Byzness 14/01/17

The Byzness, 14th January 2018



LECTURE: Before Russia, Ukraine and Belarus: Medieval Rus’ and a World of Diversity, 1 February 2018, Cambridge

Prof Valerie Kivelson, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor co-author of Russia’s Empires (2017) will deliver a lecture

In the centuries before the Tatar conquest, a vibrant society flourished in the East Slavic lands, but it is difficult to put a name on its political system or to pinpoint the elements that united it into a cohesive entity. Defying just about every modern convention for understanding states and peoples, Rus’ destabilizes expectations and demands that we think outside of standard categories. In this lecture, we will try to make sense of the disorderly and fascinating world of Rus’ through use of a variety of visual, textual, and material sources.

Thursday, 1 February, 2018, 5.30pm
Mong Hall, Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge

LECTURE: Byzantine Pharmacology Between East and West, 5 February 2018, UCL

Lecture by Dr Petros Bouras-Vallianatos, Wellcome Trust Research Fellow in Medical Humanites.

The Byzantine Empire, with its capital in Constantinople (now Istanbul), then a mainly Greek-speaking region, constituted a natural crossroads between East and West for more than a millennium (AD 324–1453). This lecture aims to determine the degree of influence on Byzantine pharmacology from Arabic, Persian, and Latin pharmacological traditions, and reassess the notion of the primacy of tradition over empiricism. Decisively overturning the view that Byzantine medical tradition was ‘stagnant’, simply preserving the best ideas from antiquity, and that Byzantine literature consisted of mere compilations, this paper aims to demonstrate that Byzantine pharmacology in particular was far more open to outside influence than has hitherto been thought and that Byzantine physicians were eager to inform their material with observations derived from their daily contact with patients.

Maplethorpe Lecture Theatre, UCL School of Pharmacy, 29-39 Brunswick Square, London WC1N 1AX
Monday 5 February 2018, 17:30

All welcome, no need to book, no admission charge. Refreshments from 17:00

Transmissions and Translations in the Medieval World, 2-3 June 2018, University of York

Deadline: 2 February 2018

The concepts of transmission and translation are central to the evolution of the pan-European multi-cultural nature of medieval society. Cross-cultural connections in the political arena, mercantile trade routes, the dissemination of Christianity and interactions with Islam and Judaism resulted in the appropriation and assimilation of practices, ideas and arts throughout the medieval world. These transactions were enabled by numerous factors and generated new fusions of style in architecture, art and iconography, literature and lifestyles which together importantly informed attitudes towards the self and others, senses of belonging and ownership, as well as conceptions of regionality. While these areas of enquiry have been much discussed in relation to contemporary society in sociological and anthropological scholarship, there remains much to explore about how they were articulated and achieved during the Middle Ages: what types of objects were transported and for what purpose(s); the impact of language on the transmission of ideas through manuscripts, literature and poetry; iconographic borrowings and theological impetus; processes of production; engagement with their societies of origin and those they infiltrated.

This two-day interdisciplinary conference will examine the significance of transmission and translation, and the associated themes encompassed by these terms in the medieval world. It will bring together early career researchers, emerging scholars and established academics from different disciplinary backgrounds as a forum for contextualising the movement of textual and material objects, as well as the ideas accompanying them.

Possible subjects include but are not limited to:

  Transmission of architectural styles

  Translation of saints’ relics / cults

  Processes of transmission and translation

  Iconographic borrowings and adaptations

  Migration of people/s

  Setting, moving, and crossing boundaries

  Dissemination of ideas and concepts

  Cultural assimilations

  Post-medieval perceptions of medieval transmissions and translations

Please send abstracts of 250-300 words and a short biography to by 2 February 2018. 
For further information on the Northern/Early Medieval Interdisciplinary Conference Series please see the website:

The 44th Annual Byzantine Studies Conference,4-7 October 2018, San Antonio, Texas

Deadline: 15 February 2018

The Forty-fourth Annual Byzantine Studies Conference (BSC) will be held in San Antonio, Texas, from Thursday evening, October 4th through Sunday afternoon, October 7th. For information on BSANA, please consult the BSANA website,; for details on the conference, please consult the 2018 BSC website,, which will be further updated as new information becomes available.

The Local Arrangements Chair for 2018 is Dr. Annie Labatt of the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

The BSC is the annual forum for the presentation and discussion of papers on every aspect of Byzantine Studies, and is open to all, regardless of nationality or academic status. It is also the occasion of the annual meeting of the Byzantine Studies Association of North America (BSANA), conducted by its officers:

President:  Emmanuel Bourbouhakis, Literature (Princeton University, NJ) (ebourbou@Princeton.EDU)
Vice President: Jennifer Ball, Art History (City University of New York, NY) (
Secretary: Marica Cassis, Archaeology (Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada) (
Treasurer: Betsy Williams, Dumbarton Oaks (

We welcome proposals on any aspect of Byzantine studies.

Proposals are submitted as individual abstracts. Proposals consist of:

1.   Your contact information; a proposed title; and, if part of a panel proposal, proposed panel information (see below).
2.   A single PDF copy of the 500-word or less, blind abstract (title only, no name), formatted and submitted according to the detailed instructions below.

All abstracts, including those in proposed panels, will be reviewed by each member of the Program Committee and will be accepted on their own merits. Please note that this review is anonymous; all personal information is removed before the abstracts are read. Your anonymous abstract is the sole basis for judging your proposed paper for acceptance. Please keep in mind that all of the readers of your abstract, the eight members of the program committee, are unlikely to have in-depth knowledge of your specific topic of research, or of your general area of study. As indicated above, the areas of expertise of committee members range across several disciplines.  One or more of these readers are unlikely to be expert in the chronological period with which you are dealing, or the historiographic or special issues involved in your field of scholarship. Thus your abstract should introduce your topic for presentation, including the significance of your work, the argument you are making, and the conclusions you propose, to an educated reader well-versed in Byzantine Studies writ large, but who is not an expert in your own subject.

For the conference, the 2018 BSC program chair will group papers into sessions, with the expectation that many sessions will be interdisciplinary. The session topics in the final program will depend on the subjects represented in accepted the submissions.

The Abstract

The abstract should be no more than 500 words in length and should indicate the paper’s original contribution in sufficient detail and with some indication of the contributor’s conclusions so that the Program Committee can assess its merits.

All proposed papers must be substantially original and never have been published or presented previously in a public forum. Each contributor may deliver only one paper. The Program Committee may give preference to those who did not present a paper at the last BSC. We accept abstracts and papers in English or French. Organized panels may also be proposed; see instructions below.

If accepted, the abstract will be published in the Byzantine Studies Conference’s annual Abstracts of Papers. Submission of the accepted abstract for publication constitutes agreement to present the paper at the conference. Follow the Instructions for Preparation of the Abstract to facilitate its publication. BSANA has no paid staff; failure to prepare the abstract carefully will make it impossible to publish.

Notice of acceptance or rejection will be sent by email by March 15th. For inquiries on the results of the review process, please contact the 2018 BSC Program Chair, Benjamin DeLee (

Method of Submission

BSANA is using for the second time an online submission method: Easy Chair, a free software used across the globe by over 50,000 conferences and universities to date, especially in the fields of science and technology.  The abstract will now be submitted with title only (a blind abstract) and must be uploaded as a PDF file.

BSANA Vice President Jennifer Ball ( will oversee the submission process and will confirm receipt of your submission.

Greek Fonts

The PDF submission format is designed to avoid problems arising from the use of different Greek fonts.  Alphabets other than Greek should be transliterated.


The submission of a proposal and its acceptance represents a commitment from the contributor to read the paper in person at the BSC. Those who cannot attend must withdraw no later than June 1st. Failure to notify the Program Committee in a timely fashion will adversely affect future chances to present at the BSC. To deliver your paper at the BSC, you must be a member of BSANA in good standing. If a speaker is not a member in

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good standing by the date of the conference, she/he will not be permitted to present. To join or renew membership, consult the website:

Instructions for Preparing the Abstract

• The maximum word count for this abstract is 500 words.
• Your document must be composed in Microsoft Word, and saved in final form as a PDF.
• Margins: one inch at the top and bottom, 0.75 inches at each side.
• Font: Times New Roman, 12 point.
• Line Spacing: Single spaced.
• The title line(s) must be in Boldface, centered at the top of the page.
• Titles may not be longer than two lines.
• Capitalize only the first letters of words in the title.
• Do not put your title in quotation marks or underline your title.
• Skip one line (i.e., double space) before the first line of the body of the abstract.
• If your paper is a study based on a particular manuscript, consider citing the MS in your abstract title as a help to scholars when they search our abstracts for previous studies of MSS.
• Please follow the Bulletin Codicologique convention for proper citation of manuscripts (in abstract titles or in the body of your abstract).
• Please write your abstract text flush left; do not use the right-hand margin justification.
• Indent first lines of each paragraph five spaces.
• Leave one empty line between paragraphs.
• Do not use footnotes. If you need to include a citation, put it within your text in parentheses.
• Please do NOT use the future tense (“This paper will investigate…”). Your abstract may be edited for grammar and stylistic consistency to remove the future tense.
• Italicize titles and words in foreign languages.
• Quotations and titles in foreign alphabets other than Greek should be transliterated.
• Avoid using tables or diagrams in the abstract. Photographs cannot be reproduced.

Instructions for Organized Panel Proposals

The BSC welcomes proposals for whole panels. Each paper author prepares an individual abstract and submits her/his abstract, selecting the pull-down menu online for organized panel, and providing panel title, organizer, and panel summary.

The panel summary will include 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 this topic as a prearranged, whole session. This should be no longer than 300 words. The organizer may also propose a session chair; please note that the session chair cannot also be a speaker in the panel.

The Program Committee shall first decide whether to accept or reject each panel proposal in its entirety based on its summary and contents. Then each paper will be evaluated according to the regular anonymous evaluation procedure established by the BSC. In the event that most but not all the papers in the panel are accepted, the Program Committee will alert the organizer and will make every effort to keep the remaining papers together.

If a panel proposal is rejected, the various component abstracts will be placed in the regular pool of paper proposals, to be accepted or rejected as stand-alone presentations (unless otherwise indicated by the authors of these abstracts).

All participants in the panel (organizer as well as speakers) will be notified of the proposal’s receipt by BSANA Vice President Jennifer Ball, and notice of the Program Committee’s final decision will be made in the usual way.


PhD Scholarships, University of Hamburg

Deadline: 31 January 2018

The Graduate School of the “Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures” (CSMC, Integriertes Graduiertenkolleg im Sonderforschungsbereich 950 “Manuskriptkulturen in Asien, Afrika und
Europa”) at the University of Hamburg invites applications for Ph.D.

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scholarships 1+2 year scholarships of € 1.200 per month (tax free) starting 1 April 2018.

The CSMC is a unique research centre for the historical and comparative study of manuscript cultures in Asia, Africa, and Europe building on decades of manuscript studies at the University of Hamburg. It was established with a generous grant from the German Research Association (DFG) in order to develop a comprehensive approach to manuscript cultures including disciplines such as philology, palaeography, codicology, art history, and material analysis.

Communication in the international research community of the Centre is conducted in English, PhD (Dr. phil.) dissertations should be written in English or German.

First information can be found on the Centre’s webpage which will be continually updated:

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We are looking for highly qualified and highly motivated Ph.D.

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students with an M.A. or equivalent degree in all disciplines studying manuscript cultures regardless of region.

Applications with a research proposal compatible with the programme of the Centre’s objectives, CV and copies of B.A., M.A. or other relevant certificates must be sent as ONE pdf document to the Director of the Graduate School before 31 January 2018


Head of the School of History, Archaeology, and Religion, University of Cardiff

Deadline: 8 February 2018

Research Fellow in Byzantine Intellectual and/or Cultural History, University of Edinburgh, College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Deadline: 14 February 2018

We are seeking to appoint a Research Fellow who specialises in the Byzantine intellectual and/or cultural history, with background in the history of education or the classical tradition in Byzantium, especially of the middle period (from c.650 to c.1350). The Research Fellow should have a strong interest in exploring and employing cross-cultural approaches to the history of education and empire studies. This post is part of a comparative research project focusing on the Byzantine and medieval Chinese (Tang/Song) empires, ‘Classicising learning in medieval imperial systems: Cross-cultural approaches to Byzantine paideia and Tang/Song xue’ (PAIXUE), which is funded by the European Research Council (ERC CoG 726371, 2017–2022) and co-directed by Niels Gaul and Curie Virág. It is therefore essential that the postholder be genuinely interested in engaging with Tang/Song learned culture and practices from a comparative vantage point, and willing to develop the requisite skills and methodologies. Research interests in literary mimesis/intertextuality, questions of rhetorical theory, especially êthos and emotions, and/or experience with manuscript studies, or willingness to engage with these, would be an advantage. The postholder will pursue his/her own research in close cooperation with the project team, and is expected to present the results of his/her work in a scholarly monograph written with a comparative angle and to co-author at least one cross-disciplinary article with a Sinologist team member.

The Research Fellow will become a core member of the small PAIXUE project team that will consist of two Byzantinists and two Sinologists (including the project directors). PAIXUE constitutes the first attempt to study classicising learning and its social, political, and intellectual ramifications systematically and in-depth across two medieval imperial systems, the Byzantine and Tang/Song empires. In addition to advancing each discipline in its own right, one major aim is to integrate these two sophisticated but separate fields in order to develop a more inclusive framework on a specific and well-defined aspect of comparative empire studies and to create a methodology and terminology shareable with other disciplines.

PAIXUE will host three major international conferences, in which the Research Fellow is invited to play an active role.

This is a full time (35 hours per week) and fixed term post from August 2018 until July 2021.

Closing date: 5pm (GMT) on Wednesday 14th February 2018

For more information and to apply, see, reference 042400

Adele Curness
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