Camel caravan

Camel caravan
Mosaic from Deir al-Adas, Syria, 8th century (photo: J.C.Meyer)
The research project Mechanisms of cross-cultural interaction: Networks in the Roman Near East (2013-2017) investigates the resilient everyday ties, such as trade, religion and power, connecting people within and across fluctuating imperial borders in the Near East in the Roman Period. The project is funded under the Research Council of Norway's SAMKUL initiative, and hosted by the Department of archaeology, history, cultural studies and religion, University of Bergen, Norway.

This blog is no longer updated, for any queries, please contact project leader Eivind Heldaas Seland

Friday, 17 January 2014

Call for papers, session at the 2014 ASOR annual meeting

Together with Dr. Kerstin Droß-Krüpe, University of Kassel, we are hosting a session on "Sinews of Empire": Networks in the Near East" at the 2014 annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research, which will be held in San Diego, November 19-22.

Here is the abstract for our session:

Sinews of empire: Networks in the Near East

This session addresses the role of networks and social relationships, as facilitators of interaction and integration between imperial, regional and local levels in the history and archeology of the Near East. Contributors are encouraged to situate their papers within theoretical frameworks that facilitate comparison between periods and empirical settings.

From the Neo-Assyrian Empire to the end of the colonial period, the Near East was dominated by a series of large, multiethnic empires, most of them centered outside the region itself. Recent studies have moved emphasis from metropolitan to regional and local points of view, but arguably most have continued to cast representatives of imperial rule as protagonists or antagonists in narratives of domination, resistance, integration and fragmentation. In recent years, a resurgence in interest in network approaches has offered new tools to conceptualize, visualize and arguably even measure interaction in past societies. In this session we aim to utilize network perspectives in an attempt to shift attention to everyday ties of business, religion, power and social interaction. How did networks develop? What where the institutions underpinning interaction and fostering integration? What impact did formal and informal rules have on interaction within these networks? How did networks react to stress on imperial level, such as invasions, economic crisis or civil war? We especially welcome papers situating data within theoretical frameworks such as Network Analysis, Social Network Analysis, Actor Network Theory and Agency Theory, in order to facilitate comparison between groups, over time and between different parts of the Near East.

If you are interested in participating, paper proposals can be submitted via ASOR's online submission system

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