Tag Archives: Byzantine Studies

Conf: Reconsidering the Concept of Decline and the Arts of the Palaiologan Era, University of Birmingham, 24-25 February 2017

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Reconsidering the Concept of Decline and the Arts of the Palaiologan Era
University of Birmingham
24-25 February 2017

This one day and a half conference combines a symposium and a workshop. The aim is to examine and contextualise the artistic and cultural production of the geopolitical centres that were controlled by or in contact with the late Byzantine Empire. This conference will explore the many intellectual implications that are encoded in the innovative artistic production of the Palaiologan Era often simplified by a rigid understanding of what is Byzantine and what is not.

24 Feb 2017 – 1st day
14.00-14.10 – Opening remarks: prof Leslie Brubaker, University of Birmingham
14.10-15.00 First Keynote lecture and discussion: Dr Cecily Hilsdale, McGill University, Title TBC
15.00-16.00 First panel – Chair Dr Ruth Macrides, University of Birmingham
Ivana Jevtic: Late Byzantine Painting Reconsidered: Art in Decline or Art in the Age of Decline?
Andrew Griebeler: The Greek Botanical Albums in Late Byzantine and Early Ottoman Constantinople
Maria Alessia Rossi: Political ruin or spiritual renewal? Early Palaiologan art in context
16.00-16.20 Discussion
16.30-16.50 Coffee break
17.00-17.50 Second Keynote lecture and discussion: prof Niels Gaul, University of Edinburgh: Palaiologan Byzantium(s): East Rome’s Final Two Centuries in Recent Research
18.00-19.00 Reception

25 Feb 2017 – 2nd day
9.00-9.50 Opening keynote lecture and discussion: Dr Angeliki Lymberopoulou, Open University, Palaiologan art from regional Crete: artistic decline or social progress?
10.00 -10.40 Second panel – Chair Dr Daniel Reynolds, University of Birmingham Anđela Gavrilović: The Stylistic Features of the Frescoes of the Church of the Mother of God Hodegetria in the Patriarchate of Peć (c. 1335-1337)
Ludovic Bender: Mistra and its countryside: The transformation of the late Byzantine religious landscape of Laconia
10.40-11.00 Discussion
11.00-11.20 Coffee break
11.30-12.30 Third Panel – Chair Dr Francesca Dell’Acqua, University of Birmingham Andrea Mattiello: Who’s that man? The perception of Byzantium in 15th century Italy
Tatiana Bardashova: Palaiologan Influence on the Visual Representation of the Grand Komnenoi in the Empire of Trebizond (1204-1461)
Lilyana Yordanova: The Issues of Visual Narrative, Literary Patronage and Display of Virtues of a Bulgarian Tsar in the Fourteenth century
12.30-12.50 Discussion
13.00-14.00 Lunch break

14.10-14.50 Two 10-mins presentations by MA students and 20-mins discussion
14.50-15.30 Two 10-mins presentations by MA students and 20-mins discussion
15.40-16.00 Coffee break
16.10-16.50 Two 10-mins presentations by MA students and 20-mins discussion
16.50-17.00 Closing remarks: Andrea Mattiello/Maria Alessia Rossi

The programme, further information and details of how to book can be found at:


CFP: CEMS International Graduate Conference (Budapest, 1-3 Jun 17)

mediterraneanBudapest, Central European University, June 1 – 03, 2017
Deadline: Jan 31, 2017

The Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies (CEMS) at Central European
University and its junior members are proud to announce the forthcoming
Fifth International Graduate Conference on Building, Bending, and
Breaking Boundaries in the Eastern Mediterranean World.


This three-day conference invites graduate students of Late Antique, Islamic, Jewish,
Byzantine, Medieval, Ottoman studies, and related disciplines, to present their research on the manifold and complex processes of constructing, negotiating, transgressing, and subverting social, political, cultural, or confessional boundaries in the eastern Mediterranean from Antiquity to the Early Modern period.

Conference Description

What is a border? What are the sites and strategies of
boundary-construction and who are its agents? Boundaries shape and
forge categories by enforcement and reinforcement of power ingrained
within a built environment, conceptual or physical. Thus, they do not
necessarily indicate territorial margins, but can also embrace
theoretical, temporal, and metaphorical borders. They can be natural or
artificial, sharp or blurry; they can be understood in positive and/or
negative terms as means of protection or as instruments of exclusion;
and they can mark conceptual territories, such as “the human,” “the
holy,” “the family,” or “the natural world.” Triggered by new waves of
immigration, the meaningfulness of state borders and the necessity of
their control have been subject to debate, alongside questions
concerning the boundaries surrounding identities, cultures or
religions. Moving beyond the border of nation-states and the “clash of
civilizations” paradigm, the main objective of this conference is to
explore the historically contingent, fluid, and dynamic nature of
borders by shedding light on the intricate mechanisms through which
boundaries were erected, maintained, crossed, and transgressed
throughout the eastern Mediterranean world.

Possible paper topics might include, but are not limited to:

Border ontologies and epistemologies
Negotiating, contesting, and appropriating spaces – sites of cultural,
religious, social, political, economic, artistic encounters,
transformations, and exchange
The dynamics of borders and identities – the role of different sensory
mechanisms in (re)articulating communal boundaries and identities,
multiple identities and cultural mobility
Practices of representation – multisensory engagement with various
aspects of daily life, the anthropology of smells and sounds, sumptuary
restrictions on food
Bordering the body – the politicization of bodily images and the
genderization of conflicts
Geopolitics, power practices, sovereignty
Politics of translation as means of enforcement, representation, and/or
Please submit by January 31, 2017 a short paper proposal (no more than
250 words, together with a brief biography and contact information) to
the following address: cemsconference@ceu.edu

Keynote Speakers

Verena Krebs (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

David Thomas (University of Birmingham)

Greg Woolf (Institute of Classical Studies, London)

Accommodation and Travel Grants

All participants will be offered accommodation for the full duration of
the conference (3 nights) at the CEU Residence Center. In order to
encourage the participation of individuals with limited institutional
support a small number of partial travel grants will be available to
cover travel expenses. Those who wish to be considered for the grant
should include an additional justification alongside their paper
proposals. Please note that there is no conference fee. For further
information, do not hesitate to contact the organizers at
cemsconference@ceu.edu .

CFP: Global Byzantium: 50th Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies (University of Birmingham, 25–27 March 2017)

Call for Communications: Global Byzantium: 50th Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies

Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies
University of Birmingham

25-27 March 2017


For its 50th anniversary, the Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies returns to the University of Birmingham, where it began in 1967. On this anniversary of the discipline we ask what the language of globalism has to offer to Byzantine studies, and Byzantine studies to global narratives. How global was Byzantium? Our understanding of the links which Byzantium had to far-flung parts of the world, and of its connections with near neighbours, continues to develop but the significance of these connections to Byzantium and its interlocutors remains keenly debated. Comparisons from or to Byzantium may also help in thinking about globalism, modern and historical. How, for example, might Byzantine legal structures, visual culture or military practice contribute to debates about the role of the medieval state or the relationship between modern cultural and national identities? Finally, Byzantine studies has always been an international discipline, marked by the interaction of its different national, regional and linguistic traditions of scholarship, as well as its highly interdisciplinary nature. How has this manifested in the interpretation of Byzantine history and how might practices of global scholarship be pursued in the future? The 50th Spring Symposium invites contributions for communications on any of these themes and warmly invites abstracts from scholars outside the UK and in fields linked to Byzantine studies.

The call for communications is now open. If you would like to offer a 10-minute communication on the theme of the symposium, please send an abstract of no more than 250 words to Daniel Reynolds at d.k.reynolds@bham.ac.uk by 1 September 2016.

Successful submissions will be informed no later than 1 October 2016. Some bursaries will be available to selected speakers, especially to attendees from outside the UK. If you would like to be considered for a bursary please indicate this on your abstract and we will send you further information about the application process if appropriate.

For more information, see: http://www.byzantium.ac.uk/events/spring-symposium-2017.html

Symposium: The 49th Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies (18–20 March 2016)

csm_Epigraphy_86843da101Inscribing Texts in Byzantium: Continuities & Transformations

Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies

Exeter College, Oxford, 18–20 March 2016

In spite of the striking abundance of extant primary material – over 4000 Greek texts produced in the period between the sixth and fifteenth centuries – Byzantine Epigraphy remains largely uncharted territory, with a reputation for being elusive and esoteric that obstinately persists. References to inscriptions in our texts show how ubiquitous and deeply engrained the epigraphic habit was in Byzantine society, and underscore the significance of epigraphy as an auxiliary discipline. The SPBS Symposium 2016 has invited specialists in the field to examine diverse epigraphic material in order to trace individual epigraphic habits, and outline overall inscriptional traditions. In addition to the customary format of panel papers and shorter communications, the Symposium will organize a round table, whose participants will lead a debate on the topics presented in the panel papers, and discuss the methodological questions of collection, presentation and interpretation of Byzantine inscriptional material.

Registration and Booking:

Early registration available until 1 March 2016.

Please book using the University of Oxford’s online booking form.


Friday 18 March:

10:00: Registration, Coffee

11:00: OPENING ADDRESS: Cyril Mango

11:30: PANEL ONE: Collecting and Reading Inscriptions in Byzantium
Marc Lauxtermann: Collecting Inscriptions in Byzantium
Foteini Spingou:  Reading Inscriptions in Byzantium
13:00: Lunch

14:00: PANEL TWO: Traditions and Transitions

Anne McCabe: Traditions and Transitions in Early Byzantine Constantinopolitan Material
Sylvain Destephen: The Process of ‘Byzantinization’ in Late Antique Anatolian Epigraphy
Sean Leatherbury: Reading, Viewing and Inscribing Faith: Christian Epigraphy in the Early Umayyad Levant
16:00: Tea

16:30: PANEL THREE: Seventh-century Epigraphy Three Ways

Ida Toth: Epigraphy and Byzantine Writing Culture
Ine Jacobs: Epigraphy and Archaeology
Marek Jankowiak: Epigraphy and History
09:00: COMMUNICATIONS 1 (download abstracts for all communications here)

Fabian Stroth: Space Oddity: The Sts. Sergios and Bakchos Epigram Read Through its Manufacturing Process
Pamela Armstrong: Dipinto Inscriptions on Architectural Ceramics
Jim Crow: Lost and Found. Two inscriptions from Eastern Thrace from the District of Karacaköy
Paschalis Androudis: Byzantine Inscriptions on the Marble Cornices of the Church of Profitis Ilias in Thessaloniki
10:00: Coffee

10:30: PANEL FOUR: Place, Placement, Paratextuality

Andreas Rhoby: Inscriptions and the Byzantine Beholder: The Question of the Perception of Script
Niels Gaul: Epigraphic Majuscules and Marginalia: Paratextual ‘Inscriptions’ in Byzantine Manuscripts
Brad Hostetler: Towards a Typology for the Placement of Names on Works of Art
12:30: Lunch

13:30: PANEL FIVE: The (In)formality of the Inscribed Word

Maria Xenaki: The (In)formality of the Inscribed Word at the Parthenon: Script, Content and Legibility
Nicholas Melvani: State, Strategy, and Ideology in Monumental Imperial Inscription
Alexandra Vassiliou-Seibt: The Evaluation of the Inscribed Word on Seals
15:30: Tea

16:00: PANEL SIX: The Material Turn

Georgios Pallis: The House of Inscriptions. The Epigraphic World of the Middle Byzantine Church and its Significance
Ivan Drpic: Short Texts on Small Objects: The Poetics of the Byzantine Enkolpion
17:30-18:30: Reception

18:30-19:30: SPBS Exec meeting

20:00: Dinner

Sukanya Raisharma: Reading Early Texts and Codices as Epigraphical Evidence
Arkadii Avdokhin: Inscriptions Imagined and Narrated – Textual Evidence for the Perspective of the Viewer on Early Byzantine Epigraphy
Antonio Felle: Some Examples of Funerary Non-exposed Writings (Italy and Byzantium between VI and IX centuries)
Eileen Rubery: Making and Meaning in the Inscriptions Found in the Frescoes in the Church of Santa Maria Antiqua in the Roman Forum (600-800 AD)
Maria Lidova: Word of Image: Textual Frames of Early Byzantine Icons
Emmanuel Moutafov: Epigraphy and Art: Corpora of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Monumental Painting in Bulgaria. Is Epigraphy an Auxiliary Discipline?

Georgios Deligiannakis: Epigraphy and Early Monasticism
Pawel Nowakowski: The Cult of Saints Database as an Instrument of Study for the Cult of Saints in Anatolia
Efthymios Rizos: The Emperor and the Great Shrines of the Empire: The Testimony of Inscribed Imperial Pronouncements
Mirela Ivanova: Krum’s Triumphal Inscriptions and the Community in Early Medieval Bulgaria (c. 803-14)
Archie Dunn: Institutions, Socio-economic Groups, and Urban Change in the Sigillographic Inscriptions of Byzantine Corinth
Christos Stavrakos: Epigraphy as a Source for Rare Iconography and the Society of Lakedaimon in the Late Byzantine period

10:30: Coffee and SPBS Annual General Meeting

11:30: ROUND TABLE: SPBS Debate on Byzantine Epigraphy (Chair: Elizabeth Jeffreys)

Dennis Feissel
Charlotte Roueche
Marlia Mango
Scott Redford
Sophia Kalopissi-Verti
Tony Eastmond

For more information see: http://www.byzantium.ac.uk/events/spring-symposium-2016.html

Workshop: ‘The world comes to Sinai: Saint Catherine’s monastery as a cultural magnet’ (London 6 February 2016)

St. Catherine's Monastery SinaiThe World Comes to Sinai:
St Catherine’s Monastery and its Library
as a Cultural Magnet
A Workshop-Conference of the Saint Catherine Foundation
Saturday, 6 February 2015, 10.00 to 13.00
Bridgewater House
14 Cleveland Row, SW1A 1DP, London


10.00 Welcoming Remarks
Jenny Richardson, Treasurer, Saint Catherine Foundation
10.10 How Did Syriac Manuscripts Get to Sinai?
Sebastian Brock, Department of Oriental Studies, Oxford
10.35 Visitors from Christian Orient and the Palimpsested Manuscripts
Claudia Rapp, Department of Byzantine and Modern Greek
Studies, Vienna University
11.00 Break
11.30 Sinai and the Market for Printed Books
Nicholas Pickwoad, Ligatus Centre, University of the Arts,
11.55 A View to the Future: The New Library Wing
Petros Koufopoulos, Department of Architecture,
University of Patras, Greece
12.20 Discussion, followed by Coffee and Conversation
+44 (0) 20 7396 5420
Admission free

Grants: Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture (deadline 2 February 2016)

demetroThe Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture is pleased to announce its 2016-2017 grant competition. Our grants reflect the Mary Jaharis Center’s commitment to fostering the field of Byzantine studies through the support of graduate students and early career researchers and faculty.
Mary Jaharis Center Dissertation Development Grants target graduate students who have completed all coursework, language requirements, and exams necessary to advance to Ph.D. candidacy. Grants are meant to assist with the costs of travel associated with the development of a dissertation proposal in the field of Byzantine studies broadly conceived, e.g., travel to potential research sites, museum collections, research and special collections libraries. The goal of these grants is to assist students in refining their initial ideas into a feasible, interesting, and fundable doctoral project.
Mary Jaharis Center Dissertation Grants are awarded to advanced graduate students working on Ph.D. dissertations in the field of Byzantine studies broadly conceived. These grants are meant to help defray the costs of research-related expenses, e.g., travel, photography/digital images, microfilm.
Mary Jaharis Center Publication Grants support book-length publications or major articles in the field of Byzantine studies broadly conceived. Grants are aimed at early career academics. Preference will be given to postdocs and assistant professors, though applications from non-tenure track faculty and associate and full professors will be considered. We encourage the submission of first-book projects.
The application deadline for all grants is February 2, 2016. For further information, please see http://maryjahariscenter.org/grants/.
Contact Brandie Ratliff (mjcbac@hchc.edu), Director, Mary Jaharis Center, with any questions.