May 27, 2018

Barry Co-Organizes First Millennium Network Event

Assistant Professor of Religion Jennifer Barry helped co-organize a series of events in the  Washington D.C. area throughout the academic year for the First Millennium Network (firstmillenniumnetwork.org). The FMN is a cross-institutional collaborative network that hosts academic events around Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. Barry’s involvement in the Network has been a direct response to UMW’s President Troy Paino’s call to put Mary Washington on the map. The Network places special emphasis on the diversity of, and interconnections among, the religious communities within first millennium societies—Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Manicheanism, Zoroastrianism, etc.—in their multitude of forms.

On Friday, April 13, 2018, Barry, along with her fellow steering committee members, organized a day-long colloquium on “The Materiality of Relics in the First Millennium” at the University of Maryland, College Park. Four experts on relics and materiality broadly conceived were invited to share their research. Their disciplines ranged from archaeology, Carolingian textiles, Byzantine liturgical studies, and early Islamic textual practices. Each speaker was charged with the task to talk across their disciplinary boundaries, which helped to generate new and creative conversations. The day concluded with a session of reflection lead by Jennifer Barry and Samuel Collins to promote interdisciplinary connections and address thematic threads throughout the day.