SPBS Events

Seminar Series at UK Universities

These are seminars run by UK universities which are open to all, including the interested public. They are not organised by the Society.

Conferences, Lectures & Calls for Papers (UK)

Redefining the Margins: Seeing the Unseen in the Eastern Mediterranean

Conference/Call for Papers (closes 31 March 2016)

4 June 2016, University of Birmingham

Papers are invited for the 17th Annual Postgraduate Colloquium at the Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies. There are fashions in scholarship just as there are in costume or architecture, which means that certain topics are emphasised while others are marginalized. For example, 25 years ago a huge proportion of Byzantine art historical scholarship was devoted to illuminated manuscripts; today this is a much smaller field of study. This colloquium will focus on those ‘lost’ subjects, or subjects that never held the spotlight. We are interested in ‘peripheries’ of all sorts, including more traditional forms of marginalisation.

For further details, download the full Call for Papers.

Arcadia: Real and Ideal

Institute of Classical Studies (IClS) 2016 Byzantine Colloquium

2-3 June 2016, Senate House, University of London

Co-organised with the IClS and the International Society for Arcadia. Scholars from various disciplines will be exploring important elements that contributed to the creation, preservation and promotion of the Arcadian ideal from Antiquity, through the Middle Ages (in East and West) and the Renaissance to the modern world. The discussion will focus on the Arcadian ideal and legacy in dialogue with the geographical, real Arcadia. Confirmed speakers include Dr William Bainbridge (Durham), Dr Solon Charalambous (Cyprus), Professor Evangelos Chrysos (Athens), Dr Stefano Cracolici (Durham), Angelos Dendrinos (Athens), Dr George Kakavas (Athens), Dr Anna Vasiliki Karapanagiotou (Arcadia), Marie-Claude Mioche (Goutelas), Dr Pedro Olalla (Athens), Professor James Roy (Nottingham), and Dr Alessandro Scafi (London). For the Provisional Programme please click here. The colloquium will be held in the Court Room, Senate House, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU. For further information please contact George Vassiadis, Nil Palabiyik or Charalambos Dendrinos.

Melkite Christianity/Eastern Mediterranean Byzantine Christianity

International conference/ Call for Papers (closes November 2016)

12-14 July 2017, Oriental Institute, University of Oxford

ARAM Society for Syro-Mesopotamian Studies is organizing its Forty Sixth International Conference on "Melkite Christianity', or "Eastern Mediterranean Byzantine Christianity", 1st – 19th Centuries. The conference will start on Wednesday 12th July at 9am, finishing on Friday 14th July at 6:30pm. Each speaker’s paper is limited to 35 minutes, with an additional 10 minutes for discussion. All papers given at the conference will be considered for publication in a future edition of the ARAM Periodical, subject to editorial review. If you wish to participate in the conference, please contact our ARAM Society: ARAM, the Oriental Institute, Oxford University, Pusey Lane, Oxford OX1 2LE, England. aram(at) For further details, download the registration form.

Gender and Transgression in the Middle Ages 2016

Conference/Call for Papers (closes 12 February 2016)

26-28 April 2016, University of St Andrews

We invite proposals for papers of approximately 20 minutes that engage with the themes of gender and/or transgression from various disciplinary standpoints, such as historical, linguistic, literary, archaeological, art historical, or others. This year, the conference will prioritise comparative approaches to the themes of gender and transgression across different time periods and, in particular, different regions. Thus, we strongly encourage abstracts which focus not only on western Christendom, but also the Byzantine Empire and the Islamic world. We also welcome proposals which contain a strong comparative element.

For details, download the full CfP.

Edinburgh Conference on Late Antiquity for Postgraduates and Early Career Researchers

Conference/Call for Papers (closes 15 February 2016)

21-22 April 2016: University of Edinburgh

Since its creation as a distinct discipline, the field of late antique studies has undergone many transformations and reinterpretations. As this exciting and still evolving field establishes its own place in academia, we feel it is integral for those studying Late Antiquity at the postgraduate level to meet and work together in creating the future of our field. And what better place to do this than the University of Edinburgh, an established and thriving centre for Late Antiquity in the beautiful ‘Athens of the North’.

We invite postgraduate students and early career researchers to submit abstracts for papers (or proposals for panels) on any aspect of Late Antiquity. Papers should be 20 minutes in length and will be followed by a 10 minute discussion period. Please submit abstracts of no more than 300 words to edinburghlateantiquity(at) by February 15, 2016.

For full details, see the website.

Leeds International Medieval Congress 2016

Conference/Call for Papers (closes 31 August 2015)

4-7 July 2016, University of Leeds, Leeds

The IMC seeks to provide an interdisciplinary forum for the discussion of all aspects of Medieval Studies. Paper and session proposals on any topic related to the European Middle Ages are welcome. However, every year, the IMC chooses a special thematic strand which - for 2016 - is 'Food, Feast & Famine'. The theme has been chosen for the crucial importance of both phenomena in social and intellectual discourse, both medieval and modern, as well as their impact on many aspects of the human experience.

For full details, see the website.

Conferences, Lectures & Calls for Papers (Outside UK)

Languages – Culture of Writing – Identities in Antiquity

15th International Congress of Greek and Latin Epigraphy

28 August-1 September 2017, Vienna, Austria (call for papers closes 30 April 2016)

Addressing this topic, two plenary sessions are dedicated to the relationship between the indigenous or local epigraphic cultures of the ancient Mediterranean area and the dominant respective Greek or Roman culture. The focus is on those regions and societies of the ancient world which have several languages and scripts existing simultaneously in their epigraphic culture. In a third plenary session outstanding new inscriptions will be presented. And finally the winners of the Géza Alföldy-scholarship (call and grant by the AIEGL) will present their papers in a fourth plenary session.
NB There will be a panel on Epigraphy of Late Antiquity and Byzantine age.

For details, download the full CfP.

Call for Sessions: Mary Jaharis Center Sponsored Panel, 52nd International Congress on Medieval Studies

Closes 25 April 2016

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 52nd International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, May 11–14, 2017. We invite session proposals on any topic relevant to Byzantine studies.

For full details, see the Mary Jaharis Center website.

Third “Parekbolai” Symposium on Byzantine Literature and Philology

16 December 2016, Athens, Greece (call for papers closes 30 June 2016)

The editorial board of the e-journal “Parekbolai” organizes the Journal's Third Symposium on Byzantine literature and philology at the University of Athens on Friday, December 16, 2016. The Symposium aims to bring together scholars working on various aspects of Byzantine texts, with a focus on Byzantine poetry (including hymnography). Specialists and Ph.D. candidates are invited to deliver a twenty-minute paper in Greek or English on a relevant topic. Prospective speakers are requested to submit a title and a short abstract to Theodora Antonopoulou or   Marina Loukaki by 30 June 2016.

Patristic and Byzantine Greek Summer School

13 June-21 July 2016, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana, USA

The Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire holds a crucial place in the history of Greek letters. Not only did Byzantine scribes forge the vital link between antiquity and modernity, but Byzantine mystics, poets, philosophers, and statesmen have left behind a vast and varied corpus of texts expressing the diverse discourses contributing to the formation of Byzantium. In this course, students will engage this corpus through a survey of texts composed in different historical and geographical contexts and encompassing a variety of genres (including historiography, hagiography, mystical literature, and poetry). In this course, students will encounter the writings of John of Damascus, the nun Kassia, St. Basil the Younger’s hagiographer Gregory, Symeon the New Theologian, Michael Psellos, and Anna Komnene. Students will also receive an introduction to Greek paleography

Prerequisite: At least one year of classical or Koine Greek.

Visiting (non-Notre Dame students) welcome! For information about registration, please visit

Questions? Contact Charles Yost.

Worlds of Byzantium

22-23 April 2016, Dumbarton Oaks, Washington DC, USA

What was Byzantium? Where was it? What religions did its people practice, and which languages did they speak? The 2016 Symposium will examine the very foundations of what we think “Byzantium” was—Greek-speaking, Orthodox Christian, Constantinopolitan—and attempt to reset scholars’ expectations about what counts as Byzantine. Nevertheless, just as “East of Byzantium” transformed the expectations of a generation with regard to the value of eastern Christianity for medieval studies, we believe that Byzantium itself, however it is defined, can play a more central role on the world historical stage if Byzantinists are willing to let it be decentered and reconstituted for the next generation. This symposium will argue that a polycentric and interconnected Byzantium only strengthens Byzantine Studies as a discipline by making it indispensable to other fields: in order fully to understand essential aspects of the medieval Middle East or the medieval West, one must also understand Byzantium.

For full information, see the webpage.

“Cities, Territories and Identities” – 1st International Conference “Roman and Late Antique Thrace

7-10 October 2016, Plovdiv, Bulgaria (call for papers closes 31 May 2016)

The conference theme focuses on the cities of Thrace, their territories and the expressions of local identity in Roman and Late Antique times. We aim to bring together archaeologists, historians, numismatists, epigraphists, art historians, and scholars from any related fields, for an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the region. Contributors are invited to discuss all aspects of urban life in Roman and Late Antique Thrace. Relevant areas of research include, but are not limited to: settlement patterns, civic space planning, architecture, city economy, religion, festivals. Selected Proceedings of the conference will be published before the next edition of the event in autumn 2017.

For full details, see the website.

The Land of Fertility. South-east Mediterranean since the Bronze Age to the Muslim Conquest

International Postgraduate Conference/Call for Papers (closes 31 March 2016)

10-11 June 2016, Institute of Archaeology, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland

The international conference welcomes all Post-graduate researchers in the subject-area of
Archaeology, History, Art History, Culture & Religion Studies who are interested in issues
related to ancient Egypt (especially Delta region), Cyprus, Levant, Mesopotamia and Persia.
This year the main theme of the conference is migration of people, goods and ideas in ancient times and its influences on civilization in both material and spiritual culture. Did the
immigrants help in the development of ancient states or bring them to collapse? See leaflet and Call for Papers (with application form).

Internationales Symposium zum Freisinger Lukasbild

21-22 April 2016, Freising, Germany

Seit 1440 bewahrt der Freisinger Domschatz eine byzantinische Ikone mit kostbarer Metallverkleidung, die der Legende nach vom Evangelisten Lukas gemalt worden sein soll. Ihre Ursprünge und späteren Umgestaltungen sowie der weite Reiseweg mit den Stationen Thessaloniki, Konstantinopel, Mailand, England und Wien sind zwar grundsätzlich bekannt, jedoch bedarf diese prominente Ikone dringend weiterer aktueller Forschungen mit neuesten Methoden, da vieles noch im Dunkeln liegt.

Eine internationale Gruppe von HistorikerInnen, Kunst- und KulturwissenschaftlerInnen wie auch TheologInnen haben sich nun von neuem intensiv mit der Ikone und all ihren Aspekten beschäftigt. Die Ergebnisse ihrer Forschungen werden im Rahmen des zweitägigen Symposiums präsentiert.

For full information, download the flyer.

Mount Athos – the Light of the Orthodox Christianity: Interaction of Cultures

International conference/Call for Papers (closes 1 May 2016)

5-7 October 2016, Russian Academy of Arts, Saint Petersburg

Acceptable topics as follows: Mount Athos art objects and historical treasures, Byzantine, Balkan and Medieval Russian Art and Culture, Artistic cross-contacts in the Christian World, Monastic Spiritual Traditions in Contemporary Christian Culture, Preservation and Research of the Christian Art objects.
For further details, download the Call for Papers.

The Forty-second Annual Byzantine Studies Conference (BSC)

Conference/Call for Papers (closes 1 April 2016)

6-9 October 2016, Cornell University, NY, USA

The Forty-second Annual Byzantine Studies Conference (BSC) will be held at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, from Thursday evening, October 6th through Sunday afternoon, October 9th. For more information, please see the website:

Byzantine Identity and the Other in Geographical and Ethnic Imagination

The Fourth International Sevgi Gönül Byzantine Studies Symposium

23-25 June 2016, Istanbul, Turkey

The event is free and open to the public. For programme and full details, see the symposium website.

John Chrysostom and Severian of Gabala: Homilists, Exegetes and Theologians

Conference/Call for Papers (closes 30 April 2016)

7-9 November 2016, Leuven, Belgium

For details, download the Call for Papers.

Marian Iconography East and West

International Conference/Call for Papers (closes 30 March 2016)

2-4 June 2016, Rijeka, Croatia

The conference seeks to explore and discuss recent development in the dialogue between theology, art history, philosophy and cultural theory concerning the iconography of Mary in Eastern and Western art. We welcome academic papers that will approach this subject in an interdisciplinary and methodologically diverse way.

For details, see the full Call for Papers.

Visibility and Presence of imagery in the ecclesial space - Byzantium and Western Middle Ages

Cycle of four conferences

February-June 2016, Institut National d'Histoire de l'art, Paris, France

18 February: L’image dans l’espace sacré: Enjeux historiographiques et perspectives

24 March: Lumière et éclairage de l’espace cultuel: Perception et réception des images

19 May: Images monumentales et jeux d’échelle: Les dynamiques spatiales du lieu de culte

16 June: Visibilité et lisibilité du dialogue entre images et inscriptions dans l’espace cultuel

For further details, download the poster and programme.

To see, to report, to persuade: Narrative and verisimilitude in Byzantium

Conference/Call for Papers (closes 31 December, 2015)

27-29 October 2016, Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul, Turkey

An increasing interest in narrative practices has in recent years led scholars within the field of Byzantine studies to explore the narrative techniques employed by the Byzantines. These explorations have, so far, focused on fictional texts or texts that employ fictional and semifictional strategies, such as novelistic and hagiographical narratives or 'novelistic' chronicles and poems, and they often take as their point of departure the shared rhetorical tradition that formed the basis of Byzantine education for more than a millennium.

In this conference we propose stepping away from defining a distinction between fictional and historical Byzantine texts, and instead to look at narrative as a literary form that allows authors to communicate their experience in a believable manner – whether the events they report are conceived of as truthful or not. The reality of fiction, or the relationship between fiction and reality, is accordingly not the focus of this conference. Rather, the various devices and techniques that enable the narration of events – whether fictional, historical, or documentary – appear to be persuasive and trustworthy. Briefly: we wish to take the concept of verisimilitude – cultural as well as generic – beyond the boundaries of fiction.

We therefore invite abstracts for papers that explore the use of various narrative practices in Byzantine texts from the perspective of authors and their contemporary audiences, as well as post-Byzantine readers. We define narrative broadly to include, in additional to traditionally narrative texts, epistolography, philosophy, rhetoric, commentaries and poetry. Questions that might be addressed include: What is the relationship of narrative production in Byzantium to the ‘real? How does the literary form affect the ‘truth’ of historiographical or documentary writing? How does any given narrative relate to the lived experience of the author or the lived experience of the reader – either a Byzantine reader or a modern one? Are narrative and experience opposed, complimentary, or intertwined? Where does persuasion shade into deception or falsehood, and is this a problem – for Byzantine authors or for Byzantinists? What are the limits of what can be regarded as narrative? We are, of course, happy to consider any further suggestions, especially those addressing methodological and theoretical concerns.

Please send a title of your paper and an abstract (max 300 words) to AnnaLinden Weller
(annalinden.weller(at) no later than December 31, 2015.

Postgraduate Training Course in Greek Epigraphy

Summer School

26 June-10 July 2016, The British School at Athens

Whether publishing new inscriptions, reinterpreting old ones, or critically analysing editions, this course provides training for historians, archaeologists and textual scholars alike in the discipline of reading and interpreting epigraphic evidence. Students will be guided through the process of producing editions of inscriptions, gaining practical first hand experience with the stones as well as instruction in editorial and bibliographic skills. Guest lectures on historical and thematic subjects will explore the ways in which epigraphic evidence can inform a wide range of Classical subjects. The course will be taught primarily by Prof. Graham Oliver (Brown) and Mr. Robert Pitt (BSA) and will utilise the most significant epigraphic collections around Athens, where students will be assigned a stone from which they will create a textual edition. The importance of seeing inscriptions within their archaeological and topographical contexts will be explored during site visits around Athens, Attica, and Delphi. Some prior knowledge of Greek is essential, although students with only elementary skills are advised that reading inscriptions is a very good way to advance in the language!

For full information, see the website.

12th International Congress of Cretan Studies

Conference/Call for Papers (closes 30 November 2015)

21-26 September 2016, Heraklion, Crete, Greece

The Congress will be held in the city of Heraklion from the 21st to the 25th of September 2016, and its proceedings will be divided into three main sections which correspond to the three long periods of Cretan history: a) the Prehistoric and Ancient Greek period, b) the Byzantine and Medieval period, and c) the Modern period (up to the late 20th century).

The selected thematic axis for all three sections of the 12th International Congress of Cretan Studies shall be mobility. Those interested in participating in the Congress are thus invited to address the theme in reference to Crete and insularity in historical perspective.

Full details are available on the conference website.

Byzantine Studies Alive

Conference call for papers (closes 1 December 2015)

16-17 June 2016, Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands

Proposals for papers on the following two themes welcomed:

1) Byzantium as a key player in the relationship between East and West, A.D. 330 -1453

Byzantium can be seen as a leading catalyst in the political, cultural, economic and religious exchange between East and West, to be detected in the relationship both between Byzantium and Latin Western Europe and Byzantium and the Islamic world.

2) The position of Byzantine heritage, 7th Century - present day

The definite end of the Byzantine Empire is marked by the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans in 1453. Through its history, however, the dimension and identity of the Empire was not one identical continuum. In different phases of development (Arab conquests, iconoclasm, Crusaders period) Byzantine monuments and artefacts were appropriated or under threat, a phenomenon that continued after the Ottoman conquest.

Abstracts, no more than 400 words, can be submitted to d.slootjes(at)  and m.verhoeven(at)  before the 1st of December, 2015.

For more information and the full official call for papers with more information on the contents and a full description of our aims, feel free to email d.slootjes(at)

The Promise of the Vatican Library

International Conference

8-10 May 2016, University of Notre Dame, IN, USA

An international academic conference highlighting the holdings of the Vatican Library and opportunities for future research. Also featuring an exhibit of materials from the Vatican Library and a concert of sacred music. Generous support available for junior scholars. Transportation to the International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan, will be available. For details, download the poster or see the website.

Dumbarton Oaks/HMML Syriac Summer School 2016

10 July-6 August 2016

Dumbarton Oaks and the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library announce a new four-week intensive introduction to Syriac language and paleography, July 10 to August 6, 2016. The program, sponsored and funded by Dumbarton Oaks, will be hosted at HMML, located on the campus of Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota. The summer school will include a long weekend in Washington, DC, to visit Dumbarton Oaks and other institutions in the area to learn more about their resources for Byzantine and Eastern Christian studies. 

Approximately ten places will be available to doctoral students and recent PhDs, including early-career faculty members, who can demonstrate the value of Syriac for their teaching and research. All costs apart from travel to and from Saint John’s University (nearest airport: Minneapolis-St Paul) will be covered by Dumbarton Oaks, including the weekend in Washington, DC.  

Mornings will be devoted to Syriac language instruction by Prof. Scott Johnson of the University of Oklahoma, with afternoons devoted to the study of digitized Syriac manuscripts with Dr. Adam McCollum of the University of Vienna (formerly Lead Cataloger of Eastern Christian Manuscripts at HMML). There will be opportunities to use HMML’s collections, as well as to enjoy the campus of 2700 acres, with woods, lakes, and notable architecture. Further information, including instructions for applicants, can be found here.

The Arts of Editing: Past, Present and Future

Conference/Call for Papers (closes 15 January 2016)

17-19 August 2016, Stockholm, Sweden

For eight years the Ars edendi programme at Stockholm University, funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, has functioned as a hub of textual editing, organizing seminars and workshops, inviting lecturers and guest researchers, and developing a network of textual scholars.

We invite proposals for papers on crucial methodological decisions, the impact editorial choices have on the reception of texts, as well as broader reflections on the responsibility of the editor as both an interpreter of texts and a mediator between cultures. Presenters will be asked to respect a 20-minute limit on their papers.

For details, see the full call for papers.

Fourth Annual Symposium on Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Conference/Call for Papers (closes December 31 2015)

20-22 June 2016: Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

The Fourth Annual Symposium on Medieval and Renaissance Studies (June 20-22, 2016) is a convenient summer venue in North America for scholars to present papers, organize sessions, participate in roundtables, and engage in interdisciplinary discussion. The goal of the Symposium is to promote serious scholarly investigation into all topics and in all disciplines of medieval and early modern studies.

The Fourth Annual Symposium on Medieval and Renaissance Studies invites proposals for papers, complete sessions, and roundtables. Any topics regarding the scholarly investigation of the medieval and early modern world are welcome. Papers are normally twenty minutes each, and sessions are scheduled for ninety minutes. Scholarly organizations are especially encouraged to sponsor proposals for complete sessions.

The deadline for all submissions is December 31. Decisions will be made in January, and the final program will be published in February.

For more information or to submit your proposal online, go to:

Byzantines and the Bible

Call for Papers (closes 30 September 2015) for 23rd International Congress of Byzantine Studies, Belgrade, 22-27 August 2016

Recent scholarship has turned its attention to the role of the Bible in the Byzantine world, notably with two recent Dumbarton Oaks Colloquia on the Old and New Testaments respectively, but much remains to be done in bridging the gap between mainstream Byzantine studies and the activities surrounding the reading, studying and copying of the principal sacred text in Christianity. Following a successful and stimulating paper session organized within the European Association of Biblical Studies meeting in Cordoba (July 2015), we would like to continue to open a dialogue between Byzantinists and biblical scholars by proposing a broader thematic session at the International Conference.

Please send a title and short abstract (max. 3600 characters incl. spaces; no footnotes) of your proposed presentation to: Papers will be max. 15 mins long. We plan to publish the papers in a collected volume after peer-review. A financial contribution towards your attendance at the conference may become available.

For further details, download the full CfP.

Byzantine Identity and the Other in Geographical and Ethnic Imagination (Fourth International Sevgi Gönül Byzantine Studies Symposium)

23-25 June 2016, Koç University, Turkey

Byzantine representation of the cultures outside the Byzantine world had a particular geographical and ethnic aspect that contributed not only to the perception of the non-Byzantine, but also to the construction of the Byzantine self-image. 

Byzantine portrayal of these cultures beyond the borders of the Empire was informed by geographic and ethnic elements including climate, flora, language and a certain way of life, which in turn entered into a complex relationship with the history, religious traditions and political state of these cultures as perceived by Byzantines. Examination of the Byzantine encounter with the geographically and ethnically other -from the fairly familiar to the exotic, and from the internal other to the external one- provides clues on how Byzantines related to their own environment spatially and how they differentiated themselves from their neighbors.

For full details, see the conference website.

Early Medieval Graphicacy in a Comparative Perspective

International Conference/Call for Papers (closes 1 October 2015)

9-10 June 2016, University of Oslo, Blindern, Oslo

Visual communication in Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages is conventionally analysed using methods specific to either figural imagery (and visualcy of the past) or literary productions (and literacy). In contrast, our project focuses on non-figural graphic devices which are intermediaries between texts and pictures, and which appear during Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages. The project operates with a working hypothesis that these graphic compositions attest to early graphicacy, which has been defined as a visual mode of communication of conceptual information and abstract ideas by means of non-figural graphic devices, which may comprise inscribed letters, words, or decorative symbols. For a recent discussion of early graphicacy, click here and for more information about the project, please visit our website.

For full details, download the call for papers.