SPBS-OEBG Joint Lecture 2024 – Hybrid Event!

Peeping under the palimpsest: reclaiming the urban topography of Byzantine Constantinople

Prof. Jim Crow (University of Edinburgh)
Respondent: Dr Galina Fingarova (Universität Wien)

Event Details:
In person
May 13th 2024 at 5:30PM
Location: Meadows Lecture Theatre, Edinburgh, EH8 9AG

The subject of this talk is the sub-surface archaeology of Constantinople. A recent publication on late antique and medieval urbanism titled ‘Cities as Palimpsests?’ draws attention to the multi-layered nature of ancient cities and the nuanced perspectives which are offered for the study of evolving urbanism. But how far is this engaging metaphor relevant for understanding the city beneath our feet and as a contribution to comprehending past lifeways? By reviewing past and contemporary approaches and methodologies I aim to consider the contribution of previous observations and excavations for the topography and infrastructure of the city, with particular attention to the Byzantine remains enclosed within the circuit wall of the Topkapi Saray, the city’s first hill.

To register please click here

Dumbarton Oaks Collections Virtual Tour

 

We would like to invite you to  a virtual handling session of some of Dumbarton Oaks’ collections of Byzantine bronze and ivory, delivered by Elizabeth Dospěl Williams, curator of the Byzantine Collections.

Monday 25 March at 18:00 UK time. Please register in advance here.

 

 

 

Justice in Byzantium – 13th to 15th April 2024

In 2024, the Symposium will take place in Canterbury at the University of Kent, for the first time.  The chosen theme is ‘Justice in Byzantium’. This theme will facilitate inter-disciplinary discussion of research and ideas embracing Byzantine history, society, culture, and law. Sessions will be arranged around the themes of ‘Social Justice’; ‘Unwritten Rules’; ‘Criminal Justice’; ‘Revenge’; ‘Civil Law & Justice’; and ‘Divine Justice’.
The main sessions of the conference will be held in the Templeman Lecture Theatre, with a reception and dinner in the Darwin Conference Suite, Darwin College.
Confirmed speakers include Daphne Penna, Dennis Stathakopoulos, Carlos Machado, Arietta Papaconstantinou, Rosemary Morris, Anna Kelley, Lorena Atzeri, Mike Humphreys, Catherine Holmes, Robert Wisniewski, Peter Sarris, Matthijs Wibier, Simon Corcoran, Caroline Humfress, Maroula Perisanidi, Dan Reynolds and Shaun Tougher.
Please keep checking the website periodically: further information will be added in due course, and continuously updated. The complete programme can be found here: Conference Programme.
To register please click here.

Call for Papers | Doctoral Seminar: Projecting Poetry

The TORCH Network Poetry in the Medieval World (University of Oxford) is delighted to introduce “Projecting Poetry”, an initiative designed to promote cross-disciplinary discussion, foster collaboration, and provide a platform for DPhil/PhD students engaged in research across various fields and working on medieval poetry. The goal is to create an opportunity to present ongoing research to a diverse audience of fellow students and seniors.

We invite submissions from DPhil/PhD students at an early stage of their programmes, conducting research in any field and working on poetry in any area and culture of the medieval world (chronological boundaries may be discussed with organisers); any methodological approach is welcome. We especially encourage submissions that aim to explore potential intersections between academic disciplines.

Submission Guidelines

  • Abstract: Please submit a 250-word abstract in English (PDF form) to ugo.mondini@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk, including the (working) research title, name, affiliation, and contact information.
  • Submission Deadline: Abstracts can be submitted any time during the academic year.
  • Extended Descriptions: If accepted, speakers should present a document in English (max. 1,500 words) and a title fifteen days before the seminar, with a more extensive description of their interests, research goals and, if they wish, of the challenges they face. This document will be shared with the seminar participants; therefore, it should be accessible to non-specialists.

Event Structure

  • Sessions will be organised online for non-Oxford students and in hybrid format during term time for Oxford participants.
  • Each speaker will have 20 minutes to present their research; a discussion follows. The event will be conducted in English.

Contact Information

For further information and inquiries, please get in touch with Ugo Mondini at ugo.mondini@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk.

Non-presenting seminar participants

If you want to take part in the seminars, both in person and online, please send an email to Ugo Mondini at ugo.mondini@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk with your name, affiliation, research interests, and contact information.

The 55th SPBS Spring Symposium in Byzantine Studies – University of Kent (Canterbury, UK), 13th-15th April 2024.

The 55th Spring Symposium in Byzantine Studies will be held at the University of Kent (Canterbury, UK), from 13th-15th April 2024.

The 55th Spring Symposium in Byzantine Studies will be held at the University of Kent (Canterbury, UK), from 13th-15thApril 2024. The topic is ‘Justice in Byzantium’, a topic especially pertinent in our turbulent modern societies. Justice is one of the pillars on which every civilisation should be based even though it is not always granted for all, and Byzantium was no exception. Its inhabitants had to deal with justice-related issues in everyday life, but theoretical, religious, and philosophical implications were also involved in its very conception. These ideas are not merely reflected in written laws but in historical and literary works, as well as in unwritten rules, customs, and traditions. What forms of justice were meted out in Byzantium and what types of injustices occurred? How were these debated, enacted, and enforced? Sessions will be arranged around the themes of social, civil, divine, and criminal justice, as well as concepts of revenge and unwritten/ written rules.

Confirmed Speakers include Daphne Penna, Dionysios Stathakopoulos, Carlos Machado, Arietta Papaconstantinou, Rosemary Morris, Anna Kelley, Lorena Atzeri, Mike Humphreys, Catherine Holmes, Robert Wiśniewski, Caroline Humfress, Peter Sarris, Matthijs Wibier, Simon Corcoran, Dan Reynolds, Shaun Tougher, and Maroula Perisanidi.

The Symposium will be hybrid.

Fees and Registration:

– In person, for three days: Full: £110; Members of the SPBS: £95; Students/Unwaged: £60.

– In person, for one day: Full: £65; Members of the SPBS: £55; Students/Unwaged: £30.

– On-line: Full: £35; Members of the SPBS: £20; Students/Unwaged: £10

A booking form will soon be available online, on the Symposium website, with further details of registration and payment. ‘Justice in Byzantium’ has been made possible by the generous support of the Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies and the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies.

Call for Communications

In addition to the customary panel papers and an inaugural lecture, we invite Communications of 15 minutes in duration on current research in fields linked to the theme of the Symposium. Please send your abstract to Laura Franco (laura.franco@libero.it) with a title and abstract by December 15th 2023. For any queries relating to the Symposium, please contact Anne Alwis (a.p.alwis@kent.ac.uk).

26th International Graduate Conference of the Oxford University Byzantine Society

Transgression in Late Antiquity and Byzantium

26th International Graduate Conference of the Oxford University Byzantine Society, 24th-25th February 2024, Oxford

We are pleased to announce the call for papers for the 26th Annual Oxford University Byzantine Society International Graduate Conference on the 24th – 25th February, 2024. Papers are invited to approach the theme of ‘Transgression’ within the Late Antique and Byzantine world (very broadly defined). For the call for papers, and for details on how to submit an abstract for consideration for the conference, please see below.

The Late Antique and Byzantine world was a medley of various modes of transgression: orthodoxy and heresy; borders and breakthroughs; laws and outlaws; taxes and tax evaders; praise and polemic; sacred and profane; idealism and pragmatism; rule and riot. Whether amidst the ‘purple’, the pulpits, or the populace, transgression formed an almost unavoidable aspect of daily life for individuals across the empire and its neighbouring regions. The framework of ‘Transgression’ then is very widely applicable, with novel and imaginative approaches to the notion being strongly encouraged. In tandem with seeking as broad a range of relevant papers as possible within Late Antique and Byzantine Studies, some suggestions by the Oxford University Byzantine Society for how this topic might be treated include:

  • The Literary – deviance from established genres, styles or tropes; bold exploration of new artistic territory; penned subversiveness against higher authorities (whether discreetly or openly broadcasted); dissemination of literature beyond expected limits.
  • The Political – usurpers, revolts, breakaway regions, court intrigue, plots and coups; contravention of aristocratic or political hierarchies and their expectations; royal ceremonial and its changes, or imperial self-promotion and propaganda seeking to rupture or distort the truth.
  • The Geopolitical – stepping beyond or breaking through boundaries and borders, including invasions, expeditions, trade (whether in commodities or ideas), movements of peoples and tribes, or even the establishment of settlements and colonies.
  • The Religious and Spiritual – ‘Heresy’, sectarianism, paganism, esotericism, magic, and more; and, in reverse, all discussion of ‘Orthodoxy’, which so defined itself in opposition to that which it considered transgressive; monastic orders and practices (anchoritic and coenobitic) and their associated canons, themselves intertwined and explicative of what was deemed prohibited; holy fools and other individuals perceived as deviant from typical holy men.
  • The Social and Sartorial – gender-based expectations in public and private; the contravention (or enforcement) of status or class boundaries; proscribed or vagrant habits of dress, jewellery, fabrics, etc.
  • The Linguistic – transmission of language elements across regional borders or cultures, including loan words, dialectic and stylistic influences, as well as other topics concerning lingual crossover and interaction.
  • The Artistic and Architectural – the practice of spolia; the spread and mix of architectural styles from differing regions and cultures; cross-confessionalism evident from the layout or architecture of religious edifices; variant depictions of Christ and other holy figures; iconoclasm.
  • The Legal – whether it be examination of imperial law codes and their effectiveness or more localised disputes testified to by preserved papyri, all discussion concerning legal affairs naturally involves assessing transgressive behaviour and how it was viewed and handled.
  • It could even be that your paper’s relevance to ‘Transgression’ consists in its breaking out from scholarly consensus in a notable way!

 

Please send an abstract of no more than 250 words, with a short academic biography written in the third person, to the Oxford University Byzantine Society at byzantine.society@gmail.com by Monday 27th November 2023. 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, peer-reviewed by specialists in the field. Submissions should aim to be as close to the theme as possible in their abstract and paper, especially if they wish to be considered for inclusion in the edited volume. Nevertheless, all submissions are warmly invited.

The conference will have a hybrid format, with papers delivered at the Oxford University History Faculty and livestreamed for a remote audience. Accepted speakers should expect to participate in person.

Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies Autumn Lecture

The Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies UK, would like to invite you to our Autumn Lecture which will take place in Birmingham this November.

This year our speaker will be Henry Maguire, Professor Emeritus at John Hopkins University, who is going to be speaking about Byzantine gospel illustrations.

“Scenes Revolved in the Mind”: Allusion and Exegesis in Byzantine Gospel Illustration”

Wednesday 1st November, 1630
Venue: CAHA Museum, Arts 305, Arts Building, University of Birmingham, B15 2TT

Please book your ticket in advance here.

Call for Communications for the 55th SPBS Spring Symposium

The 55th Spring Symposium in Byzantine Studies will be held at the University of Kent (Canterbury, UK), from 13th-15th April 2024.

The topic is ‘Justice in Byzantium’.

Panels will cover aspects of social, civil, divine, and criminal justice, as well as concepts of revenge and unwritten/ written rules. Our keynote speaker is Daphne Penna (Groningen). Confirmed speakers include Dionysios Stathakopoulos (Cyprus), Carlos Machado (St Andrews), Arietta Papaconstantinou (Reading), Rosemary Morris (York), Anna Kelley (St Andrews), Lorena Atzeri (Milan), Mike Humphreys (Cambridge), Catherine Holmes (Oxford), Robert Wiśniewski (Warsaw), Caroline Humfress (St Andrews), Peter Sarris (Oxford), Matthijs Wibier (Cincinnati), Simon Corcoran (Newcastle), Dan Reynolds (Birmingham), Shaun Tougher (Cardiff), and Maroula Perisanidi (Leeds).

Those interested in presenting a Communication (15 mins max) should contact Laura Franco (laura.franco@libero.it) with a title and abstract by December 15th 2023. For any queries relating to the Symposium, please contact Anne Alwis (a.p.alwis@kent.ac.uk). Once the conference website with booking details is live, a further email will be circulated.

Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies

The Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies, University of Birmingham, has announced the new Seminar Series for 2023/24. These will be hybrid events, so please feel free to join via zoom, or on the Birmingham campus.
Time: Wednesdays 1300-1430 (Greenwich Mean Time)
To sign-up for virtual access, please visit our Ticket Source page: http://www.ticketsource.co.uk/centre-for-byzantine…
Semester 1
  • 4 October: (Hybrid/Strathcona LT1) Pan-Mediterranean Dialogues of Power and Prestige: Byzantine Architecture in Context (1330-1500).
    Jessica Varsallona (Edinburgh)
  • 18 October CBOMGS (Hybrid/Arts 104) Byzantine Sicily and Sardinia
    Luca Zavagno (Bilkent)
  • 8 November (Hybrid/Strathcona LT1) Seeing Paintings with the Touch: Inclusion and Accessibility in the Church of S. Ambrogio.
    Flavia Vanni (Salerno) 
  • 22 November (Hybrid/Arts 104) Dictating and Interpreting of Greek Notarial Documents in Late Medieval Venetian Crete. The Case of Nicolaos Agiostefanitis Ryota Takada (Tokyo)
  • 6 December (Hybrid/Arts 104) Nature in Palaiologan Romances
    Foivi Georgiadi (Athens)
Semester 2
  • 24 January Commerce & Crisis in the Eleventh-Century Empire of New Rome: The View from Ani
    Nik Matheou (Edinburgh)
  • 7 February Keeping Time: Temporal Imagery and Thought in the Calendars of Later Byzantium
    Peter Boudreau (Yale)
  • 28 February The Legacies of Ancient Theatre in Middle Byzantium
    Elena Gittleman (Bryn Mawr)
  • 13 March (NB. This seminar will begin at 1700) The Meaning of Jewellery in Byzantium: An Archaeological Perspective
    Georgios Makris (British Columbia)
  • 24 April Speech Difference and Disability Gain in Byzantium, c. 1000-1200
    Maroula Perisanidi (Leeds)

Elizabeth Jeffreys


On behalf of Michael Jeffreys and his family the SPBS is sorry to report that Elizabeth Jeffreys died painlessly early on the morning of 12.09.2023.  She was recovering well after a stroke two months ago, but had to go back to hospital on Sunday.

The world of Byzantine studies has lost a great scholar and a wonderful friend who was an inspiration to us all.

Continue reading “Elizabeth Jeffreys”