Byzness 23/07/17



The Byzness, 23rd July 2017







International Conference in Bari, Italy, “Cultic graffiti across the Mediterranean and beyond” (27-29 September 2017)


Details can be found here:




“Dialogues in Late Medieval Mediterranean: between East and West”  the 2nd International Workshop of the ArtMedGIS Project to be held in Granada, 13 & 14 November 2017.

The aim of the 2nd International Workshop Dialogues in Late Medieval Mediterranean: between East and West is to establish an exchange opportunity to analyze the cultural legacy of Western Islamic societies and their interactions with the Oriental, Christian and Jewish ones from different and complementary perspectives. During the last years, an increased number of projects focused on the relations between East and West, Christianity and Islam or North Africa and Al-Andalus had emerged in the international scenario. In the context of these current research projects focusing on these topics, this 2nd International Workshop has been proposed, in the framework of the ArtMedGIS Project (MSCA – H2020, no 699818) and in collaboration with the Patronato de la Alhambra y Generalife and the University of Granada, to achieve a double objective: to create a space for dialogue in order to share recent research results, as well as to establish new research networks integrated by experienced and young researchers thus allowing for the development of interdisciplinary research lines on the late Middle Ages.

Within this general framework, the main goal will be to analyze the Islamic cultural legacy in a comprehensive approach. Therefore, a call for papers is now open so that experts and young researchers from History of Art, Architecture, History, Literature, Archaeology, Philosophy, Music, History of Religions and other related fields may present their research works focused on the late medieval Mediterranean. According to

the territorial and chronological restrictions of the Mediterranean between 12th and 15th centuries, the main fields of study will be (but not limited to) those referring to the most outstanding Western Islamic societies and the Eastern ones which they had some kind of relation with during the late Middle Ages: the Banū Ḥammād in Algeria; the Fatimids in Egypt; the Almoravids and the Almohads in North Africa and Al-Andalus; the Banū Gānīyya in Balearic Islands; the Zenghids, Ayyubids and Mamluks in Eastern Mediterranean; the Hafsids in Tunis; the Seljukids and Ottomans in Turkey; the Merinids in the Maghreb and the Nasrids in Granada. Works on Mudéjar manifestations and Norman Sicily will be also accepted, due to their hybrid nature.

Applicants will be encouraged to approach the study of such societies from a multidisciplinary perspective, as well as to answer to one or more of the following questions:
– What were the contributions of these Islamic societies to the Mediterranean world of the late Middle Ages?
– What kind of relations existed among these different Mediterranean societies?
– How can we measure the influence of the artistic and cultural panorama of the Western Islamic world in the remaining European context or the Eastern one?
– Are there any specific elements of these Islamic societies which were adopted by the Christian world? In which way?
– Are there any specific contributions of Western Islamic societies to the Eastern ones?
– Has the difference of religion been an obstacle to the cultural dialogue between East and West during the late Middle Ages? Or, on the contrary, can we find points in common within the cultural and artistic manifestations of this period between Christian and Islamic societies?

Please, submit your proposal with an abstract (no more than 300 words) and a brief biosketch (maximum of 10 lines) to Dr María MARCOS COBALEDA ( before the next 25th July 2017. The interventions will have duration of 20 minutes, in one of the following languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese or French.


Breaking Down Barriers: The Visual Culture of the Border in Late Antiquity

Session, College Art Association Annual Conference

Los Angeles, 21-24 February 2018


Chairs: Laura Veneskey (Wake Forest University,
Sean V. Leatherbury (Bowling Green State University,


The visual culture of Late Antiquity (c. 200-700 CE), the period during which the polytheist Roman state transformed into Orthodox Byzantium, has often been considered in terms of large-scale developments within the empire, driven by shifting religious preferences and associated political, social, and cultural changes, or in terms of the relationship between center and periphery. However, while scholars of Byzantine and later medieval art have long been interested in artistic interactions across borders, between Byzantium and its neighbors, historians of late antique art have been less focused on the border’s role in defining, limiting, or diffusing artistic and architectural forms. In light of the contemporary rise of nationalism and growing anxiety over the permeability and permanence of borders, this session aims to investigate the role of the border in the art and architecture of the late antique Mediterranean and beyond. To what extent did borders act as barriers to the movement of people and ideas or instead facilitate artistic interaction between different populations? Did borders strengthen or weaken “national” artistic preferences and tastes? How did visual culture contribute to the formulation or performance of identity within contested areas or frontier zones? Did cultural boundaries operate in the same way as political ones? Papers in this session might consider the role of borders or frontiers in shaping artistic interaction in the Mediterranean region in the period; objects or buildings produced in border regions; artists, objects, raw materials, or ideas in motion; or artworks as diplomatic gifts.


Deadline: 14 August 2017


For submission guidelines, see: call-for-participation.pdf


Inside Out: Dress and Identity in the Middle Ages: 38th Annual Conference of the Center for Medieval Studies, Fordham University, New York City, March 17-18, 2018.  


Abstracts due Sept. 15, 2017


Dress was a primary expression of identity in the Middle Ages, when individuals made strategic choices about clothing and bodily adornment (including hairstyle, jewelry, and other accessories) in order to communicate gender, ethnicity, status, occupation, and other personal and group identities. Because outward appearances were often interpreted as a reliable reflection of inner selves, medieval dress, in its material embodiment as well as in literary and artistic representations, carried extraordinary moral and social meaning, as well as offering seductive possibilities for self-presentation.


This conference aims to bring together recent research on the material culture and social meanings of dress in the Middle Ages to explore the following or related issues:


  • The implications of being able to study medieval dress only in representation
  • The strategies that were served by dress, either embodied or in representation
  • The effects of cultural economic factors, such as cross-cultural contact and trade, commerce, and/or technology on dress and its uses
  • The development of the so-called ‘Western fashion system’ and the cultural changes which it inspired or reflected

Please submit an abstract and cover letter with contact information by September 15, 2017 to Center for Medieval Studies, FMH 405B, Fordham University, Bronx, NY 10458, or by email to, or by fax to 718-817-3987


Beyond the Ornament: Abstraction in Medieval Art, Case Western Reserve University

Deadline for submitting a proposal (up to 700 words) and a brief bio:
September 15, 2017
Notification of submission status: September 30, 2017
Submission of completed texts (around 6000 words): December 15, 2018

Scholars are invited to contribute essays to an anthology on medieval
manifestations of the abstract. Since Henri Focillon’s eloquent
meditation on la vie des formes, originally published in 1939, the
subject of abstraction in medieval art has been largely reduced to the
study of ornament and questions of style, with occasional forays into
the discussion of sacred geometry and exploration of the late Gothic
hard style. This collection, which conceives of the long Middle Ages
globally, seeks to re-open the question of medieval abstractions,
interrogating the term itself and asking about the ways it can be
fruitfully applied to pre-modern material culture. It is expected that
contributors will approach the concept of medieval abstraction from a
multitude of perspectives—formal, semiotic, iconographic, material,
phenomenological, epistemological. Scholars whose expertise lies in
Islamic, Byzantine, and Asian art are particularly encouraged to submit
a proposal.

Abstraction haunts medieval art, both withdrawing figuration and
suggesting elusive presence. How does it make or destroy meaning in the
process? Is it by detaching itself from matter and foregrounding the
figurative? Is it by dissolving the figurative into matter, by calling
attention to the surface and to its planar artifice? Do the figurative
and the abstract collapse upon each other? In what way does abstraction
represent or deny? In which way should we even approach this term? Does
abstraction suggest the failure of figuration, the faltering of
iconography, and can it truly escape the semiotics of color or form? To
what extent is abstraction beholden to the field of mathematics? To
other disciplines? Does medieval abstraction function because it is
imperfect, incomplete, and uncorrected—and therefore cognitively,
visually demanding? Just how closely are medieval abstraction and
vision connected, and to what extent is the abstract predicated on
theorization of the unrepresentable and imperceptible? Is there
something intrinsic about the connection between abstraction and the
divine?  How much can the abstract really comprehend and elide with the
aniconic? Does medieval abstraction pit aesthetics against, say,
liturgy, or does it enrich it, or frame it, or both? How, finally, does
it define its viewers, medieval and modern? These questions provide but
a starting point for the possible approaches to the volume’s theme.

Please direct all queries and submissions to


The 53rd International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan

University, May 10-13, 2018.





As medievalists we place a premium on original-language research, and

yet in the classroom we habitually rely on translations. Today the

pedagogic side of this divide is undergoing revolutionary changes thanks

to the proliferation of translations in print and on the internet. This

new range of choices forces us to confront questions about the role of

translation in the classroom. To choose between, let’s say, a poetic

paraphrase and a literal prose rendering is to privilege one pedagogic

method over another.


It’s not that such questions have never crossed our minds before, but

they had less urgency when teachers had fewer alternatives. The pedagogy

is implicit, for example, when instructors single out key words in the

original for special explication, which has the advantage of putting our

training to good use. As a time-honored tactic the rhetorical move of

saying “let me tell you what this word really means” has the appeal,

for students, of gaining privileged access to inside knowledge, but at

the same moment it generates a shared suspicion because the translation

doesn’t convey what the original says.


This session has both a theoretical and practical focus. What is the

role of translation in the classroom? Is one kind of translation

preferable to others? How does the relation between original and

translation change from one discipline to another? From one genre to

another? Is there an advantage to showing the original along with the

translation even if students lack the competence to read it?


Details here:




Managing Editor, Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library (DOML)

Hours: Full-time, 35 hours per week


The Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library (DOML), published by Harvard University Press, launched in 2010 with the mission to offer major literary texts of medieval and Byzantine culture in literature, history, philosophy, and other realms of learning. The series has three aims: to make texts readily accessible in both content and price to a broad readership of English speakers, while also meeting the standards of experts; to equip non-specialist readers with the basic information needed to understand and appreciate the text; and to keep volumes in print for a long time. Each volume is bilingual, presenting a source text with an English translation on the facing page. General readers, undergraduate and graduate students, and professional scholars from within and without medieval and Byzantine studies are the target audience. DOML began with a focus on three languages: Byzantine Greek, Medieval Latin, and Old English. The series now numbers 49 volumes, and is poised to incorporate additional vernacular languages with a new subseries, Medieval Iberia. Working closely with the General Editor and the Subseries Editors, and with Harvard University Press, the Managing Editor will manage all aspects of the editorial and production process: create policies and style guides for the series, issue contracts, assign and oversee translations, set and enforce timelines, prepare the annual budget, organize annual board meetings, and plan outreach for the series, including through presentations and attendance at scholarly conferences. The Managing Editor will also train and supervise Harvard graduate students and undergraduate summer interns.


Qualifications Required

  • Advanced degree in Medieval Studies, Byzantine Studies, Classics, or related field.
  • Advanced language skills in Latin or Greek are required. • Familiarity with Dropbox, Asana, Word, and Excel is required.


Additional Qualifications

  • Candidates must have strong computer and editorial skills, together with a background in any area of the humanities with specialization in Medieval Studies. Strict attention to detail, and excellent communication skills, are particularly important. To Apply The position remains open until filled. Please submit résumé and cover letter detailing relevant qualifications by clicking the link below. =42929BR


Three Research Fellowships in Late Ancient Philosophy, Biblical Early Christian Studies, KU Leuven Faculty of Arts – Faculty of Philosophy – Faculty of Theology & Religious Studies


In October 2017, a team of KU Leuven professors consisting of G. Roskam (spokesperson), J. Leemans, P. Van Deun, G. Van Riel, and Joseph Verheyden, will launch an interdisciplinary research project entitled “Longing for Perfection. Living the Perfect Life in Late Antiquity – A Journey Between Ideal and Reality”. The project is funded by the Research Fund of the University of Leuven. The team is opening a call to hire a first group of three research fellows at the level of PhD candidate.


Job description

The project will study one of the most fundamental ideas of ancient Greek culture – the search for perfection. For centuries, not only philosophers and theologians, but also other intellectuals have reflected on what this ideal should consist in, devising ways of pursuing it in a wide range of human activities. A major focus will be the complex relationship between theory and praxis and between ideal and reality, as found in pagan and Christian Greek literature from the first seven centuries CE. The team has set two main goals: the production of a comprehensive study of the different aspects of ancient ideals of perfection and of a number of in-depth studies of specific problems and core issues related to the overall topic.

Candidates are invited to apply for a full-time, four-year fellowship in one of the following subprojects:

–    fellowship 1: the gradual development and multifaceted use of images, metaphors and comparisons taken from the world of the stadium to articulate ideals of perfection.

–    fellowship 2: the concept of the ladder (klimax / scala) reflecting the stages on the road to the ultimate goal(s) of life. A crucial text is John Climacus’ Scala, but pagan and Christian tradition before Climacus will also be studied.

–    fellowship 3: the theoretical foundations underlying the use of models as examples in striving for perfection (esp. typology and mimêsis).



The candidates have a broad and solid competence in late ancient philosophy and/or (late) ancient Christianity. A strong command of Greek (and preferably also of Latin) is essential, as is the ability to combine historical and philosophical/theological methodologies in an interdisciplinary way. Candidates demonstrating a thorough knowledge of relevant literary sources will be especially attractive; proven expertise in one or more of the research domains is an asset. The team welcomes applications from candidates with an excellent graduate degree (typically M.A.) in Classics or in related disciplines (e.g. Ancient History, Byzantine Studies, Religious Studies).

Applicants should be fluent in at least one of the following languages: English, French or German. The dissertation should as a rule be written in one of these languages.



The net salary will be approx. €2000/month; in addition the fellowship provides for social benefits and health insurance.

Candidates are offered a unique opportunity to be part of an enthusiastic research group within the context of a dynamic, internationally-oriented academic environment with unrivalled library resources.


How to apply

Applications should include a letter outlining the candidate’s background and motivation, a detailed CV, one writing sample, and at least one letter of recommendation.

Candidates are asked to submit the entire file to

Deadline for applying: 16 August 2017.

A selected number of candidates will be invited to Leuven for an interview in the first weeks of September.

Starting date: 1 October 2017 (or soon after).

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