CfP: Boundaries and Frontiers in South Slavic Cultures: the City and the Biblical Tradition, October, 3–5th, 2019, Sofia

We would like to invite you to take part in the interdisciplinary international conference organized by the Institute of Slavic Studies at the Polish Academy of Sciences, the Institute for Literature at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and the Cyrillo-Methodian Research Centre at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences: Boundaries and Frontiers in South Slavic Cultures: the City and the Biblical Tradition, Sofia, 3th–5th of October 2019.

The concepts of boundary and frontier rise the issues of identity and difference fundamental for human thought. In the contexts of Christian and post-Christian cultures, the experience of boundaries/frontiers is a reference to the biblical tradition, as one can speak of Old Testament models of experiencing/overcoming difference. In this context, the phenomenon of borders bring up both the idea of Connecting (trusting openness, consent to the movement towards another) and Separation (and thus to closure, isolation of oneself).

In South Slavic cultures, the notion of boundary is of particular importance because of their complex historical development, marked by the influence of various cultural and religious ideas. The object of our interest are two (seemingly different but in fact deeply connected) cultural spaces: the city and the biblical tradition. Both the urban community and biblical ideo-aesthetic models are treated here as basic elements of the European cultural model – as carriers of both what connects but alsowhat separates them. Within their frame, boundaries can be understood not only as a sphere of hybridity or syncretism, but also a space where ideological gaps and breakthroughs are important for the cultural dynamics.

We are interested in various cultural (manifested mainly in literature and art) understandings of urban and biblical “spaces” how the boundary manifests itself within them and through them, how it arises and what is its essence.

We invite you to explore these problems from an interdisciplinary point of view (philosophy, theology, cultural history). We hope that this approach will create new research perspectives on the cultural phenomena of the European Southeast.

CONFERENCE LANGUAGES: all Slavic languages, English

Submissions (a brief summary of the presentations – no more than 600 characters) should be sent by 30 June 2019 to dr Ewelina Drzewiecka (

The conference is organized within the framework of the projects “The City in the Dynamic of Culture” and “Boundaries and Frontiers: Biblical Models and Their Influence on South Slavic Literatures and Cultures from the Middle Ages through the Modern Period”.