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The Byzness, 1st August 2015

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Workshop Intercultural Exchange in Late Antique Historiography, Ghent, 16-18 September 2015

For details see here


For the Vienna Bibliography for June 2015 (no 162) see here


A call for research support (note – this is a paid opportunity!) for a curatorial project and exhibition on Palestinian embroidery and textiles; please find details attached.

For more details see here



Food, Feast & Fasting, International Medieval Congress, Leeds, 4-7 July 2016

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 exclusive and submissions from all spheres of medieval research, in any major European language, are welcome.

Food is both a necessity and a marker of economic and social privilege. Who cooks food, who consumes it in the Middle Ages? How and what did people from different social levels or religious commitments eat? How did eating change? How were these issues contested and represented? What does food reveal about differing aspects of medieval society and culture?

The aim is to cover the entire spectrum of famine to feast through multi-disciplinary approaches. Study of the medieval economy raises issues about standards of living and nutritional health. Both archaeological as well as textual evidence have been used to explore crop yields, agricultural methods, transport problems, dearth, and famine. Geographical and social variations in diet are important for understanding medieval taste and the era’s definitions of sufficiency and luxury. Food is an expression of international relations and trade, as shown in the intercultural influences between Christian Europe and Islamic Spain, North Africa, the Eastern Mediterranean and India.

Across medieval Europe the acquisition, preservation, and storage of food was a struggle for much of the population but food consumption was also a means for a clerical and noble elite to display taste and ostentation. In popular culture, feasting is perceived as one of the major activities of the medieval elite. The religious significance of food and fasting in the Middle Ages was part of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish practice. Fasting and food had wide-ranging interconnections with piety and charity, and could involve renunciation of an exceptional intensity. Spiritual and physical nourishment and its absence can be explored in many disciplines from the theological, legal, and literary to the art historical and linguistic.

Areas of discussion could include:

 Agricultural systems
Almsgiving – food as charity
Changing tastes
Cookbooks and cooking practice
Dearth and famine
Drink – wine, ale, and water
Environmental contexts
Food and social class
Food in monastic and other religious communities

Food production

Food supply and population
Food supply and transport
Fresh and saltwater fish
Medical ideas of food, digestion, and humoral pathology
Medieval haute cuisine
Religious and spiritual feasting and fasting
Spices and other edible luxury trade items
Standards of living

Symbolic/Figurative food

Trading food

Proposals should be submitted online at www.leeds.ac.uk/ims/imc/imc2016_call.html

Paper proposals must be submitted by 31 August 2015; session proposals must be submitted by 30 September 2015.


Byzantine Identity and the Other in Geographical and Ethnic Imagination (Fourth International Sevgi Gönül Byzantine Studies Symposium), 23 – 25 June 2016

Byzantine representation of the cultures outside the Byzantine world had a particular geographical and ethnic aspect that contributed not only to the perception of the non-Byzantine, but also to the construction of the Byzantine self-image.

Byzantine portrayal of these cultures beyond the borders of the Empire was informed by geographic and ethnic elements including climate, flora, language and a certain way of life, which in turn entered into a complex relationship with the history, religious traditions and political state of these cultures as perceived by Byzantines. Examination of the Byzantine encounter with the geographically and ethnically other -from the fairly familiar to the exotic, and from the internal other to the external one- provides clues on how Byzantines related to their own environment spatially and how they differentiated themselves from their neighbors.

It is the aim of the Fourth International Sevgi Gönül Byzantine Studies Symposium to explore in written, artistic and material evidence this complex relationship between geography, ethnicity and other factors contributing to the formation of the image of the other, and to discover how Byzantines talked about themselves while talking about the others.

Invited scholars will be presenting papers exploring and (re)evaluating the following topics:

  1. The other in geographical and ethnic imagination

– Beyond Byzantine borders (neighbors/outsiders/foreigners)

– Within the Byzantine Empire (ethnic, religious, linguistic communities and foreign visitors)

– The other as seen by Byzantines abroad

  1. Image of the physical universe (oikoumene)

– Geographical imagination and maps

– Limits/extremities of the universe

– Limits of Rhomania

  1. Image of the other world

– Heaven and hell, imaginary/exotic lands

  1. Encounter with and appropriation of the other/exotic
  2. Perception of the pagan, Greco-Roman heritage

– Encounter with the pagan past

– Use of spolia

For more information see http://sgsymposium.ku.edu.tr/


“Slavery in the Medieval World”: A Call for Papers and Sessions for participation in the 2016 Leeds International Medieval Congress, IMC Leeds 2016 (4 to 7 July 2016, at the University of Leeds)

For more information see here


International Conference dedicated to the historical province of Tayk’: “Historical Tayk’. History, Culture, Confession”. The Conference will be held on 22-24 June 2016 in Yerevan. On June 25-27

For more information see here


Pardon Our Dust: Reassessing Iconography at the Index of Christian Art, 51st International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo: Call for Papers, May 12-15, 2016

Deadline: September 15, 2015

Organizers: Catherine Fernandez and Henry Schilb (Index of Christian Art, Princeton University)
The Index of Christian Art (ICA) at Princeton University houses the largest archive dedicated to the study of medieval art in the world. It was founded by Charles Rufus Morey in 1917. Created with the intention of cataloguing all known works of medieval art according to subject matter, the Index developed over the course of the twentieth century into an ever-expanding resource for the study of iconography. Although the archive originated as a physical catalogue, the information contained in the subject files began migration to an online database in 1991. Now in its ninety-eighth year of existence, the ICA has embarked on yet another conceptual and technological upgrade that will embrace a more capacious understanding of medieval iconography through improved functionality while preserving the knowledge amassed by Index scholars during the previous century. Ever mindful that the ICA depends on the scholarship of medievalists in order to maintain the database for our researchers, we will sponsor two sessions that underscore this fruitful reciprocity. As we reassess how specific fields are used within our records, we seek the input of scholars who are actively engaged with themes related to medieval iconography in the broadest sense of the term. By focusing on issues related to the medieval program and ornament, the panels address categories that currently merit further consideration as fields of inquiry within the database.

We invite papers that explore new interpretive approaches or historiographical analyses as a means to stimulate a lively conversation on the ICA’s mission as an iconographical archive in the twenty-first century. In mirroring the Index’s wide geographical and chronological spectrum, we welcome proposals that explore any artistic media produced during the Middle Ages in the Byzantine East and the Latin West. Papers may consider specific case studies or address more theoretical concerns.

I: Program

As Michel Pastoureau has observed, the concept of “program” as an art historical term has been anachronistically applied to the study of medieval art. The notion that an assemblage of images adheres to a conceptual unity governed by the explicit wishes of an individual or corporate patron remains a source of debate in the iconographic interpretation of any number of monuments, manuscripts, or individual objects. We seek papers that consider the advantages and limitations in using the idea of “program” as an interpretive approach. We welcome proposals that investigate themes related but not limited to the role of patronage and iconography of medieval art works, the question of iconographic unity in monuments, and the disjuncture between the textual and the visual in the scholarly ekphrases of “programs” in medieval art.

II: Ornament

Ornament occupies an ambiguous position within the study and classification of medieval iconography. Recent scholarship, however, has underscored the significance of ornament as a bearer of meaning. We welcome proposals that investigate the role of ornament as an iconographic element within works of medieval art. Topics of interest include the iconographic function of vegetal ornamentation, the role of ornament as a frame for narratives and portraits, the use of decorative motifs as expressions of archaism or “foreignness,” as well as new approaches in the language of describing medieval ornamentation.

Please send the abstract of your proposed paper (300 words maximum), CV with current contact information, and completed Participant Information Form, available here, to the organizers:

Catherine Fernandez (caf3@princeton.edu) and Henry Schilb (schilb@princeton.edu)




Position Title: Director of Byzantine Studies

Supervisor:    Director

Department:  Byzantine Studies

Grade:            60

Term:             Five years with the possibility of renewal up to an additional five years


Duties and Responsibilities

The Director of Byzantine Studies reports to the Director of Dumbarton Oaks and oversees the Byzantine Study Program at Dumbarton Oaks. The Director of Studies supports the Byzantine Fellows (who are resident for the academic year, a term, or the summer and pursue their own research) and organizes scholarly meetings such as symposia, colloquia, and lectures.

The individual holding the position has overall responsibility for administering the study program, including: coordinating the three annual meetings with the Board of Senior Fellows that advises the Director on fellowship selection and programmatic activities; supervising the Program Coordinator; ensuring the smooth running of activities in Byzantine Studies (such as research reports by Fellows, one-month research awards, the summer school, summer internships, one-month Visiting Scholars, etc.); and managing budget development, forecasting, and tracking of expenses (including project grants to archaeologists).

Within Dumbarton Oaks, the Director of Byzantine Studies provides input as requested on Byzantine holdings within the library (including Byzantine portions of the image and fieldwork archives); is expected to produce reports, such as the Byzantine portion of the annual report; and participates with other directors of scholarly departments in conducting basic research necessary to evaluate the success of programs.

In the broader scholarly world, the Director of Byzantine Studies promotes the vitality of the field. Outreach activities include regular communication with relevant Byzantine societies, listservs, and academic programs in the United States, Europe, and beyond. The Director of Byzantine Studies also fosters exchanges with closely connected fields such as medieval and Islamic studies.

The Director of Byzantine Studies acts as editor of the Byzantine journal, Dumbarton Oaks Papers, in conjunction with a small editorial board. He or she receives or solicits submissions, sends them out for peer review, relays comments to contributors, and ensures that accepted essays have been revised in accordance with reviewer comments and house style. The Director also serves as the acquiring editor for Byzantine books. This role requires assisting symposium organizers in their capacities as volume editors for proposed symposia volumes, monitoring submissions for other Byzantine series, creating proposals for review, and acting as developmental editor for all such submissions.

 Supervisory Responsibilities

 The Director of Byzantine Studies supervises the Program Coordinator.


Candidates must hold a Ph.D. in a relevant discipline and demonstrate strong administrative, editorial and interpersonal skills; a distinguished record of publications; and an excellent command of medieval Greek. They must have broad knowledge of various aspects of the field outside their own specialty and be well acquainted with the American academic setting. They must have the interest, ability, and commitment to join in the general intellectual life of Dumbarton Oaks.

To Apply

The application process is open to strong applicants at all career stages, from early to advanced. The appointment runs for five years, with the possibility of renewal up to an additional five years.

The position remains open until filled. Candidates should submit a detailed CV, cover letter, and list of references by clicking the link below. Questions can be addressed to HumanResources@doaks.org. Please note that interviews will be in Cambridge, Mass. and are likely to be held in the second half of January.


See also here


Postdoctoral position at Göttingen University for new Research Project at the Collaborative Research Centre (Sonderforschungsbereich) “Education and Religion”, covering classical and late antiquity and medieval time.
Position offered
The Collaborative Research Centre 1136 “Education and Religion in Cultures of the Mediterranean and Its Environment from Ancient to Medieval Times and to the Classical Islam” at the Georg‐August‐Universität Göttingen (Germany), funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation), currently invites applications for a
Research Position (Postdoc)

The position (full‐time) starts as soon as possible and lasts for three years with the possibility of extension. The salary is subject to the German TV‐L payscale (TV‐L E 13).
The successful candidate will participate in and contribute to the research conducted within the CRC, including the interdisciplinary collaboration with other sub‐projects and in the CRC’s plenary meetings and workshops. The postdoc will especially take part in the research agenda of sub‐project C 04: Communication of Education in Late Antique Christianity: Teachers’ Roles in

Parish, Family and Ascetical Community

The project focuses on Christian teachers (male and female) in Late Antiquity in different contexts: the catechumenate (bishops and catechetical teachers), the family (particularly women) and the eremitic movement (teachers with charismatic instead of formal authorization). The shape of teachers’ roles will be investigated as well as their interaction and possible conflicts between ecclesiastical and – so to speak – independent communicators of religious education. Finally, the limits of human agency in communicating the faith will be dealt with.
The successful candidate for the research position should have
• Ph.D. in Theology or related subjects
• mandatory: good command of ancient Greek and Latin
• desirable: experience in interdisciplinary collaborative research concerning Late Antiquity
For further information please contact Prof. Dr. Peter Gemeinhardt: Peter.Gemeinhardt@theologie.unigoettingen.
de or Dr. Monika Winet: mwinet@uni‐goettingen.de.
We ask all applicants to e‐mail their documents in PDF format by August 17th, 2015 to the CRC office
The University of Göttingen is an equal opportunities employer and places particular emphasis on fostering
career opportunities for female scholars. Qualified women are therefore strongly encouraged to apply. Disabled
persons with equivalent aptitude for the position will be favoured.


Tsakopoulos Hellenic Collection, Library Research Fellowship Program, 2015-2016

Thanks to generous continued funding from the Elios Charitable Foundation and additional funding from the Tsakopoulos Hellenic Foundation, the University Library at California State University, Sacramento is pleased to announce the continuation of the Library Research Fellowship Program to support the use of the Tsakopoulos Hellenic Collection by fellows for scholarly research in Hellenic studies while in residence in Sacramento. The Program provides a limited number of fellowships ranging from $1,000 to $4,000 to help offset transportation and living expenses incurred during the tenure of the awards and is open to external researchers anywhere in the world at the doctoral through senior scholar levels (including independent scholars) working in fields encompassed by the Collection’s strengths who reside outside a 150-mile radius of Sacramento. The term of fellowships can vary between two weeks and three months, depending on the nature of the research, and for the current cycle will be tenable from Oct. 1, 2015-June 30, 2016. The fellowship application deadline is August 24, 2015. No late applications will be considered.

Consisting of the holdings of the former Speros Basil Vryonis Center for the Study of Hellenism, the Tsakopoulos Hellenic Collection is the premier Hellenic collection in the western United States and one of the largest of its kind in the country, currently numbering approximately 75,000 volumes. It comprises a large circulating book collection, journal holdings, electronic resources, non-print media materials, rare books, archival materials, art and artifacts. With its focus on the Hellenic world, the Collection contains early through contemporary materials across the social sciences and humanities relating to Greece, the Balkans, the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey, and the surrounding region, with particular strengths in Byzantine, post-Byzantine, and Modern Greek studies, including the Greek diaspora. There is a broad representation of over 20 languages in the Collection, with a rich assortment of primary source materials. Since 2009 the collection has experienced particularly dramatic growth through two major gift acquisitions. For further information about the Tsakopoulos Hellenic Collection, visithttp://library.csus.edu/tsakopoulos.

For the full Library Research Fellowship Program description and application instructions, see: http://library.csus.edu/tsakopoulos/lrfp.asp.html. Questions about the Program can be directed to George I. Paganelis, Curator, Tsakopoulos Hellenic Collection (paganelis@csus.edu).


‘Reading Pleasure, Pleasure Reading’ a Summer School in medieval approaches to reading, 23-28 May 2016 at the Swedish Research Institute Istanbul

For details see here


Job on Byzantine Philosophy in Athens:



Matthew Kinloch

DPhil Candidate, History
President, Oxford University Byzantine Society


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