Byzness 13/08/17



The Byzness, 13th August 2017







Conference: Memory Sanctions and Damnatio Memoriae c.200AD-c.800AD, Trinity College Cambridge, 5-6 September 2017


A programme for the conference can be found here:


Byzantine Studies Conference, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, October 5-8 2017


The University of Minnesota Twin Cities looks forward to hosting the upcoming Byzantine Studies Conference, October 5-8. We are writing to remind those who wish to attend to register ( as soon as possible to take advantage of the early registration fee (before August 31).

We would also like to make you aware of two special opportunities for those interested and able to arrive earlier on Thursday, October 5. First, the director of the Hill Manuscript Museum and Library has offered to a special tour of their facilities for BSC participants starting at 2:00. Second, we will also be hosting a symposium called “Discourses of Byzantine Art, Then and Now: a Celebration of Robert S. Nelson” on campus from 2:00-6:00. More information on both of these events is available here ( All registered BSC participants registered for the conference are welcome; no additional registration is required.

During the BSC itself, alongside an excellent slate of panels and two keynote addresses (see the program for details, there are a number of special events on offer this year, some of which require advance registration: The BSANA business lunch on Saturday, October 7 is open to all conference attendees. Please note that registration for the business lunch is separate. Lunch will be catered by Minneapolis-based restaurant Holy Land (, and vegetarian options will be available.

Graduate students also have the opportunity to attend three workshops, with meals and speakers generously provided by the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture. On Friday, October 6, the “Lunch and Learn” workshop will connect grad students in various subfields with faculty from their discipline. Dinner on the same day will accompany a workshop on the digital humanities. Finally, breakfast on Saturday, October 7 will be paired with a session on job interviews. As with the business lunch, registration for these workshops is separate ( Although these workshops and meals are free, it is important to register in advance so that we have an accurate headcount for catering. Those who have already registered for the conference are still encouraged to register for the business lunch and/or the graduate student workshops.

Please email with any questions you may have. We look forward to seeing you in October!





Panel: Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture, Leeds IMC, 2nd-5th July 2018


Deadline: 1 September 2017


The Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture seeks proposals for a Mary Jaharis Center sponsored session at the 25th International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, July 2–5, 2018. We invite session proposals on any topic relevant to Byzantine studies. The thematic strand for the 2018 IMC is “Memory.” See the IMC Call for Papers ( for additional information about the theme and suggested areas of discussion. Session proposals should be submitted through the Mary Jaharis Center website (
The deadline for submission is September 1, 2017. Proposals should include:**Title**100-word session abstract**Session moderator and academic affiliation **Information about the three papers to be presented in the session. For each paper: name of presenter and academic affiliation, proposed paper title, and 100-word abstract**CV.
Successful applicants will be notified by mid-September if their proposal has been selected for submission to the International Medieval Congress. The Mary Jaharis Center will submit the session proposal to the International Medieval Congress and will keep the potential organizer informed about the status of the proposal. If the proposed session is approved, the Mary Jaharis Center will reimburse session participants (presenters and moderator) up to $600 maximum for European residents and up to $1200 maximum for those coming from outside Europe. 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. The session organizer may act as the moderator or present a paper. Participants may only present papers in one session.

Please contact Brandie Ratliff (, Director, Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture with any questions.


Moving Byzantium, Leeds IMC Panel, 2nd-5th July 2018


Deadline: 8 September 2017

We invite scholars at all career stages to submit proposals for twenty-minute papers for special sessions at the International Congress of Medieval Studies in Leeds (2-5 July 2018) connected with the main topics of “Moving Byzantium” Project, with a particular focus on aspects of geographical, social and cultural mobility within and beyond the Byzantine Empire.

Please send paper proposals (300 words max.), in English, accompanied by a short CV including affiliation, career stage and research interests, by 8 September 2017 to Ms. Paraskevi Sykopetritou, Project Coordinator:

Papers will be selected by 15 September 2017 through an anonymous review process by the Moving Byzantium Team, headed by Professor Claudia Rapp. Your abstract will be evaluated based on: 1) relevance to the topic (“geographical, social and cultural mobility”), 2) new material provided, 3) novel interpretations, and 4) innovative methods used. Successful candidates (for whom we can offer reimbursement of the registration fee) must confirm their participation by 22 September 2017. Further information and the the Call for Papers can be found at


Venice, Materiality, and the Byzantine World, Sponsored by the Italian Art Society, 53rd International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 10-13, 2018, Western Michigan University 


Deadline: 15 September 2017
The Dumbarton Oaks Byzantine Symposium leading to the 2010 publication of San Marco, Byzantium, and the Myths of Venice introduced new perspectives on Byzantine and Venetian visual and material culture that extended Otto Demus’s survey of Saint Mark’s basilica. The authors’ application of more recent approaches—such as the social function of spolia, the act of display, the construction of identity, and cultural hybridity—brought fresh analyses to a complex and richly decorated monument. This panel seeks to expand this methodological discourse by taking into account questions related to materials, materiality, and intermediality between Venice and Byzantium. The arrival of material culture from the Byzantine world to Venice as gifts, spoils, or ephemera during the centuries surrounding the Fourth Crusade allowed for both appropriation and conceptual transformation of material culture. In light of the renewal in interest of Venice’s Byzantine heritage, this panel seeks to reflect on the interaction of material culture between la Serenissima and the Byzantine world, especially during the eleventh through fifteenth centuries. Topics may be wide-ranging, including, but not limited to: issues of reception and cultural translation; changing concepts of preciousness; different valuation of materials between Venice and Byzantium; the fluctuating simulation of material visual effects; the transformation of Byzantine objects incorporated into Venetian frames; intermedial dialogue between Byzantine and Venetian art; and the process and technique of manufacture of works between Byzantium and Venice. Some points of departure may include: the building of San Marco itself; Byzantine objects in the Treasury; Byzantine manuscripts included as part of the Cardinal Bessarion gift to the Republic; the monuments on Torcello; or issues raised as a result of recent conservation projects. New cross-cultural methodologies from art historical, anthropological, or sociological fields are welcome.

Please submit a 300-word abstract and a completed Participant Information Form ( by September 15 to the session organizers:Brad Hostetler, Kenyon College, Joseph Kopta, Pratt Institute, In addition to the travel awards available to all Congress participants (, the Italian Art Society offers competitive travel grants:


Armenia & Byzantium without Border: Graduate and Early Career Workshop, University of Vienna, 20-22 April 2018

Deadline: 31 October 2017


Within the framework of ‘Moving Byzantium: Mobility, Microstructure and Personal Agency,’ a five-year project begun at the University of Vienna in 2016 and funded through the Wittgenstein-Prize (, ‘Armenia & Byzantium without Borders’ is a three-day workshop focussing on social and cultural mobility between Armenia and Byzantium in the Middle Ages. This workshop continues a scholarly conversation initiated in March 2017 at the University of Uppsala where a study-day dedicated to ‘Narrative Exchanges between Byzantium and Armenia’ was organized by AnnaLinden Weller within the Uppsala/Paris ‘Text and Narrative in Byzantium’ project.


We invite advanced PhD candidates and early career scholars working in the fields of Late AntiqueArmenianByzantine, and Middle Eastern Studies to submit proposals for 20 min. papers connected with the main topics of ‘Moving Byzantium’, with a focus on aspects of social and cultural mobility of persons, objects, and/or ideas between Armenia and Byzantium throughout the Middle Ages. We are particularly interested in new research showing interaction and communication on both literary and material grounds between the Byzantine world and the Armenians. Each paper presented at the workshop will be accompanied by a senior scholar’s 10 min. response, followed by a general discussion. The workshop will be inaugurated with the lecture of our keynote speaker, Prof. Bernard Coulie (Catholic University of Louvain), and will include a visit to the Mekhitarist Monastery of Vienna and a guided tour of the exhibition on ‘Byzantium and the West’ at the Schallaburg Castle.


Travel and accommodation expenses of scholars selected for presentation at the workshop will be covered by a generous grant of the ‘Moving Byzantium’ project.


Paper proposals should be sent by the 31st of October 2017 to Emilio Bonfiglio: Applications will include:a) university affiliation; b) graduate level; c) title of the paper; d) abstract (max 250 words); e) CV.


Convenors: Dr. Emilio Bonfiglio and Prof. Claudia Rapp


What’s So Funny? Discovering and Interpreting Humor in the Ancient World 20-21 April 2018 The Ohio State University Columbus, Ohio


Deadline: 30 November 2017


Keynote Speakers: • Jack M. Sasson (Emeritus Professor, Vanderbilt University) • Ian Ruffell (Classics, University of Glasgow) • Amy Richlin (Classics, University of California at Los Angeles) • Christine Hayes (Religious Studies, Yale University)


Humor is a ubiquitous human phenomenon with a wide range of applications. Yet, what is deemed humorous is often culturally determined. This poses a significant challenge for scholars of ancient cultures. How do we identify what an ancient culture found funny? How did they use humor, and what drove their usage? The purpose of this conference is to provide a forum for scholars across disciplines to discuss and debate humor and its functions in both textual and material sources across the ancient Mediterranean, from the early Near East through late antiquity. We invite papers that address the above questions, or any others, on the topic of humor in an ancient Mediterranean context. Possible topics include: • Theoretical models for identifying and understanding humor and comedy in ancient cultures • Ancient definitions and theories of humor • Humor in political discourse, including propaganda, competition, and resistance • The role of humor in religion and ritual • Humor and social taboo: obscenities, scatology, and transgressive behaviors • Women, sexuality, and gender as sites of humor • Humor and social boundaries: elite and popular, native and foreign, center and periphery, divine and mortal, and other lines of membership • Humor’s function in narrative and in the relationship between storyteller and audience • Humor as entertainment in daily life, including inscriptions, performance, and celebration Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be submitted by email to by 30 November 2017. Please include “Humor Conference Abstract” and your name in the subject line.


Adele Curness

MPhil Candidate, Late Antique and Byzantine Studies
President, Oxford University Byzantine Society

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