The Byzness

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The Byzness: 29 August 2010



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The 2010 Michigan Society of Fellows Postdoctoral Fellowship Application is now available. The application deadline is October 18, 2010, 1 PM (EDT).

The Michigan Society of Fellows, under the auspices of the Rackham Graduate School, was established in 1970 with endowment grants from the Ford Foundation and the Horace H. and Mary Rackham Funds. The most distinctive aspect of the Society is its multidisciplinary emphasis. Each year the Society selects four outstanding applicants for appointment to three-year fellowships in the social, physical, and life sciences, and in the professional schools. In 2007, the Mellon Foundation awarded a grant to add four Mellon Fellows annually in the humanities, expanding the number of fellowships awarded each year from four to eight. The newly appointedPostdoctoral Fellows join a unique interdisciplinary community composed of their peers as well as the Senior Fellows of the Society, who include many of the University’s leading scholars. Past Fellows of the Society have gone on to become distinguished scholars at institutions around the world. The Chair of the Society is Donald S. Lopez, Jr., Arthur E. Link Distinguished University Professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Michigan.

The Society invites applications from qualified candidates at the beginning of their academic careers, having received the Ph.D. or comparable professional or artistic degree between June 1, 2008 and September 1, 2011. Applications from degree candidates and recipients of the Ph.D. from the University of Michigan will not be considered. Non-US citizens may apply.

For more information see

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International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI, May 12-15, 2011

Monastic Inc.: Expressions of Group Identity in Medieval Monasteries

Chair: Jennifer Ball, Brooklyn College and The Graduate Center, CUNY

Medieval monks and nuns shared in an identity most obviously expressed in their uniform dress.  But group identity presented itself in myriad ways, through ritual practices, in material culture such as a relic of a monastery’s dedicatory saint, or in the literal construction of the monastery built collectively by the monks; some monasteries even wrote their own hymns, which included the history of their founding.  This session seeks papers discussing the expression of and function of monastic group identity in the Medieval world, in the east and west.  Of particular interest are papers that point to ways in which the monastic group used their identity in dealings with the outside world, jockeying for political alliances, negotiating with other monasteries and the like. Monastic scholarship, as in Medieval studies more generally, often tells the story of monasteries through particularly powerful personalities: Bernard of Clairvaux, Hildegard of Bingen, Theodore of Stoudios, to name a few. This session hopes to explore how monasteries presented themselves, in a corporate sense, mutating to serve changing political and social realities, and to discuss how the corporate identity fulfilled the needs of individual monks or nuns.

Submission deadline: September 15, 2010

Please email a 300-word abstract to

You can find a submission form and guidelines at:




Keynote Speakers:
Professor Graham Loud (University of Leeds)Professor Anna Contadini (SOAS, London)

The University of Southampton is proud to host the 2011 biannual conference of the Society for the medieval Mediterranean. This three-day conference will bring together scholars to explore the interaction of the various peoples, societies, faiths and cultures of the medieval Mediterranean, a region which had been commonly represented as divided by significant religious and cultural differences. The objective of the conference is to highlight the extent to which the medieval Mediterranean was not just an area of conflict but also a highly permeable frontier across which people, goods and ideas crossed and influenced neighbouring cultures and societies. We invite papers, together with abstracts, in the fields of archaeology, art and architecture, ethnography, history (including the history of science and medicine), languages, literature, music, philosophy and religion, and specifically on the following topics:

·         Activities of missionary orders

·         Artistic, literary and musical exchange

·         Byzantine and Muslim navies

·         Captives and slaves

·         Cargoes, galleys and warships

·         Cartography

·         Costume and vestments

·         Diplomacy

·         Judaism and Jewish Mediterranean History

·         Material Culture

·         Minority Populations in the Christian and Islamic Worlds.

·         Mirrors for Princes

·         Music, sacred and secular

·         Port towns/city states

·         Relations between Jews, Christians and Muslims.

·         Religious practices: saints, cults and heretics

·         Scientific exchange, including astronomy, medicine and mathematics

·         Seafaring, seamanship and shipbuilding

·         Sufis & Sufi Orders in North Africa and the Levant

·         Sultans, kings and other rulers

·         Trade and Pilgrimage

·         Travel writing

·         Warfare: mercenaries and crusaders

Please send abstracts of papers of 300 words maximum together with a brief CV to the organisers, Dr Francois Soyer ( and Dr Rebecca Bridgman ( Please send any other enquiries to this address too. The deadline for the submission of abstracts is the beginning of October.

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