Call for Papers: XXIV Finnish Symposium on Late Antiquity

Slavery in Late Antiquity

Tvärminne, Finland 11–12 November, 2016

The multidisciplinary Finnish Symposium on Late Antiquity will be organized on 11–12 November 2016. The symposium brings together scholars and postgraduate students of Late Antiquity from a variety of universities and academic disciplines.

The theme of this year’s symposium is Slavery in Late Antiquity. Research on slavery in the late Roman Empire and in the post-Roman kingdoms has been expanding and evolving in the recent decades. The theme will be approached from a wide perspective, including social, economic, political, legal, ideological and religious levels. We welcome papers that discuss slavery from the point of view of landowning, local differences, changes in rural and urban settings, alterations in ideas and attitudes, and modifications in status and everyday life. Papers that analyse scholarly approaches to late antique slavery are also welcome.


The keynote speakers of the symposium are:

  • Chris De Wet: Emancipating the Spirit: Late Ancient Slavery in/and the Religious Thought of Eunomius and Basil of Caesarea. Prof. De Wet (New Testament and Early Christian Studies, University of South Africa), is specialist of slavery in early Christianity and early Christian Greek and Latin literature, especially John Chrystostom. His next book The Unbound God: Slavery and the Making of Early Christian Theology will be published this year.
  • Marianne Bjelland Kartzow: The Paradox of Slavery in Early Christian Discourse: An Intersectional Approach. Prof. Kartzow (New Testament Studies at the University of Oslo) has worked with theories of gossip and other types of oral communication in the ancient world, and written books and articles related to gender and slavery in early Christian texts.
  • Marja Vierros: Slaves in the Sixth Century Palestine in the Light of Papyrological Evidence. Dr Vierros (Classics, University of Helsinki) is specialist of Greek papyrology and linguistics. She is author of Bilingual Notaries in Hellenistic Egypt. A Study of Greek as a Second Language (2012) and has been involved in publishing the Byzantine papyrus dossier found in Petra, Jordan.

Please send a short abstract of 250–300 words along with your name, institution, e-mail and title by 2nd May 2016 to Dr. Ville Vuolanto: ville.vuolanto(at) Applicants will be informed by 1st June 2016 whether they have been accepted. 20 minutes is reserved for each presentation, plus 10 minutes for discussion.

The symposium is free, but the number of participants we can take is limited. It will be organized at the Tvärminne Zoological Station on the southern coast of Finland. We offer transportation from Helsinki to Tvärminne and the return journey, as well as accommodation (one night) and meals in Tvärminne. However, we are not able to cover any travel costs to or accommodation in Helsinki. Registration for the symposium starts on 1 October and closes on 26 October 2016.

The symposium is organised by Maijastina Kahlos, University of Helsinki, Ulla Tervahauta, University of Helsinki and Ville Vuolanto, University of Tampere / University of Oslo.

The Symposium is funded by the Centre of Excellence “Reason and Religious Recognition”, Faculty of Theology; Jaakko Frösen Fund; and Department of World Cultures, Faculty of Humanities, University of Helsinki.