The Byzness 13/11/16

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The Byzness, 13th November 2016


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Autumn Lecture of the Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies, Wednesday 23 November, 5pm, Ioannou Centre, St. Giles Street, Oxford

The Autumn Lecture for the Society of the Promotion of Byzantine Studies will take place on Wedsday 23 November at 5.00 p.m. in the Ioannou Centre, 61 St Giles, Oxford. Professor Jim Crow (Edinburgh) will speak on ‘Not just cheese and potatoes: recent research on Naxos and the Byzantien Aegean’. All are welcome.

For a poster, click here.


“Anastasius Sinaita and the Bible” Symposium, 12-13 December 2016, Faculty of Theology, KU Leuven


For a full programme click here.



The Oxford University Byzantine Society’s 19th International Graduate Conference: Transmitting and Circulating the Late Antique and Byzantine Worlds, History Faculty, 24-25th February 2017


Deadline for Abstracts: Midnight, Friday 18th November


Movement was the norm rather than the exception in the Late Antique and Byzantine worlds. Things travelled: ideas, religions, foods, materials, money, people. Whether it was a Christian bishop sent to convert the North Caucuses, a coin which found its way to Anglo-Saxon England, or a piece of column which only made its way down a local road, how scholars engage with and taxonomise this constant flux has been key to the way in which we conceptualise the Late Antique and Byzantine worlds.


Since Dmitry Obolensky’s seminal 1971, The Byzantine Commonwealth, 500-1453, Byzantium or the Medieval East Roman Empire, has largely been viewed as the centre from which ideas, money, and things were transmitted outwards, and its commonwealth the space in which they circulated. This conference will offer a platform for interdisciplinary discussion on how far this perspective shapes modern scholarly debate, and in what other ways we can begin to reconceptualise transmission and circulation in the Late Antique and Byzantine worlds.


Postgraduate scholars are encouraged to engage with and problematise the concepts of transmission and circulation, as well as to offer specific case studies of these phenomena surging or declining at any particular time. Papers might address any of the following, but all contributions, especially those engaging with the so-called ‘peripheries’, whether Eastern, Western, Southern or Northern, of the Late Antique and Byzantine worlds are strongly encouraged.


  • Circulation of coinage, luxury and sustenance goods, slaves – where from, where to and why?
  • Transmission of political ideologies, structures of legitimacy, ceremony and bureaucracy – when is transmission adoption and when is it appropriation?
  • The use and re-use of material objects, large and small, locally, regionally and more widely
  • Missions of Christian (and other) conversions and the transportation of religious ideas
  • Migrations, invasions and settlements – how did people and their ethnic identities move?
  • Transmission of knowledge: teaching and education and techniques thereof – could and did ideas circulate without movement of people?
  • The consolidation and circulation of texts, genres norms, and registers of speech and writing
  • How did horizontal transmission (from Constantinople to Baghdad) differ from vertical transmission (from the emperor to the farmer)
  • Circulation below elite level of persons, commodities, texts, etc. – the piecemeal (and potentially subversive) components of any ‘commonwealth’


Please send an abstract of no more than 250 words, with a short academic biography in the third person, to the Oxford University Byzantine Society at by Friday, 18th November 2016. Papers should be 20 minutes in length, delivered in English or French.


As with our previous conferences, there will be a publication of selected papers chosen and reviewed by specialist readers from the University of Oxford’s Late Antique and Byzantine Studies research centres. Any speakers wishing to have their papers considered for publication should try to engage with the conference theme as closely as possible in their abstract and paper. Nevertheless, all submissions are warmly invited.


For a PDF file of this click here or find the text on our website here.



CFP: Concealment and Revelation in the Art of the Middle Ages (Nicosia, 22-24 September 2017)

‘To reveal art and conceal the artist is art’s aim’ – thus Oscar Wilde in his aphoristic Preface to The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891). In the western intellectual tradition, art has repeatedly been conceived and understood as existing at the intersection of the antithetical notions of concealment and revelation – from the old unattributed adage that ‘it is true art to conceal art’ (ars est celare artem) to Robert Rauschenberg’s lapidary statement about the ability of a work of art to reveal something beyond itself (‘A light bulb in the dark cannot show itself without showing you something else too’, scribbled in pencil on the photo collage entitled Random Order, c. 1963). Veiled or unveiled, obscured or illuminated, opaque or transparent, works of art are often invested with meaning(s) and function(s) at the liminal moment of transition from the one state to the next; after all, to resort again to Wilde’s witty prose, ‘the commonest thing is delightful, if one only hides it’.


Recent scholarship on medieval art has brought such considerations to the fore, by tackling issues of screening, veiling / unveiling, temporal and performative transformations, the permeability of barriers and the movement of objects in space, among others. The visibility of sacred relics and their reliquaries, the metal revetments and textile curtains of miracle-working icons, the folding wings of northern European altarpieces, the parting womb of the Vierges ouvrantes or Schreinmadonnen and the porosity of choir screens East and West have all received fairly extensive treatment in monographic studies and specialist articles. Nevertheless, the juxtaposition of these individual phenomena within a broader framework, encompassing both the religious and secular sphere, as well as several different religious traditions, has only seldom been attempted.


The present conference aspires to explore the role of the concept and the act of concealment and revelation in the arts of the Latin West, Byzantium, Islam and Judaism in the course of the Middle Ages (defined chronologically as c. 500-c. 1500). Subjects to be broached include, but are not limited to, the use of curtains or veils in screening objects or spaces; the function of permeable screens (in a variety of materials and media) in structuring accessibility, whether physical, visual, aural or spiritual; the performative aspect of concealing and revealing in all its civic and private manifestations, and the issues of emotional manipulation thereby raised; the role of gesture and spatial motion in the performance of concealment and revelation; the hierarchy of sacred and secular space as the outcome of its compartmentalisation; and the representation of these practices in the pictorial arts.


The conference is planned as a three-day event, to take place at the Archaeological Research Unit of the University of Cyprus, Nicosia, in 22-24 September 2017. Due to budgetary constraints, the speakers’ travel and accommodation expenses cannot be covered, but every effort will be made to secure conference rates at hotels near the conference venue. There is no registration fee for participation or attendance.


Prospective speakers are invited to submit electronically a title and a 300-word abstract (in either English or Greek) for consideration by 30 April 2017. Please send all materials and address all queries to the conference convenors, Michalis Olympios ( ) and Maria Parani ( ).


The Art of the Network: Visualising Social Relationships, 1400-1600, Annual Renaissance Postgraduate Symposium, Courtauld Institute of Art, London, Friday 28 April 2017

In recent years, the analysis of social networks has generated a fruitful field of scholarly enquiry. Research addressing the dynamics that govern personal relationships within and without communities of various kinds has permeated through historical, anthropological, and sociological studies. These investigations have traced the ways in which societies structured according to gender, family bonds, and neighbourhood ties as well as political, professional, and religious associations regulated social interaction. However, the role of art and architecture in cultivating these interpersonal relationships has not been explored comprehensively. Even art historical approaches have frequently given preference to textual rather than visual evidence in elucidating these social networks.


This conference seeks to shed light on the ways in which social networks have been represented visually. Such an approach has great potential to deepen the discussion surrounding the commission,

production, and reception of art and architecture between 1400 and 1600. We invite studies that bring into dialogue social connections on the one hand and visual manifestations on the other. Preference will be given to papers that present unpublished material while engaging with methodological frameworks and/or historiographical perspectives.


Topics might include but are not limited to:

– how artistic networks affect the construction of identities

– the mobility of art and artists within networks

– whether formal, iconographic and/or stylistic features denote

adherence to a community

– the identification of specific individuals in works of art

– how issues of display influence social bonds

– the employment of personal, familial, political, ecclesiastical or

professional devices


Proposals of no more than 350 words should be submitted together with a short CV to Alexander Röstel ( ) and Alexander Noelle ( ) by 31 December 2016. Successful candidates will be notified in mid-January. Papers should not exceed 20 minutes in length. Costs for travel and accommodation cannot be covered but partial funding might become available and catering will be provided for all speakers.



CORRECTION: Reception Histories of the Future: a conference on Byzantinisms, speculative fiction, and the literary heritage of medieval empire, University of Uppsala, August 4-6th 2017

The dates of the conference will not be in April, as suggested last week, but in August.


The full CFP is found here.




Fellowships at the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute (CAAR)


THE CYPRUS AMERICAN ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE (CAARI) in Nicosia, Cyprus, welcomes scholars and students specializing in archaeology, history, and culture of Cyprus and the eastern Mediterranean. CAARI is located in central Nicosia close to the Cyprus Museum and the Archaeological Research Unit of the University of Cyprus (both with major libraries), as well as the main business and commercial district. In addition to hostel accommodation for a total of twelve residents, the institute has excellent research facilities: a 10,000-volume library, comprehensive map and artifact collections, archival material, and facilities for Internet, scanning, and photography.  For further information on CAARI:


Deadline for CAARI-sponsored fellowships: December 15, 2016



CAARI at Boston University

656 Beacon Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA  02215



Graduate Student Fellowships



Danielle Parks, author of The Roman Coinage of Cyprus (Nicosia, 2004), directed excavations at the Amathus Gate Cemetery. She first came to Cyprus as an Anita Cecil O’Donovan Fellow. Her death as a young scholar in 2006, deeply felt by the wide circle of her colleagues and friends, is memorialized here by a fellowship designed to open the world of Cypriot culture to young scholars.


This is a fellowship of US $2,000 for a graduate student of any nationality who needs to work in Cyprus to further his/her research on a subject of relevance to Cypriot archaeology and culture. The purpose of the fellowship is to help cover travel to and living expenses in Cyprus. Applications are invited especially from students of Hellenistic and Roman Cyprus. During his/her stay, the fellow is expected to give a presentation at CAARI on a subject related to his/her research. The fellow will periodically keep the Director of CAARI apprised of his/her research activities. The fellow will acknowledge CAARI and the Danielle Parks Memorial Fellowship in any publication that emerges from the research carried during the fellowship. Residence at CAARI is required.

Deadline: December 15, 2016.



One grant of US $2,000 to a graduate student of any nationality in a college or university in the U.S. or Canada to pursue a research project that is relevant to an ongoing field project in Cyprus or that requires work on Cyprus itself. The award is to be used to fund research time spent in residence at CAARI and to help defray costs of travel. Residence at CAARI is required.

Deadline: December 15, 2016.




Founded in memory of musician, composer, and homemaker Anita Cecil O’Donovan, this fellowship offers one grant of US $2000 to a graduate student of any nationality, enrolled in a graduate program in any nation, to pursue research on a project relevant to the archaeology and/or culture of Cyprus; to be used to fund a period of research time in residence at CAARI and to help defray costs of travel. Residence at CAARI is required.

Deadline: December 15, 2016.


Fulbright Student Program:


*See also below for CAORC Fellowships open to US doctoral candidates.

Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC)

PO Box 37012, MRC 178

Washington, DC 20013-7012



Post-Doctoral Fellowships

CAARI Senior Scholar In Residence: An established scholar who commits to stay at least 30 days in succession at CAARI, ideally in the summer, and to be available in evenings and weekends to younger scholars working there, in return for 50% reduction in residency rate. Must have PhD in archaeology or ancillary field for at least 5 years prior to visit, be fluent in English (but may be of any nationality), and be committed to mentoring students. Travel and other expenses not covered.

Deadline: December 15, 2016.


CAARI/CAORC Research Fellowships: Two fellowships provide US $5500 each (up to US $1500 for transportation and an additional US $4000 for research expenses on the island) and are designed for scholars who already have their PhDs, whose research engages the archaeology, history, culture, or geography of Cyprus, and who would derive significant benefit from a month’s research time on the island. Particular consideration is given to applicants whose projects enable them to include Cyprus in their teaching.  A minimum of 30 days residence at CAARI is required. Applicants must be U.S. citizens.

Deadline: December 15, 2016. (NOTE: Amount available is anticipated but depends on federal appropriations which have not yet been finalized)


Fulbright Scholars Program:


CAORC Fellowships Open To Both Pre- And Post-Doctoral Researchers


Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC) Multi-Country Research Fellowships:

Open to scholars who already hold a Ph.D. and U.S. doctoral candidates who wish to conduct research of regional or trans-regional significance. Fellowships require scholars to conduct research in more than one country, at least one of which hosts a participating American overseas research center, including CAARI.

Deadline: January 30, 2017.


Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC) Mediterranean Regional Research Fellowships:

A focused regional fellowship program enabling scholars who have recently (within last 10 years) earned their Ph.D. and U.S. doctoral candidates to conduct research of regional or trans-regional significance in countries bordering the Mediterranean and served by American overseas research centers, including CAARI.

Deadline: January 15, 2017, check website for details (also for Multi-Country above).


*NEW* Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC) NEH Senior Research Fellowships:


The Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC) is pleased to announce the National Endowment for the Humanities Senior Research Fellowship Program! This fellowship supports advanced research in the humanities for U.S. postdoctoral scholars, and foreign national postdoctoral scholars who have been residents in the US for three or more years.


Scholars must carry out research in a country which hosts a participating American overseas research center. Eligible countries for 2016-2017 are: Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Cyprus, Georgia, Indonesia, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Senegal, Sri Lanka or Tunisia. Fellowship stipends are $4,200 per month for a maximum of four months. This program is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) under the Fellowship Programs at Independent Research Institutions (FPIRI).

Deadline: January 30, 2017.





Mirela Ivanova

DPhil Candidate in History
President, Oxford University Byzantine Society

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