The Byzness 27/01/2019

The Byzness, 27th January 2019





Past & Present Global Middle Ages Supplement Launch Event, Friday 8 February, 5.30pm,  Joan Thirsk Common Room, History Faculty, University of Oxford.

Catherine Holmes, Naomi Standen, Ian Forrest and Amanda Power invite you to an informal drinks reception to mark the publication of the Past & Present Global Middle Ages supplement (13), a volume which includes a contribution on sources for medieval global history by the late Mark Whittow. Please RSVP to Claire Phillips.

“Philosophy and Byzantine Medicine from East to West”, 28 February 2019, Scuola Grande di San Marco, Venice.

Molto di ciò che conosciamo della medicina classica è giunto a noi attraverso la mediazione bizantina a cui Venezia e, più precisamente l’antica biblioteca domenicana del convento dei Ss.Giovanni e Paolo (la cui splendida Sala è da duecento anni parte del nostro ambito storico-monumentale), diede un’indimenticabile “custodia” a manoscritti greci e latini. Grazie a quei manoscritti si stamparono poi a Venezia le opere, ad esempio, di Ippocrate, Teofrasto, Celso, Galeno che oggi arrichiscono la nostra Biblioteca di storia della medicina e di molti altri luoghi italiani e di altri Paesi. Grazie ad essi, pur nelle critiche vicende eversive setteottocentesche, è stata consegnata all’Europa una delle eredità più fondanti della sua cultura e della sua civiltà. Grazie ad essi possiamo ritrovare oggi il significato profondo di un mondo che sa esprimersi unitariamente come Occidente-Oriente, cioè una realtà con due polmoni dello stesso organismo vitale, la cui distruzione ha provocato danni incalcolabili. La comprensione di questi eventi ci appartiene integralmente, come abbiamo messo in luce nel Colloquio dell’anno scorso sull’influenza dell’esperienza delle fondazioni di carità di Costantinopoli nella costituzione della nostra Scuola Grande di San Marco, nella versione creata nel XIII secolo sub specie diritto veneziano-ordinamento giustinianeo-diritto romano. Questa iniziativa di studio introduce con un ampio respiro la memoria del Bicentenario 1819-2019 degli Ospedali Civili Riuniti di Venezia che tanta scienza, tecnica e morale seppero trovare nella cultura antica.

The full programme of the event has been uploaded here.



Call for Sessions: Mary Jaharis Center Sponsored Panel, 45th Annual Byzantine Studies Conference, 17-20 October 2019, Madison, Wisconsin.

Deadline: 10 February 2019

As part of its ongoing commitment to Byzantine studies, the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture seeks proposals for a Mary Jaharis Center sponsored session at the 45th Annual Byzantine Studies Conference to be held in Madison, Wisconsin, October 17–20, 2019. We invite session proposals on any topic relevant to Byzantine studies.

Session proposals must be submitted through the Mary Jaharis Center website. The deadline for submission is February 10, 2019. Proposals should include:

  • Proposed session title
  • CV of session organizer
  • 300-word session summary, which includes 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 the topic as a prearranged, whole session
  • Session chair and academic affiliation. Please note: Session chairs cannot present a paper in the session.
  • Information about the four papers to be presented in the session. For each paper: name of presenter and academic affiliation, proposed paper title, and 500-word abstract. Please note: Presenters must be members of BSANA in good standing.

Session organizers must present a paper in the session or chair the session. If a co-organzier is proposed for the session, the co-organizer must also give a paper in the session or chair the session.

Applicants will be notified by February 15, 2019. The organizer of the selected session is responsible for submitting the session to the BSC by February 25, 2019. Instructions for submitting the panel proposal are included in the BSC Call for Papers.

If the proposed session is approved, the Mary Jaharis Center will reimburse session participants (presenters and chair, if the proposed chair is selected by the BSC program committee) up to $600 maximum for North American residents and up to $1200 maximum for those coming from abroad. Funding is through reimbursement only (check issued in US dollars or wire transfer); advance funding cannot be provided. Eligible expenses include conference registration, transportation, and food and lodging. Receipts are required for reimbursement.

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

“Beyond Eusebius and Augustine: Rethinking Christian Political Thought in Late Antiquity”, Postgraduate/Early Career Conference, Tuesday 18 June 2019, University of Liverpool.

Deadline: 18 February 2019

Amid the mass of outstanding scholarship on the Christianization of the Roman world in late antiquity (c. 250-700 CE), political thought has been left behind. Even excellent recent accounts tend to fall back on canonical authors (esp. Eusebius of Caesarea and Augustine of Hippo), themes (e.g. the relationship between emperor and churchmen), and early to mid-twentieth century accounts (esp. Baynes, Dvornik, Markus). This project seeks to diversify approaches to late ancient Christian political thought by exploring new topics (e.g. the imperial family, the role of the demonic, the influence of ascetic ideology), authors, regions, and languages. Through an international conference bringing together specialists in Classics & Ancient History, Medieval Studies, Byzantine History, and Early Christianity, leading to a collection of path-breaking essays on specific case studies, it aims to stimulate new approaches and lines of inquiry into a central theme in late ancient history.

We invite proposals for c. 20-minute papers on this theme from postgraduate students and early career researchers. Thanks to generous support from the Royal Historical Society, we will be able to pay for UK travel costs and two nights’ hotel accommodation. Papers given at the conference will be considered for publication in a resulting edited volume/special journal issue.

We would particularly invite proposals which speak to one of the following research themes:

(1)  Developing a more pluralist conception of Christian ‘political thought’

Possible topics might include: gendered praise and invective; classical political ideals in ascetic/monastic literature; ascetic/monastic visions of earthly government; demonology and diabolical agency; ethnic discourse, ethnography, and visions of the church as an ethnic, supra-ethnic, or anti-ethnic community.

(2)  Expanding the canon

We invite paper proposals which consider previously peripheral or understudied authors, languages, and regions of late ancient western Eurasia, to complicate and nuance accounts of the development of Christian political thought in late antiquity.

(3)  Christian political ideology ‘in action’

We invite paper proposals which root Christian political culture in the lived experience of governance in the late ancient world, and consider its influence on concrete interactions between bishops, monks, emperors, officials, and their subjects.

If you are interested in presenting, please e-mail an abstract of no more than 500 words to The deadline for submissions is Monday 18 February; we will aim to provide responses by the end of February. Please feel free to e-mail any of the organisers with questions.


Prof. Richard Flower (Exeter) (

Dr Meaghan McEvoy (Macquarie) (

Dr Robin Whelan (Liverpool) (

Confirmed Speakers

Prof. Dame Averil Cameron (Oxford; respondent)

Dr James Corke-Webster (King’s College London)

Dr Gerda Heydemann (Freie Universität Berlin)

Prof. Julia Hillner (Sheffield)

Dr Conor O’Brien (Durham)


SHERA-sponsored panel at ASEEES 2019, “Belief”, 23-26 November 2019, San Francisco, CA.

Deadline: 15 February 2019

The Society of Historians of East European, Eurasian, and Russian Art and Architecture, Inc. (SHERA) Board invites proposals for the Society’s sponsored panel at the 2019 Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES) Annual Conference. The conference will be held in San Francisco from November 23 to 26, 2019 and the theme is “Belief.” More information on the convention theme can be found here.

As an affiliated society, SHERA may submit one sponsored panel. This session has guaranteed acceptance from ASEEES and will be identified as an Affiliated Society session in all ASEEES conference schedules (printed, online, and in the conference app).

Proposed panels must focus on issues of art, architecture, visual culture, or any of the fields concerning SHERA as a Society and may be from any period.

All members of the proposed panel must be members of ASEEES and SHERA in good standing and must register for the conference. Please submit:

  1. Title and a brief description of the panel (no more than 250 words)
  2. Names of all panel members, including chair and discussants, and a brief CV (no more than two pages) for each
  3. Brief descriptions of each paper (no more than 250 words)

Proposals should be sent to with the subject heading “SHERA-sponsored panel at ASEEES 2019.”

Information on joining SHERA can be found here. Information on joining ASEEES can be found here.

The deadline for submission of panels to ASEEES is February 15, 2019. Therefore, applications must be sent to the SHERA Board at by February 1, 2019 for notification on February 10, 2019.



The Delphi Academy of European Studies at the European Cultural Centre of Delphi.

Deadline: 15 March 2019

The Delphi Academy of European Studies supported by the Region of Central Greece focuses on the diachronic and synchronic study of European history and culture and the ways in which Europe today responds to the multifaceted challenges of political, economic, and cultural globalization.

The curriculum and academic function of the Delphi Academy of European Studies is overseen by an international Committee consisting of the following Professors:

Homi Bhabha (Harvard; Director of the Mahindra Humanities Center)

Georges Dertilis, (École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris)

Peter Frankopan (Oxford; Director of the Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research)

Michèle Lamont (Harvard; Director of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs)

Spiros Pollalis (Harvard School of Design)

Panagiotis Roilos (Harvard; founder of the Academy and chair of the committee)

Dimitrios Yatromanolakis (Johns Hopkins University).

The Academy offers two-week interdisciplinary, tuition free Seminars at the Centre’s facilities in Delphi. The Seminars, which are taught in English by world renowned scholars, are open mainly to graduate students/PhD candidates but also to qualified undergraduates. The instructors adopt interdisciplinary approaches to their subjects, with a view to addressing the research interests of students in the Humanities as well as the Social Sciences. The Seminars are accompanied by a workshop and/or invited lectures on current political and cultural developments in Europe.

This year the Academy’s Seminar Programme will focus on environmental studies, ecocritics, and environmental politics in European and global contexts. The Seminars will be offered in June 16-29, 2019.

The 2019 Seminar Programme is as follows:

  1. John Barry, Queen’s University, Belfast; Professor of Green Political Economy, School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics, Queen’s University Belfast.

Responding to the Anthropocene, Unsustainability and Climate Breakdown:  Philosophy, Politics and Economics for the 21st Century

The continuing problematic relationship between key dynamics of modern economic and social systems and the non-human world – such as human caused climate change and biodiversity loss – is one, if not the, most pressing issues of the 21st century and will continue to shape the political agenda both nationally and globally. This course will examine some of the key debates of the politics of un/sustainable development in this ‘age of the Anthropocene’.  Topics include: green ethical and political theory; the role of the environment and nature in political theorising; the economic and policy alternatives to unsustainable development; the normative underpinnings of a sustainable society; capitalism, orthodox economic growth and alternative political economies; and low carbon energy and socio-technical transitions.

  1. Verena Conley, Harvard University, Long Term Visiting Professor of Comparative Literature and of Romance Languages and Literatures, and Faculty Associate of the Harvard University Center for the Environment.

Environmental Humanities and New Materialisms

 This seminar will explore the relation between new materialisms and environmental humanities. In all their diversity, new materialisms are comprised of texts that contest Descartes’ taxonomic categories based on primary and secondary qualities that throughout much of modernity have informed the politics of colonialism, served to advocate a separation of nature and culture and been marshalled to control women and other minorities. New materialisms investigate the presence of inhuman forces within the realm of the human and compel us to rethink the nature of subjectivity, notably where they emphasize entanglements and the self-organizing powers of non-human processes. We will study how they explore dissonant relations between those processes and cultural practices, how they reconsider ethics and commend the need to fold a cosmological dimension more regularly into local and global politics. We will sort through the tenets of these new materialisms by exploring critical and fictional texts across national as well as disciplinary boundaries with a comparative focus. Critical readings include Elizabeth Grosz, Jane Bennett, Rosi Braidotti, Didier Debaise, Donna Haraway, Bruno Latour, Brian Massumi,  Timothy Morton, Imre Szeman, Isabelle Stengers, and Jussi Parikka. In fiction, poetry and cinema, we will examine works by Amitav Gosh, Ursula Le Guin, Jamaica Kincaid, Indra Sinha, Anna Tsing, Ken-Saro Wiwa and others.

  1. James Engell, Harvard University; Gurney Professor of English and Professor of Comparative Literature, and Faculty Associate of the Harvard University Center for the Environment.

Writing Nature: Literature, Science, Ethics 

This seminar examines the intersections of literary writing, science, ethics, and creativity. We read the works of several writers—e.g., Rachel Carson, Aldo Leopold, John Muir, Henry David Thoreau, William Wordsworth, the Papal Encyclical of 2015—that embody and explore these intersections. We also examine a few texts from recent ecocriticism, as well as treatments of current environmental concerns, especially climate disruption. The course includes historical, ethical, and spiritual perspectives. Short assignments include creative work (poetry or short fiction), a critical paper, and field notes.

Upon completion of the Seminar Programme, certificates indicating the titles of the Seminars and the names of the Instructors will be awarded to the students.

Students will be offered free lodging and meals (lunch and dinner) by the Academy at the European Cultural Centre of Delphi. The Seminar Programme is tuition-free.

Applicants to the Academy should submit the following documents:

1) CV (no more than 3 pages).

2) Research statement no longer than 200 words.

3) Two letters of recommendation (one from the applicant’s PhD/academic advisor, in the case of graduate students). The letters should include information about the applicant’s coursework and academic performance in areas related to the topics of the seminars.

4) Proof of English language competence.

Applications should be submitted to the European Cultural Centre of Delphi (Mrs. Athena Gotsi, by March 15, 2019. Decisions will be communicated to the applicants by March 30.

To see comments of the participants to the 2017 programme, click here

To see comments of the participants to the 2018 programme, click here

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