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Durham Centre for Roman Cultural Studies

Recent Events

Durham Book Festival: Writing in the Academy

Prof Richard Hingley talks about his new book Hadrian's Wall: A Life as part of the Durham Book Festival.

26th October 2012, 12:30 to 13:30, Institute of Advanced Study Seminar Room, Cosins Hall, Palace Green

Professor Maggie O'Neill, Professor Richard Hingley & Professor Andrea Noble

Chorography and Archaeology: Place, Space and Time in current and future approaches in Archaeology

10 July, 2012 1:00 – 5:00pm

Birley Room, Department of Archaeology
Durham University

Speakers include
Professor Michael Shanks (Stanford)
Professor Richard Hingley (Durham)
Dr Christopher Witmore (Texas Tech)
Dr. David Petts (Durham)
Darrell J. Rohl (Durham)


Institute for Advanced Study: Frontiers Workshop 2: Debatable Lands

IAS Seminar Room, Wednesday 25th January 2012, 12.00-17.30

12.00-1.00     Lunch

1.00              Dr Edward Welch (School of Modern Languages and Cultures, Durham University), Brief Introduction

1.00-1.30       Dr Ben Campbell (Anthropology, Durham), Living on the Frontline. Getting it From Both Sides

1.30-2.00       DrPiers Vitebsky (Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge), Ontologies and powers: crossing boundaries in Tribal India

2.00-2.30       Dr Andrew Burridge (IBRU, Durham), Managing the External Borders of the European Union through Emergency Measures: Frontex and Rapid Border Intervention Teams

2.30-3.00       Discussion

3.00-3.30       Tea and biscuits

3.30-4.00       DrSophia Labadi (UNESCO, Paris), World Heritage as debatable lands?

4.00-4.30       ProfessorRichard Hingley (Archaeology, Durham), The Roman frontiers as debatable lands

4.30-5.00       Professor Sarah Green (Social Anthropology, Manchester), Summing up

5.00-5.30       Final discussion

Breaking Boundaries in Postgraduate Frontiers and Borders Research

Ustinov College, Durham University, 25-26 November 2011

Keynote Speaker: Professor David Breeze, Friday Evening
(“Frontiers of the Roman Empire: a stimulation for international co-operation,” with optional dinner and wine reception)

Special Performance: Stephe Harrop, Professional Storyteller, Saturday
(“The Border Ballads,” with wine reception)

Frontiers, borders, boundaries and barriers are a familiar feature of contemporary human experience. We face them in the geopolitical realities of modern nation-states, social, ethnic, gender and class divisions, cultural taboos, moral lines drawn by the secular and the divine, the passage between life and death, and in a vast array of ideological lines drawn by individuals and societies. Historical and contemporary frontiers alike play an important role in human behaviour, as they are often barriers with which we must contend and/or negotiate, sometimes even long after they cease to serve their original function. Borders – ideological, physical, imposed and entrenched – have always been central in global and local conflicts.  Perhaps paradoxically, frontiers may also simultaneously serve the contradictory roles of both exclusion and inclusion, helping to forge new and sometimes hybrid identities. Frontiers are thus an essential and timely topic for academic research across a variety of disciplines. This conference aims to provide a venue for the sharing of postgraduate research on frontiers and borders from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, with a special emphasis on “breaking boundaries” through the application of new approaches, cross-disciplinary theories and methods, accounts of discrepant experience and movement across frontiers, as well as new research that challenges long-established paradigms. The conference also aims to provide a valuable postgraduate counterpart and voice to the larger “Life of the Frontier” multidisciplinary research theme to be centred at Durham in 2011-12 under the auspices of the Institute of Advanced Study (http://www.dur.ac.uk/ias/lifeofthefrontier/).

We are seeking proposals for both paper and poster presentations. All proposals will be considered, and we welcome abstracts from postgraduate students working in any discipline, period and/or geographic region. All proposals should relate to topics on frontiers and/or borders as broadly defined above, and we particularly welcome abstracts that demonstrate a “breaking boundaries” theme. Peer-reviewed publication avenues will be pursued for all papers, and a further selection of papers may be invited for further discussion at the Durham Frontiers Conference to be held in March 2012. Please submit abstracts of c. 250 words to H.J.Shewly@durham.ac.uk no later than 19 September, 2011 and include PAPER or POSTER in your subject line. As space available for paper presentations is limited, we may not be able to accept all submissions; if you would like for your proposal to be considered for both paper and poster options, please include this with your abstract.


XXIst INTERNATIONAL LIMES (ROMAN FRONTIERS) CONGRESS AT NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, 2009

Studying Roman frontiers in a globalized world

Session organizers: Richard Hingley, Divya Tolia Kelly and Rob Witcher

This session aims to explore how and why we study Roman frontiers. Specifically, it will consider the relationship between scholarly work and contemporary society. Historiographical studies demonstrate how archaeologists’ interpretive frameworks are often shaped by contemporary social and political environment (for example, the defensive frontier / Maginot Line). What then does it mean to study Roman frontiers in today’s globalized world? One of the defining characteristics of the contemporary globe is the process of de-territorialization – the integrity of nation states is eroded by the free movement of people, goods, and ideas. In such a world, the relevance of the frontier appears to have declined; perhaps the Roman frontier is of little relevance in a globalized world?

In fact, frontiers have not disappeared at all. Both iconic frontiers (e.g. Berlin Wall) and banal frontiers (internal EU customs) may have vanished; the new frontier may be in cyberspace. But other physical frontiers persist (the US-Mexico border) and other new frontiers have been defined (Israel-Palestine security fence). This session starts from the belief that the study of ancient frontiers is of no less relevance today than 100 years ago. Further, bordering and globalization theories provide new conceptual tools for the interpretation of these frontiers and the exploration of their relevance.

Papers in this session are invited to set the study of Roman frontiers in a broad historical context and to explore the interpretation of Roman frontiers today. It is intended to bring together academics from a diverse range of subjects, including archaeologists, geographers, historians who are working on the European, Eastern and African frontiers of the Empire, as well as scholars working on other historical and contemporary frontiers. The aim is to consider if and how current studies have responded to the new global order and how they might develop in the future.


Religion, Society and Culture at Dura-Europas

Friday 19 and Saturday 20 December 2008
Department of Classics & Ancient History, Durham University 

For more details of this event, click here.