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)

Oxford Patristic & Byzantine Study Week

3-8 July 2015, Wolfson College, Oxford

The aim of this study week is to explore the convergence between Patristic & Byzantine Studies in modern scholarship. It comprises lectures by eminent personalities in the fields of Patristic, Byzantine and Syriac Studies, seminars / reading classes, discussions, guided tours in Oxford colleges and libraries, cultural events and dialogues between artists, scholars and the wider public on sacred art, history and spirituality.

For full programme and registration, see the website.


Journal Call for Papers (closes 1 August 2015)

The editorial team is proud to announce a Call for Papers for the fourth issue, to be published in October 2015. We look forward to receiving contributions in English by postgraduate students in Byzantine, Ottoman, and/or Modern Greek Studies in the UK and abroad.

For details, download the full call for papers.

Magic and the Supernatural in the Medieval and Early Modern Periods

Postgraduate Conference/Call for Papers (closes 25 May 2015)

21 July 2015, Cardiff University

An understanding of magic and the supernatural is crucial to the study of the medieval and early modern periods. Magic was a part ot everyday lite, ingrained into the cultural world view and popular imagination. It was also elusive, encompassing a plurality of meanings and terms that permeated every level of society and resulted in a wide range of practices, trom those based on folkloric beliefs to quasi-religious rituals. As a means of understanding and attempting to control the social, spiritual, and natural world, it could be both a comfort and a threat to established norms.

For full details, download the poster.

Byzantine Greek Summer School 2015

26 July - 23 August 2015, University of Birmingham

The Byzantine Greek Summer School offers courses in medieval Greek language at three levels:

  • Level 1 Beginners (26 July - 9 August);
  • Level 2 Intermediate (9 - 23 August);
  • Level 3 Advanced Reading (9 - 23 August).

For full details, including details on fees and available funding, see the Summer School's webpage.

If applying for funding, applications must be received by 13 April or by 18 May for all other applications.

The Empire of the Palaiologoi: Ruin or Renewal?

Conference session at Leeds IMC

9 July 2015, University of Leeds

Three linked sessions on Late Byzantium, taking place at Leeds IMC (6-9 July 2015). For details, download the poster.

Parenthood and Childhood in the Middle Ages

Conference/Call for Papers (closes 12 April 2015)

8-9 October 2015, University of Edinburgh

In recent years, scholars from a range of disciplines have considered how concepts such as ‘family’ and ‘the home’ can be used to understand and explore the wider structures of medieval society. This two day interdisciplinary conference will bring together researchers from across the Humanities, in order to consider these approaches and to identify new avenues for the study of family life in the medieval world.

We invite prospective speakers to submit proposals of for no more no more than 300 words for 20 minute papers, along with their paper title and affiliation to: & phoebe.linton(at) by 12th April 2015. We encourage proposals from postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers. A limited number of grants will be available to support the travel costs of accepted speakers.

For further details, download the full CfP.

Law, Custom and Ritual in the Medieval Mediterranean


13 July-15 July 2015, University of Lincoln

The fourth biennial conference of the Society for the Medieval Mediterranean. For further details, including programme, see the conference website. Registration is now open.

The Apocalyptic Imagination

Conference/Call for Papers (closes 15 April 2015)

7-9 July, Gladstone's Library, Flintshire CH5 3DF

Since the formation of the New Testament canon, the Apocalypse has occupied a curious and often liminal place in literary and cultural history. The canonicity of the Book of Revelation has been disputed often and by some of Christianity’s most influential figures. Yet the Apocalypse has also been regarded as the ending that gives shape and purpose to biblical metanarrative and to history. It remains central to Christian eschatology, though its proper interpretation is contested vigorously. For much modern literary criticism – perhaps most notably Frank Kermode’s seminal study The Sense of an Ending (1967) – the Apocalypse has been read as a model for the end-directed orientation of secular as well as religious narrative. Yet for many critics this literary ‘sense of an ending’ can be little more than a consoling fiction; for others, it is an artificial closure imposed upon the endlessly open processes of reading and interpretation.

This conference brings together scholars across a range of literatures and critical perspectives in order to explore the place of and approaches to the apocalyptic tradition in contemporary criticism. Does the ‘sense of an ending’ remain an appropriate framework for our reading of apocalyptic texts? In what ways might modern criticism read and respond to the apocalyptic writings of earlier literary periods? What have notions of apocalypse come to mean for the secular – or post-secular – imagination, particularly in the contexts of genocide, nuclear threat, global terrorism and environmental catastrophe? The biblical Apocalypse concludes with a vision of a ‘new heaven and a new earth’. If our contemporary apocalypse has become the ‘end of history’, does it also retain its imaginative aspiration to ‘make all things new’?

We invite proposals for papers of approximately 20 minutes focusing upon literatures of any period(s). We welcome interdisciplinary approaches from scholars working in fields including – but by no means limited to – politics, philosophy, theology, film studies, history and art. Possible topics might include:
· Literary responses to and/or rewritings of the Book of Revelation and other biblical apocalyptic texts
· Apocalypse and eschatology
· Relationships between apocalyptic literatures and political theory/theology
· Apocalyptic literatures and the ‘end of history’
· Apocalypse and literary theory
· Apocalypse and catastrophe (e.g. environmental, nuclear, humanitarian, etc.)
· Versions of apocalypse in Gothic, Science Fiction and Fantasy literatures
· Endings, interpretation and (re)reading

Proposals of approximately 250 words should be emailed to the conference organisers: Matthew Bradley (matthew.bradley(at) and Simon Marsden (s.j.marsden(at)

Darkness and Illumination: the Pursuit of Knowledge in the Medieval and Early Modern World

Postgraduate Conference/Call for Papers (closes 17 April 2015)

15-17 July 2015, Durham University

This year’s Medieval and Early Modern Student Association conference will focus upon aspects of knowledge, learning, and control over information in the medieval and early modern periods and in doing so broaden perspectives not just about how people perceived their world, but also how they interpreted the past and the idea of progress.

Postgraduate and postdoctoral students are welcome to apply for presentations. In addition to the panels, the conference will offer two keynote addresses (TBA). Tours of Durham Cathedral and Castle as well as a visit to Durham Museum and Heritage Centre are scheduled for any interested delegates.

For full details, download the poster or visit the conference website.

Local Connections in the Literature of Late Antiquity

Conference/Call for Papers (closes 1 March 2015)

1-2 July 2015, The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities, University of Oxford

This conference, on the topic of ‘local connections’, will explore the place of literature in the shifting geography of late antiquity. The transfer of imperial power away from Rome and the founding of Constantinople in the early fourth century had a profound effect on the literary culture of the ancient Mediterranean. In the west, this is the era in which ‘Roman’ literature can be seen to become ‘Latin’ literature, as authors and readers spread out from the capital to form regional literary communities in other parts of Italy, Gaul, Spain, and Africa. Greek literature had been produced in these sorts of local contexts for a much longer period of time, but in the east as well, new centres of literary activity were emerging in late antiquity. Papers will therefore examine the ways in which local landscapes and communities are represented in late antique literary texts.

Other questions to address might include: how distinctive are the various regional literatures of the world of late antiquity, and what kinds of relationships existed between them? In what ways did later Latin and Greek authors shape the dialogue between local identities and international institutions, such as the Roman Empire or the Christian Church? What was the role of late antique texts in the formation of modern European literatures, and how have local considerations influenced their reception in other periods?

If you would like to participate, please send an abstract of your paper via email attachment to the steering committee by March 1, 2015: Scott McGill (smcgill(at), Joseph Pucci (Joseph_Pucci(at), and David Bright (dbright(at) Papers should be no longer than thirty minutes in length.

Thanks to the generosity of the Oxford Faculty of Classics and the Oxford Centre for Late Antiquity, lunch, refreshments, and a closing banquet will be provided for conference speakers. Other meals, as well as lodging and travel will be the responsibility of participants. Please send queriesabout conference particulars to Ian Fielding (ian.fielding(at) General queries about ISLALS may be sent to any member of the steering committee.

Leeds International Medieval Conference 2015


6-9 July 2015, University of Leeds

The IMC is the largest medieval history conference in Europe and Byzantinists usually have a strong presence. For full details, see the IMC website.

Conferences, Lectures & Calls for Papers (outside UK)

Days of Justinian I: 'Byzantium and the Heritage of Europe: Connecting the Cultures'

International symposium/Call for Papers (closes 10 July 2015)

30-31 October 2015, Euro-Balkan University, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia

The International scientific symposium “Days of Justinian I” is an annual interdisciplinary scholarly forum aimed at the presentation of the latest research followed by discussions on various aspects of Byzantine and Medieval Studies, that include the treatment and interpretation of cultural, historical and spiritual heritage in contemporary Europe. The Symposium is dedicated to Emperor Justinian I with the aim to address a broad range of issues related to Byzantium and the European Middle Ages, comprising the exploration of the cultural and historical legacy as an integrative component of the diversities and commonalities of Unified Europe.

This year the International Symposium “Days of Justinian I” chose a special thematic strand  “Byzantium and the Heritage of Europe: Connecting the cultures”. For full details, download the call for papers or visit the website.

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.

Imbas 2015: Perspectives of the World in the Late Antique & Medieval Period

Postgraduate Conference/Call for Papers (closes 18 September 2015)

20-22 November 2015, NUI Galway, University Road, Galway, Ireland

Imbas is an interdisciplinary postgraduate conference hosted annually by NUI Galway. The conference gives postgraduate students the opportunity to present ongoing work and to discuss their research with peers in an informal, interdisciplinary setting. The 2015 Imbas committee is delighted to announce the call for papers for the 2015 conference. The theme of the conference is ‘Perspectives of the World in the Late Antique & Medieval Period’, and it will run from the 20th to 22nd November at the Moore Institute, NUI Galway. The keynote speaker this year will be Prof. Michael Clarke, NUI Galway.

Imbas accepts papers from all disciplines, with a focus on any topic from Late Antiquity to the end of the medieval period. Interested postgraduates are invited to submit a title and abstract of 250 words, for a research paper of 20 minutes, to the Imbas committee at imbasnuig(at) by the 18th September, 2015.

For more information see our website or our CFP on the FMRSI website in the link below.

Georgian Manuscripts Summer School 2015

14-23 July 2015, National Centre of Manuscripts, Tbilisi, Georgia

This program is intended for foreign researchers and students interested in Georgian history and culture, especially in Georgian script and manuscript heritage, and a general interest in medieval studies.

To find out more, download the info sheet, program, and application form.

The Centre's website can be found at

Sapiens Ubique Civis III

Graduate conference/call for papers (closes 7 June 2015)

26-29 August 2015, University of Szeged, Hungary

The Department of Classical Philology and Neo-Latin Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Szeged, Hungary is pleased to announce its International PhD Student Conference Sapiens Ubique Civis III – Szeged 2015. The aim of the conference is to bring together an international group of young scholars working in a variety of periods, places, languages, and fields. Papers on a wide range of classical subjects, including but not limited to the literature, history, philology, philosophy, linguistics and archaeology of Greece and Rome, Byzantinology, Neo-Latin studies, reception of the classics, as well as papers dealing with theatre studies, comparative literature, contemporary literature and fine arts related to the Antiquity are welcome. The language of the conference is English.

For full details, download the cfp.

Messors: Byzantine Art Restoration and Site Preservation workshops

11-28 June 2015: Art Restoration Workshop Fresco & Canvas

24 July-4 August 2015: Fornello Sustainable Preservation Project

Puglia, Italy

Messors is a series of hands-on educational workshops regarding the preservation of cultural heritage and Byzantine sites in Puglia region, Italy. The workshops are an opportunity for participants to learn about the history of the region, learn about conservative methods and techniques, while contributing to the conservation of the rich art heritage of Southern Italy.

For full details, see the website.

2015 Byzantine Studies Conference (BSC)

Conference/Call for Papers (closes 1 April 2015)

22-25 October, New York City, NY, USA

The conference 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 the current BSANA officers.

Proposals on any aspect of Byzantine studies are welcomed.

For further details, download the CfP.

Identities: Language and Literature

International Conference/Call for Papers (closes 29 March 2015)

9-11 October 2015 Democritus University of Thrace, Komotini, Greece

The conference is open to contributions from diverse disciplines and invites scholars from various fields of Humanities and Social Sciences. The conference aims both at promoting cooperation among colleagues from diverse fields of study and teaching of Humanities and Social Sciences at an international level and offering colleagues from other institutions an opportunity to find out more about the Department of Greek at Democritus University of Thrace and the region of Thrace in general.

For full details, see the conference website or download the full CFP.

Intercultural Exchange in Late Antique Historiography

Workshop/Call for Papers (closes 31 December 2014)

16-18 September 2015, Ghent University, Belgium

The research group Late Antique historiography at Ghent University is organising a workshop on historiography and intercultural exchanges in Late Antiquity (300-800 AD), on 16-18 September 2015.
The workshop aims at engaging affirmed scholars as well as young researchers in an interdisciplinary discussion over cross-cultural contacts in Late Antiquity and their impact on the historiographical production in different languages, Latin, Greek, Armenian, Syriac, Persian, Coptic, Georgian, Arabic.

500 word proposals for papers of 25 minutes are welcomed, to be submitted before 31 December 2014 to Panagiotis Manafis. Participants are asked to read the position paper posted on the website