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The Byzness, 24th April 2016

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Al-Balādhurī: A Guide for the Perplexed 29 – 30 April 2016

Friday 29 April 2016: Public Lecture Okinaga Room, Wadham College, OX1 3PN

17:00 Chase Robinson (CUNY) Provisional observations on the Futūḥ al-buldān

18:30 Drinks reception

Saturday 30 April 2016: Workshop MBI Al Jaber Building, Corpus Christi College, OX1 4JF

09:30 Registration

10:00 Introductory remarks by Mark Whittow (University of Oxford)

10:15 Hugh Kennedy (SOAS) Concerning Fadak: reading a micro-narrative in al-Balādhurī’s Futūḥ

11.00 Coffee

11:30 Robert Hoyland and Leyla Masma Najafzada (University of Oxford) Al-Balādhurī and the beginnings of Islam in the Caucasus & Nick Evans (University of Oxford) “An unprecedented peace”: al-Balādhurī on the North

13:00 Lunch

14:00 Edward Zychowicz-Coghill (Univeristy of Oxford) Provincial history for metropolitan purposes? Al-Balādhurī’s Egyptian sources & Su I-Wen (University of Edinburgh) Al-Balādhurī’s sectarian vision: was he a proto-Sunnī?

15:30 Tea

16:00 Ryan Lynch (University of Oxford) The reception and reuse of al-Balādhurī’s Futūḥ in medieval Islamic history

16:45 Concluding discussion, introduced and chaired by James Howard-Johnston (University of Oxford)

17:30 Drinks reception

Please register by writing to A contribution of £10 (or £5 for students) towards coffee, sandwich lunch and tea will be payable on the door. See details here.


On Thursday, 5th May 2016 at 5.15, the University of Birmingham will be hosting the next British Byzantine Postgraduate Network event: ‘Jack of all Trades, Master of None? Interdisciplinary and Cooperative Methodologies for Byzantinists’.


Much has changed in the scholarship of the humanities in recent years, with an emphasis both on interdisciplinary research and the use of new methodologies. When embarking on our own research with Byzantine source material, we can be faced with what seems to be an overwhelming array of sub-methodologies and languages. With so many different avenues of research, each with their own specific difficulties and problems, what is the
Byzantinist to do?

In the spirit of the British Byzantine Postgraduate Network this event will create a space where early-career Byzantinists can discuss solutions to this disciplinary dilemma. We will ask how we, as early-career scholars, can challenge the current structures of academia in order to create a more interdisciplinary and collaborative research culture.

The evening will take the form of a series of speakers (please see the attached poster for details) followed by a round table discussion and wine reception.

Please email me ( with any questions and to reserve a place.


SPBS Annual Lecture, Liz James, Material Faith 07.06.16, London

For details see here.


 Dr Magdalena Laptas (Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University, Warsaw) Re-Thinking Nubian Iconography”

  Abstract: The subject of my lecture is the presentation of the complexity of the iconography developed in the Middle Nile Valley in the Middle Ages. Although Nubian mediaeval art flourished under strong Byzantine influence, it inherited the artistic heritage from ancient Egypt and Meroe as well. The Nubian painters were creative, so they not only copied foreign visual patterns but also based their images on written sources; among them apocrypha and legends. This explains why some Nubian paintings are so unique and have no analogies elsewhere. During my lecture I will present some interesting and unique murals and show some new methods of their iconographic interpretations.

Department of Art and Archaeology, SOAS-University of London, Research Seminars in the Art and Archaeology of Africa and the Americas, Convenor: Dr Tania Tribe ( Thursday, 21 April 2016, 5-7 pm, Room B104. All Welcome.




Monastic Journeys from Late Antiquity to the Middle Ages

Please take note (and disseminate as appropriate) of the enclosed call for papers for a conference on ‘Monastic Journeys’, the third in a series of events organized by several French academic institutions. It will be hosted at the Division of Byzantine Research (Institute for Medieval Research, Austrian Academy of Sciences) in Vienna, 17 to 19 November 2016. See details here.


Mary Jaharis Center sponsored session at the 52nd International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, May 11–14, 2017

Session proposals must be submitted through the Mary Jaharis Center website ( The deadline for submission is April 25, 2016. Proposals should include: Title, Session abstract (300 words), Intellectual justification for the proposed session (300 words), Proposed list of session participants (presenters and session presider), &CV

The session organizer may act as the presider or present a paper. Successful applicants will be notified by May 6, 2016, if their proposal has been selected for submission to the International Medieval Congress. If the proposed session is approved, the Mary Jaharis Center will reimburse session participants (presenters and presider) up to $600 maximum for North American residents and up to $1200 maximum for those coming abroad. Funding is through reimbursement only; advance funding cannot be provided. Eligible expenses include conference registration, transportation, and food and lodging. Receipts are required for reimbursement. Please contact Brandie Ratliff (, Director, Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture with any questions.


Dreams, Memory and Imagination in Byzantium, 19th Conference of the Australian Association for Byzantine Studies, 24-26 February 2017, Monash University, Melbourne

In the last two decades, the role of dreams, memory and the imagination in the ancient world and its cultural productions have come to receive increased attention, along with the importance of emotions in the Greco-Roman and medieval worlds. This conference will focus on the ways that the Byzantine imagination shaped its dreams and memories from the fourth to fifteenth centuries and the many ways in which these were recorded in the Byzantine world, in its historiography, literature, religion, art and architecture.

Professor Derek Krueger of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro will be our guest speaker at this international conference.

We welcome papers on any aspect of the topic, including reception studies. The deadline for the first Call for Papers is 31st July 2016. Two student bursaries will be offered to HDR students who present papers.

Further information will be available on this web site

or from the Convenor, Dr Eva Anagnostou-Laoutides, at, or for general


Origeniana Duodecima: Origen’s Legacy in the Holy Land–A Tale of Three Cities: Jerusalem, Caesarea and Bethlehem

To be held at the Center for the Study of Christianity at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mount Scopus, on June 25-29, 2017. Please see here for details.


Maritime Famagusta: Towards a dynamic biography of a harbour city

Following the success of our meetings in Paris, Budapest, and Bern, all of which led to international book publications related to the art, history, architecture and heritage of the walled city, I now wish to focus on the maritime story of Famagusta through all historical periods (from the 12th century to independence). Scholars with interests in maritime painting, cartography, economic history, photography, marine archaeology, travellers’ accounts, navigation, trade, shipbuilding, linguistics, numismatics, fiction, economic history, urban development and so on, and with a specific academic interest in the Cypriot city of Famagusta, are sought. At this point I am interested only in collecting expressions of interest so that I can begin to plan both the venue and the budget.  Please contact me therefore on if you think you might like to attend this meeting and include an indication of your research area.




Summer School of Byzantinology in Thessaloniki: “State religion, religion for the State”

If students would like to participate, I [Paolo Odorico the organiser] could ensure a very low cost for them, that covers the expenses of participation, which are estimated to be around 45 € a day and include: accommodation in a good hotel and a dinner per day, as well as participation in the courses. The duration of the summer school would be reduced to 10 days. The cost of the course will be c. 450€. For details see here or contact


Research Fellowship (Georgian Studies), Research Explorer Ruhr, PostDoc at Ruhr-Universität Bochum

For details see here.


Byzantine job with Syriac, Arabic, Armenian, Georgian or Russian in Mainz

For details see here.


The Institute of Historical Research of the National Hellenic Research Foundation is pleased to announce the organization of its first Summer School on Greek Palaeography and Byzantine Epigraphy from July 4 to July 9, 2016 with the kind collaboration of the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian in Patmos.

The one-week intensive Summer School is an introductory course to Greek Palaeography and Byzantine Epigraphy aiming to provide students with basic skills that will enable them to approach manuscripts and written inscriptions. A unique feature of this Summer School is that students will be given the opportunity to learn and practice in the Monastery of Saint John, which is now home to more than 1200 manuscripts and a large number of icons and monumental paintings with inscriptions dating from the 12th to the 16th century. The school is open to PhD candidates, postgraduate students and students in their final year of Classics, Philology, History, Theology and Byzantine & Medieval Studies. We would appreciate if you could inform all interested parties. Further information on the Summer School can be found on its website.


Assistant Professor, Tenure-track, in the Archaeology of the Classical, Roman, or Late Antique Hellenic Worlds at the Hellenic Studies Program at Simon Fraser University

For details see here.


Matthew Kinloch

DPhil Candidate, History
President, Oxford University Byzantine Society


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