Byzness 25/06/17



The Byzness, 25th June 2017







Byzantium Compared: First International Graduate Conference in Byzantine Studies, University of Edinburgh, Friday 22-Saturday 23 September 2017


The University of Edinburgh’s Late Antique and Byzantine Studies Research Group is delighted to welcome applications for participation in its inaugural graduate conference in Byzantine Studies, to be held in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology.


The theme, ‘Byzantium Compared’, invites participants to evaluate the possibilities and pitfalls of the comparative approaches to the study of Byzantium, 4th-15th centuries. Byzantinists increasingly find themselves under pressure to set their research into a wider, often global context. ‘Globalising’ Byzantine Studies tends to involve focusing on one or both of connections and comparisons between Byzantium and its neighbours. This conference invites papers considering both approaches, though with a particular focus on the second.


Byzantium and the Slavic world; Byzantium and Islam; Byzantium and the West; Byzantium and cultures further afield, such as China: all of these comparisons have been, and continue to be made, often producing rich results. The approach, however, invites a range of questions: When is a comparison valid, and when is it not? Are two perspectives intrinsically better than one? Taking its lead from these questions, the purpose of this conference is to engage thoughtfully with the possibilities of comparative approaches to Byzantine Studies.


Papers may address one or several of the following themes, though this is of course by no means an exhaustive list:


Comparison across time in Byzantium

Comparison across space in Byzantium and/or in the wider Eastern Mediterranean

Comparison across discipline: e.g. Philology, History, Archaeology, Art History

Methodological concerns, theoretical frameworks

Insights into Byzantine Studies from outside disciplines: e.g. Anthropology, Political Science


Abstracts, of no more than 250 words, should be sent alongside a brief academic biography as a PDF to by midnight on Friday 14 July 2017. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by Friday 21 July.


The Conference will form part of a varied series of events in Edinburgh over two days, with a workshop held on Saturday 23 September under the auspices of the British Byzantine Postgraduate Network (BBPN), generously sponsored by the Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies. The theme of this workshop is ‘Comparison in Collaboration’, bringing together a number of graduate students from universities across the UK to discuss the challenges and practicalities of comparative history, and encouraging the forging of informal, personal research networks. Participation in the conference, and attendance at the BBPN event are open to graduate students at any higher education institution, worldwide.



Othello’s Island 2018: 6th annual interdisciplinary conference on byzantine, medieval, renaissance and early modern art, literary, archaeological, historical and cultural studies, CVAR, Nicosia, Cyprus, 25 to 27 March 2018



To be presented by Professor Henri Frances (American University of Beirut)


The Academic Board for Othello’s Island invites applications to present papers at the 6th edition of Othello’s Island. This will take place in Nicosia, Cyprus, in March 2018.


We are interested in hearing papers on diverse aspects of Byzantine, Medieval, Renaissance and early modern art, literature, history, society and other aspects of culture.


Our remit is broad, and so it is worth looking at the range of papers from past conferences to see that previous speakers have covered topics ranging from slavery in medieval Cyprus and Malta, to the impact of Italian Renaissance art on Cypriot Byzantine painting, and even discussion on the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf. And Shakespeare, and his contemporaries, are important too, of course.


In the six years of its existence, Othello’s Island has developed a reputation as one of the most liberal-minded and friendly medieval and renaissance studies conferences in the world today, and it is also genuinely interdisciplinary. In part this is due to the relatively small size of the event, which generates a true sense of community during the conference.


Our location in Cyprus allows for visits to some stunning medieval museums and other sites, including the French gothic cathedrals of St Sophia in Nicosia, and St Nicholas in Famagusta, and we are housed in the centre of the medieval old town of Nicosia, with its narrow winding streets and impressive city walls and gate houses.


Deadline for submissions is 22 December 2017


For the full call for papers please visit


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