The conference Re-Constructing Late Antique Armenia will take place in Brno

  • 18.02.2022
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Dear friends and colleagues,

we would like to cordially invite you to the conference Re-Constructing Late Antique Armenia (2nd–8th Centuries CE) Historiography, Material Culture, Immaterial Heritage , which will take place from the 20th to the 22th February 2022 at the Masaryk University in Brno. The conference is organized as part of the project Cultural Interactions in the Medieval Sub-Caucasian Region: Historiographical and Art-Historical Perspectives (Czech Science Foundation – Swiss National Science Foundation); in collaboration between the Department of Art History, University of Fribourg and the Center for Early Medieval Studies, Department of Art History, Masaryk University, Brno.

Topic of the Conference

What is the place of Armenian arts and culture within the Late Antique Mediterranean space? Since the eighteenth century, scholars have attempted to provide answers to this thorny question. In doing so, researchers from Western Europe and Russia have often approached Armenia from a colonial or orientalist perspective, marginalizing or neglecting elements of its material and literary cultures. Armenia was thus presented, amongst others, as a bridge between the “Persian East” and the “Byzantine West”. Conversely, Armenian scholars have defended the uniqueness and originality of what became their “national” heritage. Both perspectives, ultimately, contributed to the isolation of Armenian arts and culture.

Recent investigations, however, highlight the necessity of re-considering Armenian material and literary cultures within broader Mediterranean area and emphasize the Late Antique cultural exchanges and interactions rather than specific cultures. Furthermore, the continuous contacts with other cultures of Western Asia cannot be neglected either.

The present conference aims to tackle these issues in two distinctive ways: on the one hand, by recontextualizing of the historiographical frameworks from the nineteenth to the twentieth century; on the other hand, by introducing new perspectives that examine the place of Armenia within the Late Antique world through the analysis of its material, visual, literary, and immaterial heritage. Our aim is to bring together scholars from different fields of studies, including, but not limited to, art history, history, archaeology, religious studies, as well as philology.PROGRAMME

Keynote Lecture

We are pleased to invite you to a keynote lecture by professor Patrick Donabédian (Aix-Marseille University)
The Golden Age of Armenian Architecture in the 7th Century – Culmination of a Late Antique Legacy?,
which will take place in the Hans Belting Library on the 20th February from 6 p.m.

The keynote lecture will be held in presence of H.E. Ashot Hovakimian, the Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to the Czech Republic, and of the Dean of the Faculty of Arts, prof. Dr. Milan Pol.

Department of Art History, Masaryk University, Brno.

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