Princeton-Oxford-Vienna Graduate Exchange

Princeton-Oxford-Vienna Graduate Exchange
in Late Roman, Byzantine, and Early Medieval History, 2010-2013

This is to announce a new academic exchange programme between the Universities of Princeton, Oxford, and Vienna, and to invite applications from doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers to take part in it.

The purpose of the exchange is to enable scholars-in-the-making from different continents to make contact, to share their work, and more broadly to ‘compare notes’ on their experience and formation. The intellectual traditions which shape advanced training in our three institutions are not the same, and there is much to be learned by taking stock of the character of the historical discipline as developed in different contexts. This is partly a matter of what and how technical skills are valued; it is also to do with the questions that are asked in the study of the period. Should we be explaining ‘the fall of Rome’, ‘the beginning of the Middle Ages’, ‘the rise of Abrahamic monotheism’? The way we frame research questions depends on where we come from?and as the next generation of researchers you should know and understand this!

The exchange will run initially for three years and will centre on an annual seminar. The first meeting will be next spring in Princeton, from March 29 to April 3, 2011. Travelling to Princeton will be two groups of c.6 from Oxford and Vienna, accompanied by one or two colleagues. We will be hosted by Princeton staff and graduate students. Travel, accommodation, and subsistence expenses will be covered (there may be a small contribution required to cover UK ground travel).

The seminar itself will run over two days (March 29 and April 1, with April 2 as a day for you to use as you wish). It will involve short presentations, responses to presentations, and open discussion. The theme for this year’s seminar will be ‘Urban Contexts’, future themes are currently ‘The Uses of Antiquity’ and ‘The Transformation of Elites’. Do note that each year the theme will be very broadly interpreted: it is intended to give some focus to discussion rather than exclude participation. Please note also that participation in this year’s seminar neither guarantees nor precludes participation in future: there will be a new call for applications next year.

Application Procedure

The scheme is open to doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers, although preference may be given to the former.
If you would like to participate, please send the following to Conrad Leyser ( by November 26th.
? Thesis title, thesis supervisor, and brief description of your research
? Title and brief description of a presentation you would propose to offer in Princeton
? ‘Value added’: how would participation in the seminar benefit your research?
In all, your application should be 300-500 words.
Please also arrange for your supervisor to send in a supporting statement direct to Conrad Leyser by Nov 22nd.

The applications will be considered by the Oxford colleagues involved in the exchange:
Conrad Leyser, Neil McLynn, Bryan Ward-Perkins, and Chris Wickham.
In making the final decision, we may need to consider the overall balance of the group in terms of area/topic. You will know the outcome by December 3rd.