The Byzness

The Byzness, 22 July 2012

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Searchable Map of the West Bank and East Jerusalem

Brought to you by the University of Southern California:

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Call for papers, Shifting Frontiers in Late Antiquity X, The Transformation of Literary and Material Genres in Late Antiquity

The tenth biennial Shifting Frontiers in Late Antiquity conference will take place at the University of Ottawa, Canada, 21-24 March 2013. The period of Late Antiquity (A.D. 200-700) witnessed great cultural changes on a number of levels, e.g. in the emergence of new literary genres (such as hagiography) or of new building types (such as churches) or of new objects of art (consular diptychs).

The aim of the conference is to explore what exactly these changes were, and how and why they came about: were they the consequence of long-term trends or developments? Or were they rather the result of external factors, the products of what was once termed ‘an age of anxiety’? We hope to receive proposals of papers concerning the many genres that came into being or were transformed during the period, whether they be literary genres, such as panegyric, rhetoric, historiography, chronicles, poetry, epistolography and hagiography, or material genres, such as architecture, epigraphy, and numismatics. The term ‘genre’ is thus interpreted broadly, and papers that bring together several genres to address this issue, e.g. to consider Procopius’ Buildings both as panegyric and as a source on images of the city in Late Antiquity, or to consider the portrayal of saints in both hagiographies and artistic representations, are particularly welcome.

Two keynote speakers will be taking part in the conference: Professor John Matthews of Yale University (U.S.A.) and Professor Pierre-Louis Malosse, Université Paul-Valéry, Montpelier (France).

The deadline for proposals is 15 November 2012. Abstracts should be 200-300 words in length. Papers may be in English or French. Proposals from graduate students are welcome, but they should indicate on their submission whether they have discussed their proposal with their supervisor or not.

Proposals should be sent to:


Proclus Conference

‘Archai: Proclus Diadochus of Constantinople and his Abrahamic interpreters’

December 12-16, 2012 in Istanbul.

 In commemoration of the 1600th anniversary of the birth in Constantinople of Proclus, fourth last head of the Platonic Academy, we invite scholars to present papers both on all aspects both of Proclus’ own thought and of his reception in the Abrahamic traditions. The conference will be hosted by Fatih University and Yildiz University (Istanbul).

Prof. Carlos Steel (K.U. Leuven) will give the keynote lecture. Other confirmed plenary speakers are: Prof. Wayne J. Hankey (Dalhousie University / University of King’s College (Halifax)), Prof. Tzvi Langermann (Bar-Ilan University) and Prof. D. O’Meara (Universität Freiburg) who will give a public lecture on Proclus’ influence on the architecture of the Haggia Sophia, together with a choral concert of sacred music by the chamber choir, ChorIstanbul.

Papers will be 20-25 minutes long, although there may be some flexibility given some merit. Please submit an abstract of approximately 300-500 words by September 01, 2012 to David Butorac at


International Medieval Congress 2013 Pleasure

The IMC seeks to provide an interdisciplinary forum for the discussion of all aspects of medieval studies. Papers and sessions on any topic or theme in the European Middle Ages are welcome. Each Congress has one particular special thematic strand on an area of interdisciplinary study in a wider context. However, this strand is not intended to be an exclusive and submissions from all spheres of medieval research, in any major European language, are welcome.

Pleasure is a universal human experience, but its components, evaluation, and meaning, and the contexts in which it is, or is not, a legitimate feeling and form of behaviour vary according to cultures and among individuals. Pleasure can be brought on by sensory stimulation, by aesthetic appreciation, by practising an activity, by sharing a common experience with others – or even all of these together (as in the case of the experience of sexual love). The crucial importance of pleasure in medieval living, as well as its multiple facets, constitute the reasons why the IMC has chosen ‘Pleasure’ as its special thematic focus for 2013.

Medieval Christianity had a specific cultural attitude towards pleasure, with a strong focus on the division of this world and the afterlife. Pleasure was often either spiritual or corporeal, although sometimes seen as both (as in the mystical/ecstatic experience). Earthly pleasures were first and foremost associated with sin and damnation, and even posed a threat to health, while spiritual pleasures contributed towards salvation and a more harmonious life. The attitude towards pleasure was ambiguous: with the threat of the devil on one side, and the enticement of heaven on the other, pleasure was linked to both joy and pain. Questions around pleasure were posed in philosophical and theological debates throughout the Middle Ages. Pleasure was nonetheless an experience commonly and eagerly sought for – in all its forms and by all social groups, in and outside Christendom. Aristocratic life is particularly represented as a culture of pleasure in both iconography and literature. The balance between celestial and terrestrial values was renegotiated in the late medieval period, so that pleasure became an aspiration for all.

Areas of discussion could include:
·         Diverging cultural attitudes toward pleasure
·         Pleasure in non-Christian contexts
·         Earthly pleasure versus spiritual pleasure
·         Visual and narrative representations of pleasure
·         Social and corporeal manifestations of pleasure
·         Pleasurable activities
·         Individual and collective experiences of pleasure
·         Prohibition and condemnation of pleasure
·         Chastity, celibacy, fasting, and abstinence
·         Love / sexuality / pleasures of the flesh – and their specific cultural expressions
·         Medical theories and approaches to pleasure
·         Mysticism, spirituality, and pleasure
·         Creating and/or experiencing pleasure
·         Entertainment and leisure
·         Humour and fun
·         Material culture and evidence of pleasure
·         Pleasure and luxury / cultural goods / worldliness

Proposals should be submitted online at: <>. The online proposal form will be available from 1 May 2012. Paper proposals must be submitted by 31 August 2012; session proposals must be submitted by 30 September 2012.


IMC 2013 Session Proposals

Having just been at the IMC 2012 I have noticed it is much easier to get funding, and it is certain to be accepted, if a whole session (consisting of at least 3 papers, with no upper limit) is proposed. Anyone on this mailing list who would like to propose a session thread please feel free to email me and I shall put out a message in the next byzness to help organise Byzantine themed sessions. I would highly recommend this conference, and as it is moving to better facilities in 2013 it would be a good year to get involved.

I have already received one session proposal from Emily Winkler who is putting together a multi-session thread on Historical Writing in Europe in the 11th and 12th Centuries. She already has a number of medievalists involved, but would like to include Byzantinists so if there are any scholars working on Chronicles and Narritives in the 11th and 12th Centuries please email her at
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Ves Rencontres internationales des doctorants en études byzantines

19 et samedi 20 octobre 2012 à l’Institut national d’histoire de l’art (INHA) de Paris.

Please find the program here:

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Postdoc at The Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 980 “Episteme in Motion. Transfer of Knowledge from the Ancient World to the Early Modern Period” in Berlin, Germany (

How long for?

fixed-term contract, ending 30 June, 2016
(E 13 TV-L FU)

Job description:

The candidate is requested to analyze ancient texts on ascetic ways of life, with special regard to modes of personal and non-personal knowledge transfer. The texts are to be explored with a focus on the main research questions of the SFB. The successful candidate is expected to contribute to the teamwork within the SFB network.


Ph.D. in Religious Studies, Comparative Literature, Classics, History or a comparable subject


Willingness to engage in intense interdisciplinary collaboration within the SFB network.

Beneficial would be experience in Cultural Studies and Literary Studies.

To apply, please send all relevant materials (cover letter, CV, etc.) and a short statement of motivation until 30.07.2012 to Prof. Dr. Almut Barbara Renger. Please indicate job-reference SFB980/2012/C02/Postdoc.

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Almut-Barbara Renger

Freie Universitaet Berlin

Department of History and Cultural Studies

Institute for the Scientific Study of Religion

Gosslerstr. 2-4

D – 14195 Berlin



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