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)

‘What is the city but the people?’ Urban Identities between the Civic and the Ethnic


11-12 March 2016, Ertegun House, Oxford

This workshop is focused on the interplay between civic and ethnic identities – two forms of collective belonging usually seen as fundamentally different – and takes a comparative approach to their construction in urban contexts from Archaic Greece to the Ottoman Empire. The registration fee is £10, and coffee breaks, lunches, and a wine reception will be provided. In order to attend please RSVP to identity(at) by Sunday the 6th of March.

For further details, download the poster and full programme.

Byzantine History Revived: Constantine VII & co. A colloquium to celebrate the publication of Theophanes Continuatus I-IV

19 February 2016, Rainolds Room, Corpus Christi College, Oxford

For details, download the programme.

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.

Redefining the Margins: Seeing the Unseen in the Eastern Mediterranean

Conference/Call for Papers (closes 31 March 2016)

4 June 2016, University of Birmingham

For details, download the full Call for Papers.

The world comes to Sinai: Saint Catherine's monastery as a cultural magnet


6 February 2016, Bridgewater House, London

For programme and full details, see the flyer.

Who were the Greeks? New insights from Linguistics and Genetics

Public Lecture

4 February 2016, 18.00, King's College London

The 25th Annual Runciman Lecture by Professor Lord Renfrew.

Great Hall and Entrance Hall, King’s Building, Strand Campus 

Followed by a Reception

Byzantine refugees as crusade propagandists: The travels of Nicholas Agallon, 1454-5

3 February 2016, Room 264, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Keynote lecture for the Royal Holloway Postgraduate Seminar series, 2015-16. For full seminar details, download the poster.

Saint Andrews Institute for Medieval Studies/The Medieval Journal ESSAY PRIZE

Deadline: 24 March 2016

The competition is open to all medievalists who are graduate students or have completed a higher degree within the last three years. For PhD students the time period of three years begins from the date of the successful viva, but excludes any career break. See the webpage for details.

Kingship and the Bible in the Middle Ages

Workshop/Call for Papers (closes 25 January 2016)

18 March 2016, University of Oxford

For full details, download the call for papers.

Diogenes Journal

Call for Papers (Submission deadline: 1 February 2016)

Diogenes is now inviting doctoral researchers in the Byzantine, Ottoman, and/or Modern Greek Studies to submit articles (3,000-7,000 words) and book reviews (700-1,000 words) for the next issue, to be published in April 2016. Diogenes is a peer-reviewed open-access journal dedicated to research related to any aspect of the three fields at the Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies. We particularly welcome articles that focus on topics that have implications for more than one of the above three fields. For enquiries or more information, please contact us (diogenes(at) or visit our website (

Lincoln College Summer School of Greek Paleography

1-6 August 2016, Lincoln College, Oxford (applications by 15 February 2016)

The sixth Lincoln College International Summer School in Greek Palaeography will be held on 1-6 August 2016. The school offers a five-day introduction to the study of Greek manuscripts through ten reading classes, four library visits and five thematic lectures.

Costs: The school will charge student fees of 100 British Pounds, payable prior to the first day of classes. Students are individually responsible for their transportation and living expenses in Oxford. A minimum of four bursaries, covering fees and housing (but no board), will be awarded to particularly deserving applicants.

Daily schedule: 8:45-10:45 reading class, 11:00-13:00 library visit, 13:00-14:45 lunch break, 14:45-16:45 reading class, 17:00-18:00 lecture. A final written examination will be administered on Saturday, 6 August, 9:00-12:00.

Instructors: Christos Simelidis (D.Phil. Oxon.), Dimitris Skrekas (D.Phil. Oxon.), Georgi R. Parpulov (Ph.D. Chicago)

Lectors: Nigel G. Wilson FBA (Oxford), Prof. Marc Lauxtermann (Oxford), Dr Petros Bouras-Vallianatos (London), Marjolijne Janssen (Cambridge)

Application: The final deadline for applying is 15 February 2016.

Applicants are requested to send to Dr Simelidis at csimelidis(at) their curriculum vitae, explain in detail their need for attending the summer school, and indicate whether they wish to be considered for a bursary. They should also arrange for one recommendation letter from an established academic to be e-mailed to csimelidis(at) before 15 February 2016. Successful applicants will be notified on 30 February 2016.

Note: The school is intended for students of Classics, Patristics, Theology, Biblical or Byzantine Studies. Potential applicants are advised that it only offers introductory-level instruction in Greek palaeography and codicology. Adequate knowledge of Greek is a must for all students.

Dialogue and Difference in the Middle Ages

Bristol Centre for Medieval Studies - 22nd annual postgraduate conference

25-26 February 2016 (call for papers closes 25 November 2015)

Dialogue and Difference is an interdisciplinary conference bringing together scholars from all fields to explore the ways in which cultural, social, political, religious, scientific and intellectual exchange and interaction unfolded throughout the Middle Ages. Dialogues took place both across borderlines and within the heart of medieval societies, in monasteries, universities, courts and market places as well as on battlefields and high-roads. How did these dialogues shape the societies of the Middle Ages, and how did new ideas, people and cultures interact with old? Did difference lead to conflict, or to coexistence?

This conference aims to explore these issues across societies from medieval Europe, Byzantium, the Near East and beyond, and spanning from Late Antiquity to the 16th century.

Postgraduate and early-career researchers are invited to submit abstracts. For details, download the full Call for Papers.

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.

Trends and Turning-Points: Constructing the Late Antique and Byzantine World (c. 300-c. 1500)

The Oxford University Byzantine Society’s 18th International Graduate Conference/Call for Papers (closes 27 November 2015)

26-27 February 2016, University of Oxford

This conference aims to provide a platform to identify, discuss and debate the major trends and turning-points in the Late Antique and Byzantine world. Postgraduate scholars might choose to examine trends and turning-points on their own terms or to reflect critically on the limitations and blind-spots of our discipline, questioning the ways in which medieval Romans, their contemporaries and modern scholars have gone about constructing this past. We are calling for papers which explore all types of trends and turning-points in all fields of Late Antique and Byzantine studies.

Please send an abstract of no more than 250 words, along with a short academic biography in the third person, to the Oxford University Byzantine Society at byzantine.society(at) by Friday, 27th November 2015. Papers should be 20 minutes in length, and should be delivered in English or French.
For further details, download the full CfP.

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)

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.

Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Greek and Paleography Summer Schol

5-29 July 2016, Dumbarton Oaks, USA (applications by 1 February 2016)

Dumbarton Oaks will again offer an intensive four-week course in medieval Greek and paleography in the early summer of 2016. Approximately ten places will be available, with priority going to students without ready access to similar courses at local or regional institutions. For full details see the website.

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:

Postclassical Greek: the Intersections of Philology and Linguistics

Workshop/Call for papers (closes 1 October 2015)

15-17 February 2016, Johannes Gutenber Universitat, Mainz, Germany

This interdisciplinary workshop aims at bringing together scholars working on different aspects of post-classical Greek up to the Byzantine period. We strongly believe that only integration of the linguistic and philological knowledge can create a coherent model of the processes that underlay the language change of that period and provide answers as to why Greek of the Byzantine period is the way it is.

For full details, see the website.

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.

Othello's Island 2016

Conference/Call for Papers (closes 4 January 2016)

17-20 March 2016, CVAR Nicosia, Cyprus

Othello’s Island is an annual conference, now in its fourth year, examining the history, culture, art and literature of the medieval and renaissance periods from a multidisciplinary perspective.

Located at the Centre for Visual Arts and Research (CVAR) in Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus, the conference attracts academics and researchers from all over the world in a co-operative and constructive environment that has rapidly developed the reputation as one of the friendliest academic conferences in town. It is also seen as encouraging a genuine interdisciplinary approach as there is no streaming of different subjects and at recent events this has led to some astonishing connections between different subject areas.

We welcome researchers into art, literature, cultural, political and social history, and other topics to submit proposals for papers, which should be delivered in English and be twenty minutes in length. As we are located in Cyprus many papers make connections with Cyprus, the Levant or the wider Mediterranean, but we are interested in all aspects of the medieval and renaissance world and so this is not a requirement.

For full details, see the website.