Call for Papers: Reshaping the World: Utopias, Ideals and Aspirations in Late Antiquity and Byzantium

24th International Graduate Conference of the Oxford University Byzantine Society

25th—26th February 2022, in Oxford and Online

There is nothing better than imagining other worlds – he said – to forget the painful one we live in. At least so I thought then. I hadn’t yet realized that, imagining other worlds, you end up changing this one.
– Umberto Eco, Baudolino

It is the creative power of imagination that Baudolino described to a fictionalised Niketas Choniates in this dialogue from Eco’s homonymous novel (2000). The creation of idealised imaginary worlds has the power to change the past, the present and the future. When imagination is directed towards more worldly goals, it becomes aspiration and such aspiration can influence policies of reform. When imagination is unrestrained, utopias are born.

The Oxford University Byzantine Society’s twenty-fourth International Graduate Conference seeks to explore the impact utopias, ideals and aspirations had in changing the course of history and, therefore, how imagined or alternative realities shaped the Late Antique and Byzantine world(s), broadly understood.

Our conference provides a forum for postgraduate and early-career scholars to reflect on this theme through a variety of cultural media and (inter)disciplinary approaches. In doing so, we hope to facilitate the interaction and engagement of historians, philologists, archaeologists, art historians, theologians and specialists in material culture.

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 by Friday 19th November 2021 at byzantine.society@gmail.com. Papers should be twenty minutes in length and may be delivered in English or French. As with previous conferences, selected papers will be published in an edited volume, chosen and reviewed by specialists from the University of Oxford. Speakers wishing to have their papers considered for publication should aim to be as close to the theme as possible in their abstract and paper. Nevertheless, all submissions are warmly invited.

To read the full text of the call for papers, please visit the OUBS website: https://oxfordbyzantinesociety.wordpress.com/24th-oubs-international-graduate-conference-2022/.

The conference will have a hybrid format, taking place both in Oxford and online. Accepted speakers are strongly encouraged to participate in person, but livestreamed papers are also warmly welcomed

Byzantium at Ankara Seminar Series

We are happy to announce that Byzantium at Ankara (https://www.byzantiumatankara.net/) is back with its brand new Fall-Winter Seminar Series.

On top of our “traditional” online lectures, scheduled for the month of December and featuring Dr. Elisa Tosi Brandi (University of Bologna) and Dr. Federica Broilo (University of Urbino), we are particularly proud of presenting students, scholars, and enthusiasts with an exciting initiative: a Workshop/Symposium on Byzantine Music entitled “Strolling through Echoes of the Past,” which will take place at Bilkent University on 11th and 12th November 2021. The Workshop/Symposium stems from a collaborative effort of Bilkent Saygun Center, Koç University-Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Bilkent Department of History, Byzantium at Ankara, Hacettepe University, and Hellenic Mediterranean University.

This Workshop/Mini-Symposium (to be held in a hybrid mode) aims to explore the many facets of Byzantine music and its legacy. It addresses the importance of music in the Byzantine culture but also tracks down its Spatio-temporal reflections. It takes a multidisciplinary approach and pursues/initiates discussions by bringing scholars from wide-ranging disciplines.

The event will include two morning sessions (in person) with the participation of students (max 15 due to Covid restrictions) who will be focusing on learning about Medieval and Byzantine music notation and chant under the supervision of Dr. Antonis Botonakis (Hellenic Mediterranean University).

We, therefore, invite students who are interested in participating in the workshops (to be held in the mornings of Thursday 10 and Friday 11 November at Bilkent University- FEASS Building, C Block Amphi) to register to abotonakis@hmu.gr. We regret that we could not offer accommodation or any reimbursement for travel expenses to those students who do not live or study in Ankara. Previous knowledge of Byzantine or Western notation is required.

These morning sessions will be followed by two afternoon sessions (hybrid) in which eight experts on Byzantine Music and Musicology (including the world-famous composer Dimitri Terzakis, Cenk Güray, Alexander Lingas, and Antonis Botoniakis, among the others) will be delivering papers on Byzantine and Medieval Music Theory as well as on the influence of Ottoman culture on Modern Turkish and Greek music.

The Greek language after Antiquity: recent research and future directions in historical linguistics

5-6 November 2021

British School at Athens and online

This two-day workshop promises to be a landmark in the study of post-classical Greek. It rests on the achievements to date of five major projects in the history of the Greek language: the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae, the Vienna Lexikon zur byzantinischen Gräzität, the “Kriaras Lexicon” of Medieval Vernacular Greek, the Cambridge Grammar of Medieval and Early Modern Greek, and the Historical Lexicon of the Academy of Athens. Representatives of all these projects will participate in the workshop, together with experts in historical linguistics, dialectology, syntax and literary studies. The universities represented by the speakers include: Athens, Thessaloniki, the Aegean, Patras, Cyprus, Vienna, and California (Irvine). The Academic Committee consists of David Holton (University of Cambridge), Despina Chila-Markopoulou (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens) and Angela Ralli (University of Patras).

For full details, including programme and joining instructions, see: https://www.bsa.ac.uk/events/the-greek-language-after-antiquity-recent-research-and-future-directions-in-historical-linguistics-2/

SPBS Autumn Lecture

10th November 2021, 17:15 (GMT)

University of Birmingham, Teaching & Learning Building 202 (limited spaces) and online

Dr Rosemary Morris
Into The Labyrinth: a Journey into Stoudite ”Cancel Culture’

This year’s autumn lecture will be a hybrid event. We have some limited availability for attendance in person, but we ask that you reserve your ticket in advance. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, we will be unable to accommodate additional visitors in the lecture theatre on the day. The lecture will also be streamed live via Zoom and questions from both the live and virtual audience will be taken by the chair.

To register your attendance (virtual or in person), please visit Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/into-the-labyrinth-a-journey-into-stoudite-cancel-culture-tickets-185873311077

Oxford Byzantine Graduate Seminar

Michelmas Term 2021

Mondays, 12:30-14:00 UK time, via Zoom.

Please note that there is no need to register if you have previously subscribed to the seminar mailing list.

To register, please contact the organiser at james.cogbill@worc.ox.ac.uk or follow this link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/oxford-byzantine-graduate-seminar-michaelmas-2021-tickets-181858984117.

25th October
Sofia Simões Coelho (Oxford)
Holy Fools in Fifteenth- and Sixteenth-Century Rus’

1st November
Thomas R. Langley (Cambridge)
Julian, Constantinople, and the Role of Civic Patriotism in the Fourth Century

8th November
Jessica Varsallona (Birmingham)
Michael VIII Palaiologos and the southern shore of Constantinople

15th November
Nicola Ernst (Exeter)
The Athanasian Emperors: Reconsidering Orthodox and Heretical Emperors in the 340s

22nd November
Callan Meynell (Oxford)
Roman? Greek? Byzantine? Some thoughts on the trial of Maximus the Confessor and Roman identity

29th November
John-Francis Martin (Oxford)
Byzantine Catholics (exact title TBC)

6th December
Kelly E. McClinton (Oxford)
The Case Romane del Celio: Living in Rome in Late Antiquity

13th December
Mark Huggins (Edinburgh)
The Many Byzantine Chrysostoms: A Look at Competing Sanctification Narratives at the Heart of Byzantine Spirituality

Venizelou Metro Station Forum

An international online forum will be held this Sunday, 26th September, to discuss the late Roman and Byzantine remains uncovered during the excavation of a new metro in Thessaloniki. As well as the archaeology, the forum will discuss the past and ongoing litigation and also engineering proposals regarding the site.

The forum will be held at 5pm UK time (not given on the flyer) and joining instructions are included.

Venizelou Sept 26 Flyer

Edinburgh Byzantine Seminar Series

The newly established Centre of Late Antique, Islamic and Byzantine Studies (CLAIBS) invites you to attend the Byzantine Seminar Series at the University of Edinburgh.

The seminars take place at 17:15 and will be held via Zoom. You can register by following this link: https://ed-ac-uk.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEvcuGvqzouGd0c4_4sQrnlbFqiDBFdwYtF.

Monday, 20 September 2021, at 17:15, Stratis Papaioannou (University of Crete):
‘The philosopher’s tongue: or a short (hi)story of a Byzantine fiction’

Monday, 4 October 2021, at 17:15, Alicia Simpson (American College of Greece):
‘Philippopolis: a Byzantine metropolis in the northern Balkans’

Wednesday, 6 October 2021, at 17:10, Mary Whitby (University of Oxford):
‘An emperor and his poet: George of Pisidia on the Emperor Heraclius (610-641 CE)’
Co-hosted with the Classics Seminar

Monday, 18 October 2021
, at 17:15, Julian Baker (University of Oxford):
‘Monetary transformations in western Anatolia in the first decades of the fourteenth century: Byzantines, Turks, and Franks between the Propontis and Rhodes’

Monday, 1 November 2021, at 17:15, Nicole Paxton Sullo (Princeton University):
‘The visuality of memory in later Byzantium’

Monday, 15 November 2021, at 17:15, Tristan Schmidt (University of Silesia in Katowice):
‘Performing military leadership in Komnenian Byzantium’

Monday, 29 November 2021, at 17:15, Pantelis Golitsis (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki):
tbc

Spring Symposium videos

Owing to the ongoing pandemic, this year’s Spring Symposium was held exclusively online. Although this is far from our preference for future Symposia, a happy consequence is that the proceedigs were recorded for the first time. We are endeavouring to bring these recordings to a wider audience, once they have been appropriately edited and we have obtained permission from the speakers. Videos will be uploaded to our new YouTube channel.

Present highlights include Dr Dimitra Kotoula’s keynote (linked to this virtual exhibition, hosted by the British School at Athens) and the tributes of friends, students, and colleagues to the dearly-missed Dr Ruth Macrides, to whose memory the Symposium was dedicated.

A new page on this website also collects all of our recorded events together in one place: https://www.byzantium.ac.uk/recordings-of-events/.