The Byzness 09/09/2018

The Byzness, 9nd September 2018




“The Byzantine Commonwealth 50 Years On: Empires and their Afterlife”, Worcester College, Oxford, with the support of John Fell OUP Research Fund, Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research, History Faculty, Christ Church and Worcester College, Oxford.

2018 sees the centenary of the birth of Sir Dimitri Obolensky, one of the outstanding Byzantine historians of the 20th century. This conference aims to return to some of the lines of enquiry and themes that Obolensky explored in his writings, the singularity of Byzantium and the empire’s place in the Eurasian world, and its interaction with other societies, cultures and powers. This should, we hope, yield some amplification, reappraisal and development of his seminal work, The Byzantine Commonwealth, for the 21st century.

We will address some of the following questions:

  • What were Byzantium’s vital ingredients and how far were they consistent, or stable?
  • In what senses was Byzantium inclusive, exclusive, or expansionist, and was it polycentric in fact if not in ideology?
  • How and why did Byzantium appeal to members of external societies or elites?
  • Which of them proved most impervious to Byzantium? How useful is the centre-periphery model for analysing the formation of pre-modern societies?
  • Was the afterlife of Byzantium wholly a matter of religion?
  • Would ‘Orthodox’ or ‘Slavic’ Commonwealth more aptly characterize the sphere in which Byzantium’s vital ingredients had most repercussions?

For registration visit the Oxford University Store here.

“Hagia Sophia in the Long Nineteenth Century”, 13 – 14 September 2018, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.

This symposium seeks out the audiences of Hagia Sophia beyond its Western interpreters, from Ottoman officials to the diverse communities of Istanbul. Chronologically bracketed by the major renovation of the building in the 1740s and its conversion into a museum in 1934, the symposium traces the gradual transformation of Hagia Sophia within the Ottoman imaginary from külliye (mosque complex) to eser (monument), that is, from lived space to archaeological artefact. Participants (historians of art and architecture, scholars of Byzantine and Ottoman studies) will address both the discourses that various actors constructed around the monument and the physical changes to its structure, decoration, and surroundings.

The symposium is sponsored by the Department of Classics, College of Arts and Sciences, and Discovery Theme Initiative at the Ohio State University.

Further information can be found here.



Assistant Professor in Art History – Late Antique to Medieval World before 1400 (tenure-track), The Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory (AHVA) at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver.

Deadline:  10 October 2018

The Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory (AHVA) at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver, invites applications for a tenure-track appointment at the rank of Assistant Professor, specializing in the art history of the late antique to medieval period (before 1400) in any region(s) of Western Eurasia and/or North Africa. The anticipated start date of employment is as early as July 1, 2019.

Applicants should practice a comparative critical approach, demonstrate engagement with recent debates in their field and show proficiency in the languages their specialization requires. The successful candidate will be well versed in the most advanced theoretical and methodological concerns of the discipline. The ability to teach across geographical areas and chronological periods would be an asset.

The University of British Columbia, one of the largest and most distinguished universities in Canada, has excellent resources for scholarly research. The art history program offers BA, MA, and PhD degrees as well as a diploma, and partners with departmental programs in visual art and in critical and curatorial studies. For more information, visit the departmental website. The department maintains close ties with the world-renowned Museum of Anthropology and the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery and is a participant in the Bachelor of Media Studies program. This position presents the opportunity to engage with an interdisciplinary group of scholars within UBC’s larger academic community, including the Department of Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies; the Department of French, Hispanic and Italian Studies; Department of Asian Studies; Department of History; Department of English Language and Literatures; and the Medieval Studies program.

Applicants must have a PhD (or have successfully defended their dissertation by the position start date) in art history or a related discipline. They are expected to provide strong evidence of active and excellent research and to demonstrate a record of, or high potential for, teaching excellence at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The successful candidate will be required to teach courses across the late antique and medieval period of art history and will be expected to maintain an active program of research, publication, teaching, graduate supervision and service.

Applicants must submit their application here and upload the following in the order listed within a single PDF (max size 15MB):

  • a letter of application
  • a detailed curriculum vitae
  • a statement of research philosophy
  • a statement of teaching philosophy
  • evidence of teaching effectiveness (from various sources, e.g., teaching evaluations and/or course syllabi)
  • a sample dissertation chapter or scholarly paper
  • a one-page statement identifying the applicant’s contributions, or potential contributions, to diversity, along with their ability to work with a culturally diverse student body

Applicants should arrange to have three confidential letters of reference submitted by email by October 10 here, or by mail to Professor Joseph Monteyne, Chair, Art History Search Committee, Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory; University of British Columbia, 400 – 6333 Memorial Road, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z2, Canada.

Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. This position is subject to final budgetary approval.

Review of applications will begin on October 10, 2018 and will continue until the position is filled.

Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence. An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged. We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Métis, Inuit, or Indigenous person.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

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