The Byzness

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The Byzness, April 29, 2012


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Exhibition: Illuminated: The Art of Sacred Books
Rubin Museum of Art, New York, April 6, 2012 – September 3, 2012

Gold, silver, and other precious materials were often used to adorn objects of religious devotion, especially the sacred books of the living traditions of Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Christianity, and Islam. Materials used to produce them have always been of the best quality worthy of sacred texts, and their effectiveness often rested on the measure of their lavish production. Specifically, the exhibition Illuminated: The Art of Sacred Books explores the aesthetic and technological approaches used in creating and adorning sacred books from a variety of cultures and presents Tibetan sacred books in a broad cross-cultural context. Among featured objects are several never before displayed illuminated Tibetan manuscript pages and complete books dating as early as the 13th century written in gold and silver on dark blue and black paper of various sizes in the traditional Tibetan book format. For further details, please visit the exhibition website.


Two Reviews for Fetih 1453

From the Byzantine Blog, there are two new (English!) reviews of the recent Turkish movie on the fall of Constantinople, one from the Guardian and the other from the Film Journal. The reviews seem to agree that while the film is certainly for 21st-century Turks, it has a fun time with its subject. Alas, I’m not seeing any cinemas playing it in Oxford, so if anyone knows of one, perhaps we can organizing a going …

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FSU 30th Annual Art History Graduate Symposium

The Art History faculty and graduate students of The Florida State University invite students working toward an MA or a PhD to submit abstracts of papers for presentation at the Thirtieth Annual Art History Graduate Student Symposium. Paper sessions will begin on Friday afternoon, October 5, and continue through Saturday, October 6, with each paper followed by critical discussion. Symposium papers may come from any area of the history of art and architecture. Papers will then be considered for inclusion in Athanor, a nationally-distributed journal published by the Department of Art History and the FSU College of Visual Arts, Theatre & Dance.

The deadline for receipt of abstracts (maximum 500 words) is August 27, 2012. Please include the title of the talk, graduate level, and whether the subject originated in thesis or dissertation research. Send the abstract by email to:


EMML @ 40 : The Life and Legacy of the Ethiopian Manuscript Microfilm Library
Collegeville, MI, USA, 25-26 July 2013

We would like to draw your attention to a conference being organized at the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML) for July 2013 which is devoted to the Ethiopian Manuscript Microfilm Library (EMML) and its impact on our field.  A flyer advertising the call for papers is available.  Please note that while the theme of the conference is EMML, papers do not need to be wholly devoted to manuscripts included in this collection, so long as it is referenced in some way.  The proceedings will be published in the Gorgias Press series Pax Christiana.

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An international workshop at Netherlands Institute in Turkey; May 11/12, 2012.

In the vast expanse of lands in the Mediterraneanand Near East that came under Muslim sway in and after the seventh century, the spread of Islam at the expense of Christianity was a more gradual process than is often acknowledged. While the status of Christians was indeed reduced to that of a tolerated minority, the production of religious art within such communities was not brought to a halt (as the silence about it in traditional art history might suggest). Rather, it simply continued under different precepts, and often very productively. While some examples, such as the art of Mozarabs and Copts, are better known, Christian artistic production in other Muslim contexts and in the period after the Mongol invasion is less explored. Moreover, there have been few attempts to integrate this body of art into mainstream art history.

The proposed workshop seeks to explore to what extent the fact that — irrespective of period and region — this art was produced under non- Christian rule can serve as a useful frame for analysis. It aims to do so by bringing together scholars working on different territories in the Islamic world between the seventh and nineteenth centuries to present and discuss case studies with a view to identifying common threads. What, for instance, do biblical scenes in Ayyubid metalwork sponsored by Muslim patrons or Islamic ornament in Christian manuscripts written and decorated in Mamluk and Ottoman realms tell us about the cultures and societies in which they were produced? Is the seventeenth-century Armenian cathedral at New Julfa an expression of relative tolerance in Safavid Iran, or should its singularity be identified as the key factor in its analysis? Are cases of new church construction in the Ottoman Balkans expressive of the assumed “pax ottomana,” or was permission-granting used by the sultans as currency in their dealings with peripheral populations? Lastly, did the fact of Muslim rule impact the iconographic features of Christian painting in these areas? The proposed workshop will provide a forum for the discussion of these questions and help to identify new questions to inform future research.

For up-to-date information, please visit the institute’s website at


Starcraeft: Watching the Heavens in the early Middle Ages
UCL Saturday June 30th to Sunday July 1st 2012

No, nothing to do with the video game. Poster is available here. A full list of participants will be forthcoming.


Summer School in Greek Palaeography, Codicology and Text Editing
Berlin, 24-28 September 2012

The program accepts application by 31 May 2012, the school will be conducted in German. For programme and other details please consult the information flyer.

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University of York: Two Lectureships in Medieval Art annd Architecture

We are advertising two positions for medieval art historians in the History of Art department at the University of York. One position will be permanent and the other will last for two years, in the first instance. The positions have been kept as open as possible to attract the widest field of candidates, ranging across medieval art and architecture in Europe, East and West (including Britain and Ireland), and the Byzantine, Russian, Islamic and Judaic worlds (300-1500 CE).
The closing date is 15 May. website:


Posts at Edinburgh University School of History, Classics and Archaeology

All posts are open across the three disciplines within the School, and I am obviously keen that archaeologists and those with wider late antique and Byzantine interests should apply. Closing dates fall in later May.
Five Early Career Fellowships:
Three part-time Professorial Fellowships:


JOB OPPORTUNITY: Dumbarton Oaks, Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives (ICFA), Post-Doctoral Associate

Position Title: Post-Doctoral Associate, Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives (ICFA)
Department: Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives (ICFA)
Supervisor: Manager, Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives (ICFA)
Grade: 55
Hours: 35 hours per week, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Monday – Friday

Dumbarton Oaks seeks a creative, energetic, and self-motivated scholar to serve as a Post-Doctoral Associate for its Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives. Reporting to the Manager of ICFA, the Post-Doctoral Associate will work closely with the Archives Specialist and the Metadata and Cataloging Specialist to engage in curatorial, research, and administrative tasks related to ICFA’s collections and associated with ongoing processing, cataloging, and digitization efforts. The incumbent will provide greater access to ICFA’s collections by establishing intellectual control over ICFA’s multi-media holdings and by devising and implementing research projects that feature ICFA’s collections in Byzantine art and architecture. The Post-Doctoral Associate will play a leading role in engaging with the scholarly community at Dumbarton Oaks and beyond, as well as the general public, to enhance the profile and accessibility of ICFA’s collections.
The Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives support scholarship in Byzantine Studies by preserving and providing access to images of art, architecture, and archaeology in a variety of media and archival collections that document fieldwork and research projects at Byzantine sites and monuments. ICFA is also the repository for the Pre-Columbian Photographs and Fieldwork Archives and Garden and Landscape Photographs and Design Archives.

Duties and Responsibilities
In collaboration with ICFA staff, the Post-Doctoral Associate in ICFA will:
+ Conduct original research on ICFA’s collections to support the organization and description of ICFA’s analog and digital collections, including inventorying, processing, cataloging, and digitizing items in the collection.
+ Assist the Metadata and Cataloging Specialist in cataloging ICFA’s holdings, both photographic and archival, by providing subject expertise in Byzantine art, architecture, archaeology, and scholarship and ensuring accuracy according to academic standards.
+ Assist the Archives Specialist with the processing and description of ICFA’s archival collections, which document fieldwork projects related to Byzantine art and architecture.
+ Set priorities for the cataloging, processing, and digitization of collections, based on their scholarly significance and potential use by scholars and researchers.
+ Curate exhibitions (onsite and online) and digital projects drawn from ICFA’s collections by developing the scholarly apparatus needed to interpret content for a scholarly audience, as well as promote ICFA’s collections to a wider general audience.
+ Develop, plan, and implement digital humanities and technology related initiatives within ICFA.
+ Assist Dumbarton Oaks fellows, staff, scholars, and researchers in the use of ICFA’s collections by providing a variety of public services, including orientation, reference, and research services, both on-site and remotely.
+ Respond to reference inquiries and rights and reproduction requests in person and by phone, mail, and email.
+ Assist the ICFA Manager on issues related to the collections, keeping the Manager informed on work being performed, recommending priorities, and preparing written reports, evaluations, and proposals, as required.
+ Prepare and deliver scholarly presentations related to ICFA’s collections, both at Dumbarton Oaks and at scholarly meetings and conferences.
+ Assist in the maintenance and preservation of the collections, which comprise archival documents, photographs, negatives, slides, transparencies, and other audio-visual materials (CDs, DVDs, VHS and Beta tapes, motion picture film, etc.).
+ Other related duties, as assigned by the ICFA Manager.

Supervisory Responsibilities
+ Train and supervise part-time assistants and interns on office procedures, digitization, and other tasks relating to the preservation, organization, and description of ICFA’s photographic and archival holdings.
+ Perform managerial tasks in the absence of the ICFA Manager.

Education and/or Experience
+ PhD in Art History, Architecture, or Archaeology, with a specialization in Byzantine, ancient, or medieval art
+ Well-developed research skills, particularly with the use of archival and photographic collections
+ Experience in an academic library, archive, special collections, museum, or comparable environment, especially in photographic or visual resources collections
+ Demonstrated organizational, analytical, and problem-solving skills, with attention to detail and a high level of accuracy
+ Ability to work independently and collaborate with team members in an academic setting
+ Excellent interpersonal skills, with a demonstrated ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, with scholars, researchers, and the general public
Language skills
+ Reading knowledge of one or more of the following languages: Modern Greek, Ancient and Medieval Greek, Latin, Turkish, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Italian, French, German, or Arabic
Computer skills and/or Other skills
+ Strong computer skills, including experience using relational databases, collection management software, and electronic library resources
+ Experience with digital photography or digitization of photographs, slides, negatives, and other media, including a working knowledge of Adobe Photoshop and Bridge or comparable software
Preferred skills
+ An understanding of archival principles and practices
+ Familiarity with cataloging archival and special collections materials and using relevant rules and standards
+ Interest in digital humanities and emerging technologies, and an aptitude for developing digital projects to support research
Physical Demands
+ The physical requirements of this position relate primarily to an inside office environment with some exposure to the elements through travel from building to building on campus. In working with the collections, the incumbent should be able to lift boxes up to 25 lbs., as well as bend, stoop, and reach in confined storage spaces. This position requires both the visual acuity and ability to sit for extended periods of time associated with working at a desk with a computer and monitor.

This is a limited term appointment of three (3) years.

To Apply
The deadline for applications is May 18, 2012. Please send resume/application and cover letter via email or fax (202-337-5940) or mail at:

Human Resources
Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection
1703 32nd Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20007

Dumbarton Oaks is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).

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