THE OXFORD UNIVERSITY BYZANTINE SOCIETY
The Byzness, 13th October 2019
1. NEWS AND EVENTS
2. CALLS FOR PAPERS
3. JOBS AND SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
1. NEWS AND EVENTS
AGBU London Lecture, ‘Vaspurakan: The Making of a Mediaeval Armenian Kingdom, an illustrated talk by Dr. Zara Pogossian’, 28 November 2019, Armenian House, London.
This illustrated talk focuses on the 10th century Armenian Kingdom of Vaspurakan, founded by Gagik Artsruni, on the shores of Lake Van. Our speaker, Dr. Zara Pogossian, will discuss the historical background to the region before Gagik’s ascension, reflect on Vaspurakan’s cultural and religious traditions compared to other parts of Armenia, and make special reference to Vaspurakan’s close geographical links with northern Mesopotamia and Syriac Christianity. She will examine the manner in which Gagik Artsruni transformed Vaspurakan into a kingdom against the centralizing efforts of his Bagratuni cousins in the north of Armenia, a rivalry that led to the establishment of important centres of cultural production in Vaspurakan, such as palaces, churches and monasteries. Many of such centres were established by Gagik, who was celebrated as an indefatigable builder by the contemporary dynastic historian, Tovma Artsruni.
The talk will take place from 7:15-8:15 pm at Armenian House, 25 Cheniston Gardens, London W8 6TG.
Entrance is free, but spaces are limited. To RSVP, see here
Special Lecture: ‘National Byzantiums: Narratives of Empire in the Historiographies of Southeastern Europe’, 8 November 2019, TORCH Radcliffe Humanities, Oxford.
The New Critical Approaches to the Byzantine World Network and the Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research are pleased to announce the Michaelmas Term Special Lecture, which will be presented by Professor Diana Mishkova.
The lecture – based on a book manuscript under contract with CUP – explores the role Byzantium and its legacy have played since the Enlightenment in the historical self-narrations of Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania—countries once belonging to the Byzantine political and cultural orbit. It looks into the ways the “Byzantine factor” has been perceived, evaluated, interpreted and politically instrumentalized by the historiographies of the modern Balkan “successor states.” The gradual institutionalization of Byzantine studies and the directions these studies took in the individual countries provide the canvass against which the examinations of the various projections or appropriations of Byzantium in the national narratives and the assessments of its role and effects is undertaken.
The emergence of the modern Balkan nations and sovereign states in the nineteenth century from the ruins of the Ottoman empire – itself the heir and, in many respects, the continuation of the Eastern Roman empire – signaled the actual birth of Byzantium as a subject of these nations’ history. Its heritage has been variously appropriated or evaluated ever since, occasionally asserting, but more often subverting, the idea of a shared past. The role and impact of the Byzantine Empire became, and remained, a central theme in the national-historical narratives and identity politics for the countries of Southeastern Europe. While it is largely agreed today that the history and culture of the Byzantine Empire constitute an inherently multicultural field of research, in the countries occupying its historical area, Byzantine culture and legacy were the subject of (usually warring) national interpretations. They were implicated heavily in issues like ethnogenesis and collective identity, state-building and historical “rights,” national patrimony, culture and “mentality.” As such, they were exposed to political and ideological deployment. The mutually warring national images of Byzantium were formed in constant dialogue with each other and with the western and Russian perceptions. The lecture will attempt to highlight, through a selection of case-studies, the internal contestations, tensions and negotiations between different interpretations within and between the national historiographical traditions as well as their transnational entanglements in the region and with western and eastern academic currents.
Professor Diana Mishkova is the director of the Center for Advanced Study, Sofia and a Professor in Modern History. Her work explores the history of scholarship and statehood in nineteenth and twentieth century Southeastern Europe. Her last book, Beyond Balkanism: the Scholarly Politics of Region Making, was published by Routledge in 2018.
The event will take place at 5pm in the Colin Matthews Room, TORCH Radcliffe Humanities. It will be followed by a drinks reception.
The New Critical Approaches to the Byzantine World Network, ‘Bringing Research of the Byzantine World Up to Speed with Post-Butler Gender Theory’, 18 October 2019, TORCH Radcliffe Humanities, Oxford.
Shaun Tougher’s preamble to his methodological chapter of The Eunuch in Byzantine State and Society could serve as a stand-in for summarising Byzantine gender studies more generally: ‘It is evident that some historians have found the subject an uncomfortable one, reflected by the expression of open hostility or a tendency simply to ignore the topic.’
An unfortunate upshot of this prevailing apprehension (or anxiety) around tackling gender as a constitutive feature of later Roman sociality is a certain ‘Meanwhile, in Byzantine Studies…’ effect. Even scholars taken to be especially outspoken feminists within the context of the field, have not integrated methodological breakthroughs current to the humanities more generally.
This session will hone in on the break-out thinking of Judith Butler, and attempt to make some headway in bringing Byzantine Studies into the fold of contemporary gender research.
The session will take place at 4pm in the Seminar room, TORCH Radcliffe Humanities.
For more details about the event, and the reading list for the session, see here.
2. CALLS FOR PAPERS
Graduate and Early Career Workshop: ‘Armenia & Byzantium Without Borders III’, 8–10 May 2020, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna.
Deadline: 31 October 2019
Within the framework of ‘Moving Byzantium: Mobility, Microstructure and Personal Agency,’ a five-year project funded through the Wittgenstein-Prize (http://rapp.univie.ac.at), ‘Armenia & Byzantium without Borders III’ is a three-day workshop focusing on social and cultural mobility between Armenia and Byzantium in the Middle Ages. This workshop continues a scholarly conversation initiated in April 2018 at the University of Vienna by Dr. Emilio Bonfiglio and Prof. Claudia Rapp and now run in joint partnership with Dr. David Zakarian and Prof. Theo Maarten van Lint at the University of Oxford. The 2020 Workshop will be held at the Division of Byzantine Research, Institute for Medieval Research, of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.
We invite advanced PhD candidates and early career scholars working in the fields of Late Antique, Armenian, Byzantine, and Middle Eastern Studies to submit proposals for 20 min. papers connected with the main topics of ‘Moving Byzantium’, with a focus on aspects of social and cultural mobility of persons, objects, and/or ideas between Armenia and Byzantium throughout the Middle Ages. We are particularly interested in new research showing interaction and communication on both literary and material grounds between the Byzantine world and the Armenians.
Papers presented at the workshop will be accompanied by a senior scholar’s 10 min. response, followed by a general discussion. The workshop will be inaugurated with the lecture of our keynote speaker, Dr. Tim Greenwood from the University of St Andrews.
Travel and accommodation expenses of scholars selected for presentation at the workshop will be covered by the ‘Moving Byzantium’ project.
Paper proposals including:
· University affiliation
· Graduate level
· Title of the paper
· Abstract (300 words max)
Call for Papers: Women Intellectuals in Antiquity, 15-16 February 2020, Keble College, Oxford
Deadline: 15 November 2019
Aspasia, Hypatia, Sappho, Lucretia, Cleopatra, Diotima, Lavinia, Monica, Hecuba, Macrina, Radegund: the names of women intellectuals and the whispers of their powerful influence on philosophy, politics, literature, and education are scattered through the ancient evidence.Who were these women teachers and philosophers, thought-leaders and theorists of Antiquity? Beyond how they are presented and used by male authors, how might their own thoughts and voices be fossilized within these ancient texts and other artefacts– and what methodological tools do we need to develop in order to excavate them? What can be recovered of the distinctive ideas and methods these women contributed to philosophy, literature, theology, or politics?
This Symposium aims to bring together scholars from across the humanities disciplines to discuss women intellectuals in Antiquity. In addition to paper sessions, it will feature two round-table discussions led by Peter Adamson (https://historyofphilosophy.net/) and Armand D’Angour (https://www.armand-dangour.com/). The Symposium will provide a forum for further discussion complementing the Carlyle Philosophy Lecture series which will be given in Oxford throughout Hilary Term by Professor Peter Adamson.
You are invited to send proposals (c. 350 words) for papers of 30 minutes to WomenIntellectualsInAntiquity@gmail.com no later than 15 November 2019. Textual case studies on individual women intellectuals in Antiquity (through the 7th century C.E.) are welcome, as well as papers addressing the methodological question more broadly. ‘Women intellectuals’ may be interpreted broadly and can include figures from literature as well as history, but the focus of the paper should be on the distinctive intellectual contributions, or method of engaging in intellectual pursuits demonstrated by the woman in question.
Select papers will be featured on a special edition of the History of Philosophy podcast.
3. JOBS AND SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
Two Fully-funded PhD Scholarships in Liturgical Studies, University of Notre Dame
Deadline: 2 January 2020
The Graduate School at the University of Notre Dame accepts up to two, fully-funded PhD students per year in Liturgical Studies. The program in Liturgical Studies integrates three sub-disciplines: Liturgical History; Liturgical Theology; Ritual Studies.
The program offers a wide range of research opportunities with particular strengths in early and late antique Christian ritual and material culture, medieval liturgy, Byzantine Christianity, manuscript studies, contemporary liturgical theology, and ritual studies. Recent dissertations have included topics on ritual at the Second Temple, architecture and liturgy in medieval Salisbury, liturgy and life in Crusader Jerusalem, ritual in Igbo culture, imperial rites for commemorating earthquakes in late antique Constantinople, and liturgy and identity in the California Missions.
The Liturgical Studies program was founded in 1947 as the first graduate program in the Department of Theology and quickly grew to become an international center for the study of liturgy. Pioneers in the discipline who have taught at Notre Dame include Josef Jungmann, Louis Bouyer, Robert Taft, Paul Bradshaw, and many others. The program is currently comprised of seven faculty members and represents one of the largest concentrations of liturgical scholars at one place in the world.
In addition to its core strengths, Liturgical Studies offers a variety of opportunities for research collaboration with other institutions at Notre Dame, including the Medieval Institute, the Program in Sacred Music, other departments at the university (esp. History, Anthropology and Sociology) and other programs within the Theology Department, including Christianity and Judaism in Antiquity (CJA), the History of Christianity (HC), and Systematic Theology (ST). The Hesburgh Libraries system has extensive holdings in theology and one of the nation’s largest collections in medieval and Byzantine studies, including the Milton Anastos Collection. The Theology Department also offers a broad range of ancient languages, including courses in Greek, Latin, Syriac, Hebrew, Coptic, Armenian and Ge’ez, with additional opportunities for studying Georgian, Slavonic, and Jewish Aramaic.
All applications must be submitted to the Graduate School by January 2, 2020. More information and a link to the online application may be found here.
Fully-funded PhD Position, University of Mainz
Deadline: 20 October 2019
The interdisciplinary Research Training Group 1876 “Early Concepts of Humans and Nature: Universal, Specific, Interchanged” established by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz invites applications for one doctoral position (wissenschaftliche/r Mitarbeiter/in, 13 TV-L 65%) starting at the earliest opportunity. Initial appointment will be for two and a half years.
The Research Training Group is directed by scholars from the fields of Egyptology, Ancient Near Eastern Studies, Pre- and Protohistorical Archaeology (Pleistocene Archaeology), Near Eastern Archaeology, Classical Archaeology, Classics (Greek and Latin), Byzantine Studies and Medieval German Studies.
In the Research Training Group’s research programme, the object is to record concepts of humans and nature in the Near Eastern, Northeast African and European area in the period from ca. 100.000 years B.C.E. until the Middle Ages – starting out from textual, pictorial and material sources – by means of examples and to study them in culturally immanent as well as transcultural respects. In order to align the spectrum of potential fields of topics in a targeted manner four main focal points of research have been defined:
· Primordial conditions and elements, the origin and the end of the world;
· Natural phenomena, the forces of nature, and natural catastrophes;
· Flora, fauna, and natural environment;
· The conceptualization of the human body, of disease, healing and death.
Topics for PhD theses must be chosen from one of these four areas and belong to one of the academic disciplines mentioned above. We are looking for dissertation projects that will connect with and complement dissertation projects within the Research Training Group as well as additional dissertation projects belonging to one of the four areas.
For detailed information regarding our research and training programme and for a list of the academic staff involved in our graduate school, please refer to our homepage.
Requirements for appointment:
· a diploma or master’s degree (or equivalent) with excellent results in one of the disciplines mentioned above and fulfilment of the necessary requirements for enrolment on a doctoral degree in either Faculty (Fachbereich) 05 or 07 of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (see here).
· a salary based on the German public sector pay scale (TV-L)
· a PhD programme with clearly defined steps and instruction
· ample opportunities for intensive professional and interdisciplinary exchange
· close supervision by two professors of different academic disciplines of the Research Training Group’s core faculty
· a mentoring programme with cooperating partners in Germany and abroad
· traineeships within cooperating institutes
· additional funding for staying for up to four weeks abroad at a research institute cooperating with our programme as well as for attending conferences inside and outside Germany
· classes helping you to acquire key qualifications (e.g. time-management or academic writing courses)
· a modern and pleasant working environment
· optional six months’ funding for developing a new research project once you have completed your PhD
· preparation of a doctoral thesis within our research programme
· scientific training within a structured dissertation programme
· continuous participation in the study programme
· cooperation with other PhD students and scholars from neighbouring fields and disciplines
· presence at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
· after the three year funding period: doctorate at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
The following documents must be provided:
· application form (available on the website for download)
· a letter of motivation
· a curriculum vitae
· a complete transcript of academic records, including the last school report obtained before entering university (Abitur, high-school diploma or equivalent)
· a résumé of the graduate thesis you submitted (3 pages)
· your graduate thesis in a pdf-file
· an exposé for a PhD thesis in one of the areas of the Research Training Group, summarizing the idea, outlining research questions and state of the art, approach and methods to be used, work and time schedule (4 pages)
· two letters of reference from members of academic staff allowing us to judge your abilities (to be sent before the closing date directly to the spokesperson)
· if available: a list of attended conferences and publications
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz is keen to increase the number of women among its scholars and thus encourages women to apply. The university supports its members in reconciling professional and family responsibilities and offers family-friendly study and working conditions. Disabled persons will be given preference if equally qualified. It is recommended to refer to a possible handicap in the application.
Further details regarding the application process and the selection of candidates are available on the homepage of our graduate school. You may also contact a member of the Research Training Group’s staff in your discipline if you have a specific question. For organizational questions you may contact the coordination office.
Please submit your complete application in electronic form (pdf) no later than October 20th, 2019 to the Research Training Group’s spokesperson Univ.-Prof. Dr. Tanja Pommerening (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Cotsen Travelling Fellowship for Research in Greece, The Gennadius Library, Athens.
Deadline: January 15, 2020
The Gennadius Library offers the Cotsen Traveling Fellowship, a short-term grant awarded each year to scholars and graduate students pursuing research topics that require the use of the Gennadeion collections.
Eligibility: Senior scholars (PhD holders) and graduate students of any nationality.
Terms: Stipend of $2,000. School fees are waived for a maximum of two months. Fellowship does not include costs for School trips, room, or board. Requires residency in Athens of at least one month during the academic year from September 1 to June 1. The recipient is expected to take part in the activities of the Gennadius Library and the School as a whole in addition to pursuing research. A final report is due at the end of the award period, and the ASCSA expects that copies of all publications that result from research conducted as a Fellow of the ASCSA be contributed to the Gennadius Library.
Application: Submit an online application. The application includes a curriculum vitae; project description (up to 750 words) describing the project and its relation to the Gennadius Library collections, proposed dates, and a brief budget (not more than one page). Applicants should arrange for submission of two letters of recommendation. For more information about the application, visit here.
The award will be announced March 15.