) of Zion: Public Worship in the Melanias’ Jerusalem”

Andrew Jacobs (Scripps College), “The Lost Generation: Aristocracy, Migration, and Empire in the Age of the Melanias”

Christine Shepardson (University of Tennessee, Knoxville), “The Enemy of My Enemy is a Heretic?: Nestorians, Miaphysites, and Gerontius’s Life of Melania”

Elizabeth Castelli, “Rereading The Life of Melania the Younger while Pondering the Future of Feminist History and Critique”

11:30 AM: Coffee Break (Alumni Memorial Common Room)

12:00 AM -1:00 PM:  Third Keynote:

Catherine Chin (UC Davis), “Aristocratic and Apostolic Genealogies in the Late Fourth Century: ‘Melania’ as Trajectory”

Introduction by Michael Penn (Mt. Holyoke College)

1:00 PM: Lunch (boxed lunches provided for registered participants courtesy of the Duke Religion Department)

2:00-4:00 PM:  Session #5: Late Antiquity and Its Reception (0014 Westbrook Building)
Chair: Stephanie Cobb (University of Richmond)

Virginia Burrus (Drew University), “Translating Women”

Julie Byrne (Hofstra University), “Who’s the Catholic in Catholic Studies?: Notes on the Historiography of American Catholicism”

Stephen Davis (Yale University), “The Melanias and the Modern Revival of Coptic Orthodox Monasticism”

Philip Rousseau (Catholic University of America), “Is Jerome Redeemable?”

4:00PM:  Concluding Remarks & Farewell by Randall Styers (UNC Chapel Hill)


  1. David Hunter David Hunter

    Wonderful program!

  2. Michele Salzman Michele Salzman

    Quite an amazing set of talks…. For a remarkable scholar…

  3. A veritable bunker of late ancient luminaries and a fitting tribute to Liz, who not only taught most of us most of what we know, but who is also single-handedly responsible for late antiquity being such a fun field to be in. Congratulations, Maria: it looks like you will be a fitting successor to Liz in the party-throwing arena!
    Love, Kate

    • Maria E. Doerfler Maria E. Doerfler

      Thank you, Kate, but I absolutely cannot take credit for this venture — Carrie Schroeder, Laura Lieber, Jeremy Schott, and Annabel Wharton have been co-conspirators and extremely hard workers in making this come together!

  4. Kenneth Surin Kenneth Surin

    Liz Clark– colleague supreme, intellectual force beyond excellence (if this is possible)….

  5. Gillian Clark Gillian Clark

    Many congratulations to Liz and friends, and we all look forward to the further fruits of _otium_!

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