MPhil Late Antique and Byzantine Studies, St. Cross College
President, Oxford University Byzantine Society
OXFORD UNIVERSITY BYZANTINE SOCIETY
The Byzness, 19th of August, 2013
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1. CALL FOR PAPERS
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1. CALL FOR PAPERS
On behalf of the Academic Board of the 2014 Mediaeval and Renaissance Conference “Othello’s Island” I would like to inform you of our second annual conference taking place in Cyprus in 2014. We would welcome submissions for this multidisciplinary conference from academics and research students wishing to give papers at the Conference, which takes place in Larnaca in Cyprus next April (2014). The conference is organised by academics from the Cornaro Institute, University of Sheffield School of English and the University of Leeds School of Fine Art. It will be an opportunity to discuss diverse aspects of this fascinating period in Mediterranean and Levantine history with colleagues and reserach students from around the world, for full information please see here.
Making Meaning: Technologies of Transformative Production and Creative Consumption I: Manufacture of Meaning; II Diachronic Redefinition
Session Co-organizers: Eric Ramírez-Weaver (UVA) & Christopher Lakey (Johns Hopkins University/PIMS)
Current methodologies in cultural history and Medieval Studies have attempted to resituate and reorient the traditional historical emphasis upon the creative body as a uniquely enabled and inspired force capable of transforming vatic and imaginary experience into material reality. Methodological turns in favor of “object agency” and the “Posthuman” privilege the vagaries and vicissitudes of natural processes of growth, entropy, or decay, as transformative and generative modalities of metamorphosis. In light of such transformative processes of delayed definition and perpetual refinement, or spiritually based interaction with medieval objects, the nature of medieval art, science, and creativity need to be seriously reconsidered. Devotional accretion of object value in the case of reliquaries, erosion of buildings and historically holy sites, pagan springs turned into great churches with baptismal fonts, manuscripts and catenae with endless annotation, compilatio as an ethos of
creation rather than indifferent agglomeration, the editing or revision of texts, the reintegration of spoliated materials, and the scars of growth cast across the fabric of architectural monuments all supply meaningful examples of the myriad ways acts of creative intervention infused the material culture of the Middle Ages with polyvalent semiotic possibilities. In this series of sessions, we welcome proposals that address these issues with a focus on the (I) Manufacture of Meaning and (II) Diachronic Redefinition.
(I) Manufacture of Meaning
It is considered somewhat axiomatic that medieval objects, manuscripts, and great churches provide crafted confessions of belief and desire. Rather than privileging the alleged intellectual motivations of the manufacturer, however, in this session papers are sought which interrogate the role of the object or monument in cultural history. In particular, papers which address the interconnected nexus of ties which link great churches to their communities, pilgrims to their objects of veneration, artisans to their techniques, families to their dynastic nobility or medieval towns, or artists to guilds and changing modalities of artistic production are sought. Papers are welcome which examine the creative opportunity of the work of art or architecture to participate in or regulate the evolution of viable modalities of creative expression, establishing the parergonal parameters for subsequent semantic investigation.
(II) Diachronic Redefinition
In this session, discrete strategies of creative intervention emphasize the diachronic historical transformations of sites, objects, rhetoric, ideas, and the reproductive possibilities of countervailing, non-hegemonic discourses during the medieval period. Scholars such as Carolyn Dinshaw have underscored the ways that meaning is created and renewed across time through the meaningful interaction of recurring encounters with the past in an evanescent present. Taking seriously the idea that forgotten and historically recorded encounters across time establish an interlocking nexus of meanings through which individual narratives or artworks need to be (re)interpreted by modern cultural historians, this session seeks papers that address standard and atypical monuments evoking scorn or derision, propaganda, historicity, critique, ephemera, dissent, reaction, censure, or creative reinterpretation. Papers are warmly invited which grapple with the methodological impact of medieval texts and artworks, documenting creative moments of social and spiritual transformation, syncretistic exchange, and public or political challenge.
We welcome one-page proposals (250-300 words). They should be sent along with a completed participant information form (found at http://www.wmich.edu/medieval/congress/submissions/index.html) to Eric Ramírez-Weaver email@example.com) and/or Christopher Lakey (firstname.lastname@example.org) by September 15, 2014.
Plans for the academic programme of IMC 2013 are well underway. The IMC continues to welcome proposals for papers and sessions on all aspects of the study of the European Middle Ages, in any major European language.
• The role of settlers, merchants, rulers, and others in creating and fashioning empire
• The decline and fall of empires
• The typology of empire
• The governance and organisation of empires
• The experience of empire by individuals and communities
• The representation of Empire in music, art, literature, and material culture
• Traditions of empire, their use and development
• Theoretical models of Empire: Medieval and modern
• Concepts and practices of empire in the Islamic world, Africa, America, and Asia
• The role of imperium in medieval philosophy, theology, and literature
• The role of universal authority in medieval thought and practice
• The influence of medieval concepts and practices of empire on their post-medieval successors
Dates to remember:
IMC 2014 paper proposals deadline: 31 August 2013
IMC 2014 session proposals deadline: 30 September 2013
IMC 2014: 7-10 July 2014
IMC 2015: 6-9 July 2015
IMC 2016: 4-7 July 2016
The Komnenian Empire: La Belle Époque Finale de Rome?
The Komnenian period is undoubtedly a crucial turning point for the medieval Roman Empire, the age in which the rise of Latin Christendom brought the antique Empire’s two Christian children into closer contact than they had been for half a millennium. This is the last period when the Empire can truly be considered a ‘superpower’, with the Rhomaioi campaigning in the Balkans, Anatolia, Italy, Syria, and Egypt, and vast Crusader armies crossing the Empire itself. Constantinople was visited by a king of Jerusalem and a sultan of ‘Rum’, with both doing the emperor homage there. Imperial coinage retained its place as the Mediterranean standard, having been reformed by Alexios I. There were religious controversies, both with the Latins, and within the imperial Church. Moreover, it was an era which produced some of the greatest historiographers of the Byzantine millennium, as well as a vast amount of other literature in the so-called Komnenian Renaissance.
Yet how are we to characterise the Komnenian achievement, as a successful recovery from the eleventh-century crisis, or as only a temporary solution which in some ways itself contributed to the decline of c.1180-1204? What might even be the criteria and methodologies upon which such a question would rest? This session will address these issues. We warmly invite postgraduates in at least their second year of study, and both early-career and established researchers, to submit an abstract of 250 words to email@example.com by the 15th of September.
Some suggested topics might be:
* The Komnenian army.
* The Komnenoi, the aristocracy, and imperial authority.
* Coinage and the economy.
* Reconquest in Asia Minor and the Anatolian Turkish polities.
* The ‘Komnenian Renaissance’
* Government and administration.
* Basileia ton Rhomaion and Imperium Romanorum: the ‘Greek’ and ‘German’ Empires.
* ‘Rise and Fall of Empire’: a useful historical construct or a misleading narrative?
I am leading an educational study tour to Malta and Cyprus this fall and am searching for interested participants. This is an excellent opportunity to learn about the cultural heritage of these two amazing Mediterranean island nations combined uniquely into one trip. Please see the following link:
You may also contact me directly for further details: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your time,
Dr. Veronica Kalas, PhD
Booking will be open till August 29th for our forthcoming conference:
Byzantium and British Heritage: Byzantine influences on the Arts & Crafts Movement
4-7 September 2013
Strand Campus, King’s College London
This conference, organised by the British School at Athens in conjunction with the Centre for Hellenic Studies opens a dialogue between specialists on the Byzantine world and on the Arts and Crafts Movement in order to set into context an important, if short-lived, episode in Anglo-Hellenic relations at the turn of the 20th century.
This dialogue will be articulated around the architects who created the Byzantine Research Fund Archive, a unique collection of architectural drawings and photographs of numerous monuments across the Byzantine world, held in the Archive of the British School at Athens. Educated and trained in the traditions of the Arts and Crafts Movement (1880-1930) these architects developed highly successful practices, undertaking major commissions for buildings, furniture and fittings across Britain and the Empire. Their work, uniting as it does distinctively a British design tradition with Byzantine arts and crafts, represents a highly significant and under-researched link between Britain and the Hellenic world.
The conference is free to attend (4-6th Sept), though there is a small charge for the optional day-excursion (7th Sept) to St Sophia, Bayswater and to the Church of the Wisdom of God, Lower Kingswood, Surrey.
For full details of the conference programme, and to book, please visit the Centre for Hellenic Studies website: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/artshums/depts/chs/eventrecords/ByzantiumBritishHeritage.aspx
Or the front page of the British School at Athens website: http://www.bsa.ac.uk/
The study of Byzantium in Turkey has made huge leaps in recent years, even if the field remains less visible than
the major fields of classical archaeology and Ottoman studies. Byzantium is now taught in several Turkish
universities, and an increasing number of Turkish students choose to delve in its history and material or visual
culture studying at home or abroad. The aim of this series, placed under the auspices of the BIAA (British
Institute at Ankara) and made possible through funding from both the British Institute and the Turkish Embassy
in London, is to present and make better known in the UK the achievements of Turkish scholarship with
particular emphasis on new research projects, offering a global view of the trends prevailing in Byzantine studies
All lectures take place at King’s College London (Strand Campus, WC2).
For further information contact the convenors, Ioanna Rapti (email@example.com) and Tassos Papacostas