Call for Papers: Armenia & Byzantium Without Borders III

Graduate and Early Career Workshop

Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna, Austria, 8–10 May 2020

Deadline: 31 October 2019

Within the framework of ‘Moving Byzantium: Mobility, Microstructure and Personal Agency,’ a five-year project funded through the Wittgenstein-Prize (, ‘Armenia & Byzantium without Borders III’ is a three-day workshop focusing on social and cultural mobility between Armenia and Byzantium in the Middle Ages. This workshop continues a scholarly conversation initiated in April 2018 at the University of Vienna by Dr. Emilio Bonfiglio and Prof. Claudia Rapp and now run in joint partnership with Dr. David Zakarian and Prof. Theo Maarten van Lint at the University of Oxford. The 2020 Workshop will be held at the Division of Byzantine Research, Institute for Medieval Research, of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

We invite advanced PhD candidates and early career scholars working in the fields of Late Antique, Armenian, Byzantine, and Middle Eastern Studies to submit proposals for 20 min. papers connected with the main topics of ‘Moving Byzantium’, with a focus on aspects of social and cultural mobility of persons, objects, and/or ideas between Armenia and Byzantium throughout the Middle Ages. We are particularly interested in new research showing interaction and communication on both literary and material grounds between the Byzantine world and the Armenians.

Papers presented at the workshop will be accompanied by a senior scholar’s 10 min. response, followed by a general discussion. The workshop will be inaugurated with the lecture of our keynote speaker, Dr. Tim Greenwood from the University of St Andrews.

Travel and accommodation expenses of scholars selected for presentation at the workshop will be covered by the ‘Moving Byzantium’ project.

Paper proposals including:
· University affiliation
· Graduate level
· Title of the paper
· Abstract (300 words max)
· CV

Must be sent by the 31st of October 2019 to Dr. Emilio Bonfiglio ( and our project-coordinator Dr. Paraskevi Sykopetritou (

The 53rd Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies

University of Birmingham, 28-30 March 2020

Nature and the environment underpinned Byzantine life but have been little studied. How the Byzantines responded to, interacted with and understood the landscape, however, enables crucial new insights into East Roman perceptions of the world. Modern interest in the environment and eco-history makes this theme pertinent and timely. Current research on climate change and how it affected the East Mediterranean creates new paradigms for our understanding of Byzantine interactions with the environment. The 53rd Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies draws together Byzantine literary and visual responses to nature and the environment as well as showcasing the most recent scientific research on historical climate change and environmental management in Byzantium.

This symposium was planned by Dr Ruth Macrides (University of Birmingham) and will be dedicated to her memory. The first two sessions of the symposium will consist of tributes to Ruth’s life and career by her former students and colleagues.

The Symposium will be followed, on Monday afternoon (30 March), by the second in what is planned as a regular series of professional development workshops targeted at Byzantine postgraduate students and sponsored by the SPBS. The workshop, Climate, environment and history, is intended to help early career academics in the humanities familiarize themselves with some of the key aspects of studying the way past human societies have interacted with their physical and climatic environments. Presenters will explain key methodological and interpretational issues and discuss how to avoid misunderstanding or misusing palaeoenvironmental and palaeoclimatic research results.

Information about registration, accommodation and communications will be released in November 2019.

Call for Papers: Third International Conference on Byzantine and Medieval Studies

Nicosia, Cyprus, 17-19 January 2020

UPDATED Deadline: 19 September 2019

The Byzantinist Society of Cyprus (ΒΕΚ: Βυζαντινολογική Εταιρεία Κύπρου) invites papers to be presented at the Third International Conference on Byzantine and Medieval Studies, to be held in Nicosia, Cyprus, between the 17th and the 19th of January 2020.

Scholars, researchers and students are encouraged to present their ongoing research, work-in-progress or fieldwork report on any aspect of the history, archaeology, art, architecture, literature, philosophy and religion of Cyprus and the broader Mediterranean region during the Byzantine, Medieval and Ottoman periods. The languages of the conference will be Greek, English, French and German.

Honorary President: Theodoros Giagkou, Professor, University of Thessaloniki
Keynote Speaker: Enrico Zanini, Professor, Università di Siena
Scientific and Organizing Committee: Nikolas Bakirtzis (Chair), Stavros Georgiou, Doria Nicolaou, Andriani Georgiou, Christina Kakkoura, Rania Michail, Thomas Costi, Ourania Perdiki, Despina Papacharalampous, Thanasis Koutoupas, Christina Roditou, Andreas Foulias.

Paper proposal submission material (see formatting details below):
Every paper proposal submission must be accompanied by an abstract between 300 and 500 words summarizing the presented research, report or work-in-progress and indicating its original contribution.
Please provide the requested information and submit your abstracts using our online application forms:
Sessions of up to five papers can be submitted together in the following form by the session organizer: proposals will be reviewed based on their abstract and accepted on merit. This review will be anonymous. Notification of paper review will be send by email by the beginning of October, 2019. Papers will be grouped in sessions according to their topic and theme. Each participant may deliver only one paper limited to 20 minutes. Accepted paper abstracts will be published in the conference’s ‘Book of Abstracts’.
Graduate Paper Awards: The best graduate student papers will be selected and awarded upon the conclusion of the conference.
The conference is organized by the Byzantinist Society of Cyprus. For membership information please visit the society’s website:
For inquiries send email to:

Paper proposal preparation instructions
When submitting your proposal through our online application form, you will be asked to provide the following information:
Name, position or graduate status and academic affiliation (e.g. Prof., University of…), email address, address, phone, title of paper, abstract.
If you encounter technical difficulties with our online application form, you may also send us your proposal via email (, in the following format:
Prepare the paper proposal as a single Microsoft WORD document. Font: Times New Roman, 12 point. Line spacing: single.

Cover Sheet
Include the following information in the listed order. Please align text left and allow a blank line between each information detail:
Name, position or graduate status and academic affiliation (i.e. Prof., University of…), address, phone, email address, title of paper.

Title line: No more than two lines. Do not use an all capital-letters title. Boldface and centered. Skip one line.
Author line: Author’s name followed by institutional affiliation in parentheses or, for independent scholars their city. No titles or degrees (i.e. Prof., Dr, PhD). Boldface and centered. Lower case, capitalize first letters of words. Skip two lines.
Abstract text: Justify text. No intend in the first line of paragraphs. Skip one line between paragraphs. Foreign language words transliterated and italicized. No footnotes or images. The abstract text is the sole responsibility of the author/s and will be included in the Book of Abstracts.

Conference: Mapping the Sacred in Byzantium: Construction, Experience and Representation

Newcastle University, 20-21 September 2019

Registration Deadline: 8 September 2019

The “spatial turn” of the past decades has not only revived interest in space as an object of academic inquiry, but also contributed to new ways of understanding it. Notions of space as a territorially fixed and clearly delimited and confined container or background for human action have been challenged by the works of scholars such as Lefebvre or Bakhtin. Anthropological and sociological frameworks have emphasised the production and organisation of space as social processes through which meanings and narratives (sometimes conflicting) are created and ascribed. Spaces are thus permeated by, and shape, beliefs, ideas and meaning, which reflect on their configuration, as well as the use and symbolic value they are socially given. Novel approaches have focused on the experience and expression of emotional responses engendered by spaces, such as spiritual empowerment, as the social has given way to the personal experience of constructing, perceiving and perpetuating space. For the particular case of creating sacred space, Lidov’s hierotopic vision has brought to the fore the performative spatial aspect of iconic imagery. Likewise, in literary texts, spatial representation is not only understood as an indispensable canvas for the plot, but as a vehicle for cultural meaning, norms and hierarchies of values. Consequently, space sheds light on cultural environment and lived experience. This conference brings together scholars of Byzantium to explore new ways to think of, and assess, the construction, experience and representation of sacred space in Byzantium, aiming to contribute to the research on spatial paradigms and practices. It addresses spatial themes, both theoretically and empirically, from the perspective of literary studies, with insights from archaeology, art history and theology.

Further information and a full programme can be found at:

Registration is online here.

Call for Papers: Inspiration and Institution in Christian History

Ecclesiastical History Society Winter Meeting, Carr’s Lane Chapel, Birmingham, 18 January 2020

Deadline: 31 October 2019

The Winter Meeting continues with the 58th Summer Conference theme of Inspiration and Institution. As ever, the intention is to attract a broad spectrum of papers from across the history of Christianity.

Since the apostolic age, the history of Christianity and Christian churches has seen a constant dialectic between inspiration and institution: how the ungoverned spontaneity of Spirit-led religion negotiates its way through laws, structures and communities. If institutional frameworks are absent or insufficient, new, creative and dynamic expressions of Christianity can disappear or collapse into disorder almost as quickly as they have flared up. If those frameworks are excessively rigid or punitive, they can often quench the spirit of any new movements. Without dynamic movements of this kind, even well-functioning church institutions struggle to avoid sclerosis. And once institutionalised, inspirational movements can change their nature remarkably quickly, whether by calcifying or by settling down from sectarian unruliness into denominational respectability.

The deadline for proposals of 20-minute papers on the theme is 31 October 2019. For full details, see

Call for Papers: Crusading in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries: Encounters & Representations

Society for the Study of the Crusades and the Latin East 9th International Conference: Crusading Encounters (Royal Holloway, University of London, 29 June–3 July 2020)

Deadline: 1 October 2019

Organisers: Charlotte Gauthier, Katherine J. Lewis, Francesca Petrizzo. Sponsored by the Northern Network for the Study of the Crusades.

In the prologue to his Godeffroy of Boloyne, published in 1481, William Caxton explains that when reading of Godfrey’s exploits during the First Crusade he discerned striking similarities between Godfrey’s time and his own. Just as Godfrey had fought the enemies of Christendom, so modern men needed to do the same; Caxton warns that, even as was writing, the Ottoman Turks were occupying Otranto in Southern Italy and from there threatening the whole of Western Europe. These dangerous circumstances compelled him to make Godfrey’s life available in English to offer inspiration and encouragement for a crusade. Caxton’s prologue is often cited as evidence of the continuing currency of crusading in the later Middle Ages. Crusading continued to be an actual experience for many men in this period, and for others it was an influential pious and/or chivalric aspiration. Yet in comparison to the wealth of scholarship considering the ‘classic’ era of crusading, there continues to be rather less investigation of crusading in the later medieval and early modern periods. We therefore invite papers which consider any aspect of crusading in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, relating to the SSCLE conference theme of ‘Crusading Encounters’. We welcome offers of papers from scholars working in the areas of history, literature, art, archaeology, musicology or any other relevant discipline.

Paper topics might include, but are not limited to:

· Crusading enterprises and encounters in specific geographic areas
· Crusade-related diplomatic encounters
· Encounters with the ‘Other’ and representations of alterity: Turks, heretics, and other crusade antagonists
· Memorialisation of crusading: national/familial/individual
· Artistic, literary and fictional responses to crusading
· Appropriations and representations of earlier crusades and crusaders as part of the contemporary rhetoric of holy war
· Intersections between crusading, chivalry and lordship
· Crusading and gender – in relation to women and/or men
· Medievalism: modern depictions of fifteenth and sixteenth century crusades and crusaders

Please send abstracts of c. 300 words to by 1 October 2019.

Call for Papers: Moving Byzantium IV

International Medieval Congress, Leeds, 6-9 July 2020

Deadline: 2 September 2019

We invite scholars at all career stages to submit proposals for fifteen-minute papers connected with the main topics of “Moving Byzantium”, with a particular focus on aspects of geographical, social and cultural mobility within and beyond the Byzantine Empire, and with or without direct focus on the thematic strand of the 2020 IMC “Borders”. We are particularly interested in research based on new material, novel interpretations and innovative methods which also locates Byzantium and its neighbours in a wider comparative framework.

For scholars selected for presentation in the sessions of “Moving Byzantium”, the Full Four Day Registration for the IMC (standard rate or student rate) will be covered by our project, while we expect participants to secure their own funding for their expenses for travel and accommodation.

Please send paper proposals (300 words max.), in English, accompanied by a short (300 words max.) CV including affiliation, career stage and research interests, by 2 September 2019 to Dr. Paraskevi Sykopetritou, Project Coordinator: Papers will be selected by 12 September 2019 and successful candidates must confirm their participation by 17 September 2019.

Further information can be found at the link below:

Exhibition: Languages of God: Sacred Scripts of Ethiopia and Eritrea

Blackwell Hall, Weston Library, Oxford, 27 July-13 October 2019

The collection of Ethiopic manuscripts in the Bodleian Library in Oxford is one of the most significant in Europe. Members of the Ethiopian and Eritrean communities from Oxford, London, and Milton Keynes have worked with the Bodleian to co-curate this display which will help us to find out more about these precious books and manuscripts and share them with the public.

The exhibition is part of an ongoing Bodleian Libraries project in partnership with the Faculty of Classics and the Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research, and is supported by the John Fell Fund and The Helen Hamlyn Trust.

For further details about the exhibition,

For more information about this collaborative project, or to join the mailing list, please email