The Byzness

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The Byzness, 5th February 2017


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George Presides Workshop, University of Tubignen, 31st March 2017

Please find attached file the program a seminar on George Pisida organized by Theresia Raum and Federico Montinaro next March in Tübingen.


Dr. Adam Cohen, University of Toronto: Local and Global: Medieval Art in an Age of New Nationalisms, 5:30pm Wednesday 22 February, The Courtauld Art Institute of Art, London

Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre, Somerset House, Strand  WC2R 0RN

In light of recent world events, this talk addresses some of the disciplinary questions about methodology and classification that underlie the study and teaching of medieval art today. It focuses on the tension between working intellectually and practically in an ever-expanding global environment and attending at the same time to the particulars of specific historical contexts. The consideration of borders ranges from the geographic to the temporal and from cultural to confessional. Among the specific topics to be treated are the role and implications of Jewish art, both in the medieval world and in modern scholarship; the practice of art history in the European and Chinese academies; and the challenges of writing a new survey of medieval art.

Dr. Adam S. Cohen is Associate Professor in the Department of the History of Art at the University of Toronto, where he has taught since 2003. While completing his PhD at The Johns Hopkins University (1995), he worked in the Manuscripts Department at the J. Paul Getty Museum. His research interests include illuminated manuscripts, monastic art, and the use of visual culture as a tool in Christian-Jewish polemics. He has just completed a three-year Getty Connecting Art Histories project with the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts. With Linda Safran, he is the current editor of Gesta.




Call for Papers: Memory sanctions and ‘damnatio memoriae’, c. 200AD – c. 800AD, 5-6th September, University of Cambridge

Keynote speaker: Professor Harriet Flower, Department of Classics, University of Princeton


Other confirmed speakers:

– Professor Leslie Brubaker, Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies, University of Birmingham

– Dr Richard Flower, Department of Classics, University of Exeter

– Dr Adrastos Omissi, Department of History, University of Oxford

– Dr Gerald Schwedler, Department of Medieval Studies, Universität Zürich


This two-day conference (5th September – 6th September 2017), taking place in Trinity College, Cambridge, will explore the changing concept of memory sanctions in late antiquity and the early middle ages (c. 200 AD – 800 AD). The process of memory sanction in the Roman world has been widely studied as damnatio memoriae (literally ‘damnation of memory’), almost exclusively understood as a process of destroying and defacing images and of removing names from honorific inscriptions. By contrast, in the early middle ages the issue of memory sanctions and the destruction of images has been mainly studied through the history of Byzantine Iconoclasm, but there is no systematic study of memory sanctions in the post-Roman world, either in the east and in the west. This conference therefore aims to bring together an interdisciplinary group of scholars with different regional, chronological, and cultural focusses to bridge the gap between Roman and medieval practices of memory sanction. This will be achieved by charting out instances of conscious and intentional attempts, however conceived, to suppress memory between c. 200 AD – 800 AD.


The organisers therefore invite papers dealing with any aspect of the intentional suppression of memory, whether for political, religious, or social ends, from any period within the stated chronology. We seek papers from established scholars, early-career researchers and graduate students in disciplines such as Classics, History, Archaeology, and Art History. In order to maintain the comparative and interdisciplinary focus of the conference, we would also welcome submissions of a truly comparative nature within our period of study. Likewise, we would encourage papers that make a methodological contribution to our understanding of memory and its suppression. For more details on the conference, please visit .


Topics for papers may include, but need not be limited to:

– the ideology of the condemnation of memory

– pagan and monotheistic thinking on concepts such as heaven, hell, and heresy

– how classical concepts of memory informed the understanding of commemoration and damnation of memory in later centuries

– universal questions about how and why social and political elites might seek to intentionally shape collective memory

– evidence of memory sanctions found in material evidence, such as diptychs, tombs, statues, paintings, manuscripts and inscriptions


To apply: Please send and abstract of no more than 300 words and a brief (one side) CV to  no later than Friday 17th March 2017. Papers will be 25 minutes, with 15 minutes for questions.


For a PDF of this call for papers click here.


Graduate Symposium of the Institute of Islamic Studies of McGill University, April, 2017

Attached please find a Call for Papers for the Graduate Symposium of the Institute of Islamic Studies of McGill University, to be held in April, 2017. The extended deadline is Sunday, February 5, 2017.

Thank you.


McGill Institute of Islamic Studies Student Council



Call for Sessions: Mary Jaharis Center Sponsored Panel, 43rd Annual Byzantine Studies Conference

As part of its ongoing commitment to Byzantine studies, the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture seeks proposals for a Mary Jaharis Center sponsored session at the 43rd Annual Byzantine Studies Conference to be held at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN, October 5–8, 2017. We invite session proposals on any topic relevant to Byzantine studies.


Session proposals must be submitted through the Mary Jaharis Center website site (    ). The deadline for submission is February 15, 2017.


Proposals should include:

—Proposed session title

—CV of session organizer

—300-word session summary, which includes a summary of the overall topic, the format for the panel (such as a debate, papers followed by a discussion, or a traditional session of papers), and the reasons for covering the topic as a prearranged, whole session

—Session chair and academic affiliation. Please note: Session chairs cannot present a paper in the session

—Information about the four papers to be presented in the session. For each paper: name of presenter and academic affiliation, proposed paper title, and 500-word abstract. Please note: Presenters must be members of BSANA in good standing


Session organizers may present a paper in the session or chair the session. If a co-organzier is proposed for the session, the co-organizer must also give a paper in the session or chair the session.


Applicants will be notified by February 20, 2017. The organizer of the selected session is responsible for submitting the session to the BSC by March 1, 2017. Instructions for submitting the panel proposal are included in the BSC Call for Papers ( ).


If the proposed session is approved, the Mary Jaharis Center will reimburse session participants (presenters and chair, if the proposed chair is selected by the BSC program committee) up to $600 maximum for North American residents and up to $1200 maximum for those coming from 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.



Preserving, Commenting, Adapting: Commentaries on Ancient Texts in Twelfth-Century Byzantium An international workshop at the University of Silesia in Katowice, 20-21 October, 2017

Organisers: Baukje van den Berg, Tomasz Labuk, Divna Manolova, Przemysław Marciniak, Katarzyna Warcaba


Keynote speakers: Panagiotis Agapitos, Aglae Pizzone


Call for papers

Every commentary first and foremost is an interpretation or specific reading of the text that is commented upon. In commenting on ‘their’ text, commentators construct questions of meaning and problems perceived as complicating this meaning, neither of which are inherent in the text. Commentaries, therefore, are firmly grounded in their intellectual and socio-cultural context and ‘may come to be studied as cultural or ideological texts in their own right, with didactic aims of their own, steering the “primary” text in a direction intended to answer very contemporary questions of meaning’ (R.K. Gibson, C.S. Kraus (eds.), The Classical Commentary: Histories, Practices, Theory. Leiden 2002). This ‘contemporariness’ of commentaries involves both their production and their reception: on the one hand, commentators tend to read their own (didactic) programme into the ‘primary’ text and address questions of meaning relevant to their intellectual context; on the other hand, commentaries serve to preserve, comment, and adapt a text for contemporary purposes and for a contemporary target audience.


As ‘documents of their time’, commentaries thus may be said to form an excellent starting point for exploring the reception of authoritative texts in a certain period. In this workshop, we propose to do exactly this: to explore the use of ancient texts in twelfth-century Byzantium through commentaries. Classical scholarship flourished in twelfth-century Constantinople; scholars such as Eustathios of Thessalonike and John Tzetzes undertook ambitious projects of Homeric exegesis, while Eustratios of Nicaea produced commentaries on various of Aristotle’s works. In a broader sense, treatises like those by John Tzetzes on ancient tragedy and comedy or literary works such as Theodore Prodromos’ Katomyomachia and Bion Prasis can also be said to comment on ancient texts and, thus, reveal the manifold ways in which Byzantines dealt with their ancient heritage.


We therefore invite abstracts that explore commentaries on ancient texts in twelfth-century Byzantium in order to shed light on the ways in which the Byzantines used—preserved, commented, adapted—the ancient texts in question. We define ‘commentary’ in a broad sense, to include generically diverse texts that in one way or another comment on the ancient literary heritage. Questions that might be addressed include but are not limited to the following: What (contemporary) questions of meaning do Byzantine commentators seek to answer? What is their hermeneutic and/or didactic programme? How do commentators perceive their own role in preserving or defending the authority of the ancient text? What function do these commentaries fulfil within their intellectual and socio-cultural context? What is the relationship between commentaries on ancient texts and the transtextual use of ancient texts in Byzantine literary practice? Since we would like to put the activity of twelfth-century commentators in a wider context, we would also consider proposals dealing with commentaries on ancient texts in other periods (e.g. antiquity, Palaiologian Byzantium etc.).



Deadline for abstracts

Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words to  by 30 April 2017. Any enquiries about the conference may also be addressed to this email address.


Call for Papers for the 5th ISLALS Conference 2017,  University of Salamanca (Spain), October 6-7, Literature Squared: Metaliterary Reflections in Late Antiquity

The fifth annual conference of the International Society for Late Antique Literary Studies (ISLALS) will convene at the University of Salamanca (Spain) on October 6–7, 2017, following the successful meetings in the USA (Brown 2013, Boston 2014, Bryn Mawr and Haverford 2016) and the UK (Oxford 2015).


Under the motto “Literature squared”, this year’s conference will cover a wide range of topics directly related to the general idea of literature speaking of, commenting on, or contrasting with, literature itself: from metaliterary prooemia and self-referential pieces/passages, to Christian and pagan exegesis (commentaries, metatexts, paratexts, allegorical re-readings, rhetorical treatises, hermeneutics, etc), via all kind of self-aware “derivative” genres (such as centos, epitomes, translations, paraphrases, etc). Intertextual dialogues will be also taken into consideration, provided that they focus on strictly (meta-)literary issues. Finally, special attention will be paid to the study of the late antique philosophical inquiries on the ideas of fictionality, language, representation and literature.


  • Communications will be 20 minutes long, with 10 additional minutes for questions and discussion.
  • English and Spanish will be the accepted languages.
  • Depending on the quality and coherence of the presentations the publication of a collected volume will be envisaged.
  • Both senior scholars and early career researchers (including PhD students) are welcome (and encouraged) to submit paper proposals.



If you would like to participate, please send an abstract of your paper (200-300 words) via email attachment by May 15, 2017 to the organizers: Jesús Hernández Lobato ( ) and Óscar Prieto Domínguez ( ). Please include your academic affiliation.


ISLALS requires no dues and there is no registration fee for the conference. A closing banquet for conference speakers will round out this year’s gathering, commemorating the eighth centenary of the foundation of the University of Salamanca, the third oldest in continuous operation in Europe. Expenses for lodging and travel to and from the conference will be the responsibility of participants. The organizers can help participants secure lodging at nearby hotels. Additional information about the conference can be found at:



Please send queries about conference particulars to the organizers: Jesús Hernández Lobato ( ) and Óscar Prieto Domínguez ( ).

General queries about ISLALS may be sent to any member of the steering committee: Scott McGill ( ), Joseph Pucci ( ) and David Bright ( )





The Impact of the Ancient City: PhD Studentship, University of Cambridge


Applications are invited for a 3-year fully-funded PhD studentship in the context of the ERC Advanced Grant project, The Impact of the Ancient City, under the supervision of Professor Andrew Wallace-Hadrill. The project aims to explore the impact of the Greco-Roman city on the urbanism of the post-Roman world across the Mediterranean. The focus of the PhD project is on the cities of Italy, through a series of case studies chosen by the applicant. Part of the research will be based at the British School at Rome.


Cities were among the defining features of the ancient world, and urbanism is one of the principal legacies of antiquity. But which were the features of the ancient city that survived, how were they modified and transformed in different contexts at different periods? The aim of the project is to look at the impact of the ancient city, whether through its physical fabric or its ideals and structures, across time and across the Mediterranean, in both the Christian and Islamic worlds. The focus of the PhD project is on the cities of Italy. It offers a wide choice of case studies at every level: from international hubs from Milan to Naples and Palermo, through centres important at a regional level (from Bologna to Syracuse), to smaller local centres. In all these cases there is a wealth of local archaeology, supported by ample documentary evidence. By examining a number of case studies, to be chosen by the researcher, the project will aim not just to tell local histories, but to tease out patterns of conservation, adaptation and repurposing the legacy of antiquity. The Principal Investigator, Professor Wallace-Hadrill, will act as supervisor with the support of other colleagues in Cambridge, including Professor Martin Millett, Dr Alessandro Launaro and Dr John Patterson. Further details of the project are available at:


Candidates should have some knowledge of Italian archaeology, through a first degree including Roman archaeology/history. Candidates must either already have a strong reading knowledge of Italian or be prepared to undertake intensive Italian language training before commencing the PhD.


The successful applicant will be required to undergo the usual process for registration for the PhD degree at the end of the first year and annual reviews in the second and third year of study.


Fixed-term: the funds for this post are available for 3 years in the first instance.


For details of the application process and the required supporting documentation see:


Completed applications from those wishing to be considered for this studentship should be uploaded by 1 March 2017.


Please quote reference GE11270 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.


The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.


The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.




Postdoctoral Fellowship in Mediterranean Archaeology, Brown University

The Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World at Brown University invites applications for a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Mediterranean Archaeology.  Exceptional junior scholars who augment or complement the present strengths and diversity of the Joukowsky Institute community, and who enhance our commitment to inclusive education and research, are particularly encouraged to apply.


We seek candidates who have demonstrated a capacity for innovative research and cross-disciplinary thinking.  We are interested in individuals whose work focuses on any aspect of or time period in ancient Mediterranean archaeology not covered by the Institute’s faculty, and who have significant fieldwork experience in that region.


In addition to pursuing their research, successful candidates will be expected to teach half time — i.e., one course per semester.  Teaching may be at both the undergraduate and graduate levels; interdisciplinary offerings are desirable.  Applicants must have received their Ph.D. from an institution other than Brown within the last five years.  Successful candidates will be expected to make substantive contributions to the ongoing development of the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, such as the organization of reading or working groups, a topical symposium, or another project intended to foster a stimulating intellectual environment in which to pursue research and to develop new interdisciplinary connections.  This will be a one-year position, with the possibility of a one-year renewal, beginning on July 1, 2017.




All candidates should submit a letter of application, curriculum vitae, short descriptions (150-300 words) of 3-4 proposed courses, and contact information for three references by March 1, 2017. Applications received by March 1, 2017 will receive full consideration, but the search will remain open until the position is closed or filled.


Please submit application materials online at  . There is no need to provide hard copies of application materials for those that have already been submitted electronically.


For further information:

Professor Peter van Dommelen

Chair, Search Committee

Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World

Brown University

Box 1837 / 60 George Street Providence, RI 02912






Mirela Ivanova

DPhil Candidate in History
President, Oxford University Byzantine Society

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