INFORMATION FOR CONFERENCE DELEGATES
The International Conference on Patristic Studies has taken place in Oxford every four years since 1951. Initially conceived as an oecumenical colloquium for a select group of clerical scholars, it has expanded decade by decade until in 2015 it welcomed almost a thousand delegates, clerical and lay, from all the world’s continents, and encompassed a great diversity of subjects from the New Testament to Palamas, and from liturgy to postmodern theories of gender. It is organized by a board of scholars from various universities in the United Kingdom, with the assistance of the presidents of the Association Internationale des Études Patristiques and the North American Patristics Society.
Registering for the Conference
For over forty years, the registration and accommodation were handled free of charge by one person, Dr Elizabeth Livingstone. Dr Livingstone’s retirement in 1995, however, coupled with the huge expansion in numbers, has made it necessary to employ a team of dedicated professionals, led by Priscilla Frost, who naturally charge for their excellent services. Moreover, the increasing financial pressure on both the church and the universities in the United Kingdom have forced our principal venues, the Examination Schools and the Church of St Mary the Virgin, to raise their charges. All these costs must be covered by the registration fee, as the University of Oxford gives no subsidy to the conference (other than the exemption from Value Added Tax). The organizers recognise that the fee will be burdensome for many delegates, but they do everything in their power to secure financial assistance for those in most need, and make no charge for their own services. They therefore ask for the understanding of all participants.
Registration will be through the conference website. In previous years, accommodation has been booked by Mrs Frost on behalf of Oxford Conference Management. At the last conference, however, many delegates found it cheaper to book their rooms through websites (chiefly Oxford Rooms), and it has therefore been decided that Oxford Conference Management will no longer take on this task. This measure will help to keep the costs for delegates as low as possible. Anyone wishing to stay in an Oxford College is advised to visit Oxford Rooms (universityrooms.com). Accommodation of other kinds can be booked through such sites as booking. com, trivago.co.uk and expedia.co.uk.
Academic presentations may be given in English, French, German, Italian or Spanish. They now fall into three types, the plenary, the workshop and the short communication. Plenary lectures will be given in the mornings, on Wednesday evenings, and on the Monday and Friday evenings. All lecturers on these occasions will be speaking at the invitation of the organizers, and therefore no applications are solicited.
A workshop (please note for the submission of proposals that the submission system which we use and cannot alter calls workshops 'symposia') is an event in which a group of scholars (usually from 3 to 6) deliver short papers on related topics under a common title. The maximum length of a daily session is 2.5 hours, but workshops may extend over two successive days. The workshop must include named participants from at least two different countries (the United Kingdom being one country for this purpose). Individual papers typically last from 20 to 30 minutes, and substantial time should be allowed for discussion. All workshops will take place in the Examination Schools in the afternoons, either from 2.00-4.00 or from 4.00-6.30.
Every workshop should have a convener, who is requested to submit an application to the conference website by August 31 2018. This should include the title of the whole workshop, a rationale for the project, the names of all individual speakers, and the titles of their papers. Conveners should state whether they wish the workshop to run over one day or two. In addition, each speaker should register individually, submitting the proposed titles of his or her paper. Notice of approval or rejection of a workshop will be sent to the convener by October 31 2018.
Short communications take place in the mornings (9.00- 1.00) in the Examination Schools. The maximum length of a short communication is 18 minutes. The person chairing the session will ring a bell after 12 minutes, and again after 15, to help the speaker to keep time. The bell will be rung for the last time after 18 minutes, and no speaker is permitted to continue after this point. Delegates are therefore advised to choose a subject which can be handled in less than 2500 words.
Anyone proposing to give a short communication must submit a title and abstract through the website by December 31 2018. The organizers reserve the right to reject any proposal which seems to them academically inadequate or irrelevant to the interests of the conference. Because it has been decided that all short communications will be held in the morning, it may be necessary to limit numbers. In this case, preference will be given to those who are submitting a paper to the conference for the first time.
Please note that no-one is permitted to deliver a formal paper in more than one workshop, or to give both a workshop paper and a short communication. Plenary speakers may in addition offer a paper of their own choosing, either as part of a workshop or as a short communication. It is permissible for a person to act as an informal respondent in one workshop in addition to giving a plenary, a short communication or a paper to another workshop. All arrangements are subject to the exigencies of drawing up the timetable for the conference.
The organizers welcome you in advance to the mother of all conferences on patristic studies.