From antiquity to modernity, pre-modern ruling systems shared a common feature: the participation of men who were either physically unable or normatively forbidden to father children. One the one hand, there were the childless eunuchs who fulfilled a variety of functions at courts in the Middle East, Byzantium and China; on the other hand, we have the ruling priests: the celibate bishops both in the Byzantine Empire and Latin Europe.
This conference aims to shed light on the culture of political rule in a period before a strict biological dichotomy of the sexes might be said to have existed. We hope that the ensuing discussion and debate will open up new perspectives on the connections and peculiarities that can be discovered between rule and gender on a pre-modern global level. The papers will explore such themes within the Middle East, the Roman Empire in Late Antiquity and Byzantium, Latin Europe, China and other geographic areas.
Currently there is space for two doctoral candidates to deliver a 25-minute paper on any geographical area. If interested please send a 1 page CV along with an abstract of not more than 300 words to firstname.lastname@example.org, by March 31st 2013.
The conference will be held at the University of Zurich between Wednesday 28th August – 30th August, 2013. Registration, which will be free, will begin at 2.30pm on Wednesday.
Other questions and queries can be directed to Matthew Mesley, University of Zurich, (email@example.com)
Questions and queries can be directed to Matthew Mesley, University of Zurich, (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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