Call for Papers: Catastrophes and Memory (500-1500 CE)

4th Edinburgh International Graduate Conference in Late Antique, Islamic and Byzantine Studies, University of Edinburgh, 19-20 November 2020

Deadline: 15 June 2020

Disasters (natural, manmade or “supernatural”) shape historical memory and our understanding of the past. This conference focuses on the problematic relations between catastrophes and memory in Late Antique, Islamic and Byzantine societies. Memory plays a crucial role in the way events are perceived, understood and narrated by different groups and elites: locals might see the conquest of their city as a catastrophe, while the conquerors portray the same as glorious or divinely inspired. We invite papers and posters that address issues and questions including, but not limited to:

· Natural/environmental: Plagues, earthquakes, famines/droughts, floods, fires, climate change
· Socio-cultural/linguistic: Iconoclasm, artistic and urban disruption/renewal, cultural vandalism, translation movements, language death and breaks in literary tradition
· Political/military: Conquests, coups, sieges, wars, revolts, revolutions, civil wars, usurpations, succession crises and religious/ “holy” wars (Crusade/Jihad)
· Religious: Heresies, schisms, theological or dogmatic conflict, new religions, apocalyptic traditions and eschatology
· Memory “devices” and strategies: How do memories of catastrophes manifest themselves in material culture, texts, images and other different sources? Where do we see evidence of intentional forgetting?
· Comparative/Interdisciplinary: Elites versus non-elite memory of catastrophes; geographical (Mediterranean and Eurasia); temporal (500-1500CE)
· The role of the 21st century cultural historian: What is and should be modern scholars’ role in situating catastrophe?

This conference will be hosted by the Late Antique, Islamic and Byzantine Society of the University of Edinburgh on November 19-20, 2020 in Edinburgh. We welcome papers and posters from postgraduate students and early career researchers from all disciplines with an interest in Late Antique, Islamic or Byzantine studies. Confirmed speakers include Dr. Leslie Brubaker and Dr. Foteini Spingou.

Papers: Presentation is 20 minutes in length, delivered in English.

Posters: Participants will present their research at a poster session. Dimensions should not exceed 70cm (width) x 100cm (height) and posters must be printed and brought by the author. We strongly encourage undergraduate, masters and first-year PhD students to summit posters of their dissertations or research.

To apply, please respond with an e-mail including whether you hope to present a paper or poster, an abstract of no more than 300 words, and a small academic biography of no more than 120 words to edibyzpg@ed.ac.uk. The deadline for submitting papers and posters is June 15, 2020.

Registration Fees (fee includes lunch both days):
· Students speakers: £15 before September 15, 2020; £20 after
· Non-Students speakers: £35 before September 15, 2020; £40 after

We will publish a selection of the papers in a peer-reviewed volume that will bring together the strongest contributions in each area to produce an edited volume of high-quality, deep coherence and rich variety.

Any questions please address to edibyzpg@ed.ac.uk.

Online Resource: International Byzantinist Reading Group

A message from the organisers (note that, if you are too late for this session, the group will contiue to meet on subsequent Sundays):

Dear Colleagues,

In light of all the cancelled talks, conferences, etc. because of the current pandemic, we, Scott Kennedy and Ugo Mondini, have created the International Byzantinist Reading Group for graduate students, post-docs, and faculty as a digital space for discussion among scholars currently scattered around the world. We aim to build solidarity among academics interested in late antique and Byzantine culture as well as to lay the foundation for future exchanges and collaboration.

The Group is now in its fourth meeting. Meetings are held on Sundays at 8 pm (Rome time) via the video-conferencing platform Zoom. Based on the number of participants, we do two kinds of discussion groups during a meeting: (1) small group discussion and (2) large group discussion. Through Zoom, we can breakup meeting participants into groups of 5-6. For the first 30 minutes of the meeting, we break participants up into these small groups, so that everyone has the opportunity to speak and discuss the reading with their group. Then for the last 20-30 minutes of the meeting, we discuss the reading altogether. We use the raise your hand feature on Zoom to moderate discussion for the larger group.

For our next reading session (Sunday, 26th April 2020), we will be moving back to late antiquity with the following reading

A. Kaldellis, “How perilous was it to write political history in late antiquity?”, Studies in Late Antiquity 1 (2017) 38-64

You can find the paper on Kaldellis’ academia.edu account: https://bit.ly/3autKNO

If you are interested in participating in this week’s meeting or future meetings of the group, please email Ugo Mondini (ugo.mondini@unimi.it). All participants will be sent an invitation to join the meeting on Sunday via email.

See you next Sunday
Scott Kennedy (scott.kennedy@bilkent.edu.tr)
Ugo Mondini (ugo.mondini@unimi.it)

Statement regarding archaeological finds at Venizelos Metro Station, Thessaloniki

The Executive Committee of the Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies expresses its wholehearted support for the position adopted by the International Association of Byzantine Studies regarding the proposed relocation of the Byzantine finds in Thessloniki, opposing the removal of these finds and calling upon the relevant authorities to reconsider their recent decision.

Below are attached the statements of the AIEB’s Commission for Byzantine Archaeology and the appeal of the AIEB President, Professor John Haldon, to the Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic, Mr Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

CBA-AIEB letter 21-4-20

Letter from the President

Call for sessions: Mary Jaharis Center Sponsored Panel, 6th Forum Medieval Art

6th Forum Medieval Art, Kunstgeschichtlichen Instituts, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, Germany, 29 September–2 October 2021

Deadline: 10 May 2020

The Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture seeks proposals for a Mary Jaharis Center sponsored session at the 6th Forum Medieval Art, Kunstgeschichtlichen Instituts, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, September 29–October 2, 2021. The biannual colloquium is organized by the Deutsche Verein für Kunstwissenschaft e.V.

The theme for the 6th Forum Medieval Art is Senses. The arts and the senses have always been reciprocally related to one another. In the Middle Ages, sensual encounters with art and architecture offered a variety of ways to perceive, comprehend and structure the world. Pledging to relics enclosed in precious reliquaries, incorporating color from Byzantine icons, distinguishing the holy space by swinging golden polished censers, wearing inwardly decorated jewelry on the body or ringing the church bells to make audible the presence of God – such actions leave no doubts about the significance of the senses in the Middle Ages, and furthermore bring to light the role of art within such operations.

Although the senses and their interplay are well defined in theoretical treatises, theories are of limited use when it comes to understanding the sensual perception of images, objects, and spaces. While, for instance, the knowledge of God is described as a dematerialized act, the senses were nevertheless used to obtain and mediate spiritual insight. Since antiquity, seeing has been the dominant sense, as the works of authors such as Aristotle, Plato, Augustine and Isidore of Seville suggest. This privileged position was further ascribed by cultural and art historical research over a long period of time. Nevertheless, in recent years, studies on materiality have argued that the dominance of this one singular sense misrepresents the multisensory nature of medieval art. The ‘close-up’ senses such as tasting and touching are as essential for the understanding of artefacts as the ‘distant’ senses of seeing, hearing and smelling. In particular, liturgical and courtly ceremonies offer convincing evidence that processes of production and reception are related to multisensory experiences. The role of the senses in the architecture and decoration of sacred space has been revaluated not only within Latin Europe and the Byzantine Empire, but also within Islamic dominated regions. Furthermore, in order to comprehend the codex, one of the leading media throughout the Middle Ages, questions of sensual perception through tasting and sometimes kissing of its different elements such as parchment and paper, as well as textiles, leather, metal and ivory have also proved to be essential.

For the 6th Forum Kunst des Mittelalters, the organizers anticipate discussions on the role of sensual perception and the interplay of senses in medieval image and object cultures as well as in architecture, including topics from interreligious and cross-cultural perspectives. Studies on individual senses and the ways in which they played, guided, deceived and disturbed sensual perception are welcome, as well as proposals which privilege a multisensory and synesthetic approach. Proposals that discuss the methodological challenges that arise from these perspectives are encouraged. Furthermore, which possibilities do digital methods offer for understanding historical contexts of perception, e.g. through virtual reality or the reconstruction of auditive and oratorical spaces? This includes studies on the increasing popularity of multimedia concepts in exhibitions that question how the historicity of sensual approaches could be represented and, beyond that, how it could help to reveal new interpretative frameworks.

The Mary Jaharis Center invites session proposals that fit within the Senses theme and are relevant to Byzantine studies.Additional information about the Forum Medieval Art is available at https://www.dvfk-berlin.de/.

Session proposals must be submitted through the Mary Jaharis Center website (https://maryjahariscenter.org/sponsored-sessions/6th-fma). The deadline for submission is May 10, 2020. Proposals should include:

**Title
**Session abstract (500 words)
**Proposed list of session participants (presenters and session chair)
**CV

Applicants will be notified of the status of their proposal by May 22, 2020. The organizer of the selected session is responsible for submitting the session proposal to the Forum by June 1, 2020.

If the proposed session is approved, the Mary Jaharis Center will reimburse will reimburse a maximum of 5 session participants (presenters and session chair) up to $300 maximum for residents of Germany, up to $600 maximum for EU residents, and up to $1200 maximum for those coming from outside Europe. Funding is through reimbursement only; advance funding cannot be provided. Eligible expenses include conference registration, transportation, and food and lodging. Receipts are required for reimbursement.

Please contact Brandie Ratliff (mjcbac@hchc.edu), Director, Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture with any questions.

Call for articles: Porphyra XXVIII

Plague and natural disaster

Deadline: 30 June 2020

During the long history of Byzantine Empire, the state and its people were vexed by many plagues and natural disasters. The plague that began during the era of Justinian is certainly the most well-known and was perhaps the most devastating pandemic that befell the Empire before the fourteenth-century Black Death. Primary texts vividly describe the diseases that struck the people of Constantinople and other Byzantine lands.

Other natural disasters are also very famous, whether they happened in the Aegean islands, some part of Anatolia, or in Constantinople. One of the most important was probably the disaster that happened during the reign of Leo III, which some coeval sources interpreted as a divine sign. With territory straddling multiple fault lines, many earthquakes in Byzantium damaged and destroyed notable cities like Antioch.

With plague and natural disaster as part of its imperial rhythm, Byzantium was able to endure repeated waves of crisis and restore and adapt socially, economically, and architecturally.

With this aim, Porphyra is launching a CFP for everyone interested in this particular topic. Topics may include but are not limited to literature, history, religion, and history of art.

In the light of these considerations and in the perspective of dedicating the next issue of Porphyra (XXVIII) to “Plague and natural disasters”, we invite interested professors, doctoral students, research doctors, young researchers and scholars to send their contributions to editor@porphyra.it before and no later than 30 June 2020.

Papers may be submitted in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Modern Greek. Contributions must be complete upon submission – a proposal is no longer sufficient for a contribution. Editorial rules must be followed precisely; otherwise the contribution will be rejected. To be accepted the article in full must comply with general scientific standards of research and publication, and be formatted according to Porphyra editorial rules (found on the website). Every article must be accompanied with a short English abstract (250-300 words max) and 10-15 keywords. It is also possible to submit monograph reviews (1500 words max).

For further details, see http://www.porphyra.it/call-for-papers/

Update: 24th International Congress of Byzantine Studies

Postponement of the Submission Deadline of Free Communication, Poster & VR Session Proposals

During these extraordinary and challenging times of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, as the Organizing Committee of the 24th International Congress of Byzantine Studies, ICBS 2021-Istanbul, we feel the need to postpone the submission deadline of Free Communication, Poster & VR Session proposals from April 15, 2020 to September 1, 2020. The submissions should be made online at https://www.byzcongress2021.org/submission#free-communication-submission.

With a global and unified response and responsibility, we hope that these gloomy days will be over as soon as possible.

We wish you all healthy days,

Prof. Dr. Melek Delilbaşı
President of the Turkish National Committeeof Byzantine Studies

Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Individual Fellowships – Medieval and Early Modern Research Studies

Newcastle University

Deadline: 12 May 2020

Newcastle University’s Medieval and Early Modern Studies Faculty Research Group research.ncl.ac.uk/mems invites expressions of interest from eligible researchers seeking to apply to the Individual Fellowship-European Fellowship scheme of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions. These Fellowships last 12-24 months and have a research project as their focus, with a strong element of advanced training both in the research area and in transferable skills. The ideal fellow will be able to engage in a two-way transfer of knowledge, acquiring skills and/or knowledge from and sharing her or his expertise with Newcastle researchers.

Medieval and Early Modern Research Studies is an interdisciplinary research group which incorporates MEDLAB (Early Medieval, Late Antique and Byzantine Studies). MEMS’ members belong to the disciplines of Literature, Linguistics, Archaeology, Architecture, History, Classics and Music and are listed here: research.ncl.ac.uk/mems/people

Some indicative research projects are listed here: research.ncl.ac.uk/mems/research/currentresearch

We specifically welcome applications in the following key areas:

Byzantine Studies
Roman frontier studies
Late medieval and early modern book history and manuscript studies
Music and musical performance/performers in the medieval and early modern periods
European intellectual and religious history
Histories of print
Scholarly editing projects
Digital humanities projects such as those falling under the interests of the ATNU project research.ncl.ac.uk/atnu

We warmly welcome applications from outstanding scholars eager to work in an interdisciplinary environment for the Individual Fellowship Scheme. Applicants must have a compelling track record appropriate to their career stage of peer-reviewed publication(s) in internationally recognised outlets, conference invitations or other indicators of success. Applicants must meet the Scheme’s eligibility requirements, outlined below:

Eligibility

On the date of the deadline, candidates:

(i) must have at least four years’ full-time equivalent research experience (which can include doctoral studies)
(ii) and/or be in possession of a doctoral degree.
(iii) cannot have spent more than 12 months of the past 3 years in the UK.

If the fellow is resuming research after a career break of at least one year (within the 18 months immediately prior to the deadline), or is a European national or long term resident returning to Europe after a period outside Europe, a modified mobility rule applies: in these cases the researchers must not have carried out their main activity in the country of their host for more than 3 years in the 5 years immediately prior to the deadline.

Expressions of interest should be sent to the MEMS convener Ruth Connolly (ruth.connolly@ncl.ac.uk) no later than 12th May 2020. Please submit:

CV (maximum of 2 sides of A4)
Outline of project, the training you need to achieve the project goals, and why Newcastle University is a good place to do this particular project. You should identify a preferred supervisor (maximum of 2 sides of A4)
Confirmation that you meet the eligibility criteria (in a cover letter)

These should be sent as a single PDF with your name as the file name. Applications which do not include these three components and/or which are over-length will not be considered.