Exhibition: ‘A Piece of Nature’ Arts & Crafts Perceptions of Nature and the Byzantine Monument

https://nature.bsa.ac.uk/

The relationship between nature and architecture was particularly emphasized by the Arts & Crafts members as an expression of man’s inner-relationship with his natural surroundings. Historical architecture, in particular, had a central role in this interaction between man and the physical world. Medieval architecture, primarily the Gothic cathedral, was admired for its natural forms and the close almost mystical connections that it managed to establish with nature.

Pioneer architects of the British Arts & Crafts movement, such as Robert Weir Schultz and Sidney Barnsley of the British School at Athens BRF Archive, following the example of John Ruskin, William Morris and their Arts & Crafts masters, were among the first to record, document and study surviving Byzantine monuments in the Eastern Mediterranean. Their attitude towards the remains of Byzantine heritage in the region, eloquently reflected in their recordings and, later, publications, demonstrates a pronounced concern, at the footsteps of their masters, for the multiple interconnections between a historic building and its natural surroundings. Byzantine architecture was considered an essential part of the landscape and, vice versa, nature, the physical world, its forms and qualities were reflected in the historic building both in the way it developed as well as in impressive or even minute details in its architecture and decoration.

This exhibition was created for Nature and the Environment: the 53rd Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies, which was planned by the late Dr Ruth Macrides, and it is dedicated to her memory.

Seminar Series: Oxford Byzantine Graduate Seminar

Oxford Byzantine Graduate Seminar – Summer 2021

Mondays 12.30-14.00 BST, via Zoom

To register, please contact the organiser at james.cogbill@worc.ox.ac.uk

Monday 26th April
Katherine Krauss (Somerville College, Oxford), Rereading the ‘Canon’ in Latin Late Antiquity: Exemplarity and Allusion in Macrobius’ Saturnalia

Monday 3rd May
Alessandro Carabia (University of Birmingham), Defining the ‘Byzantine Variable’ in Early Byzantine Italy: The Case of Liguria (500-700 CE)

Monday 10th May
Cristina Cocola (Universiteit Gent & Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven), Feeling Repentance in Byzantium: A Study on the Literary Sources of Katanyktic Poetry

Monday 17th May
Ben Kybett (Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge), Themistius and the Muses: Religion, Rhetoric, and Classical Statuary in Fourth-Century Constantinople

Monday 24th May
Grace Stafford (Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz), Between the Living and the Dead: Use, Reuse, and Imitation of Painted Portraits in Late Antiquity

Monday 31st May
Josh Hitt (St. Hilda’s College, Oxford), Ageing, Rejuvenation and Patronage in Twelfth-Century Byzantium

Monday 7th June
Constanța Burlacu (Merton College, Oxford), Monastic Presence and Book Circulation in the Lands North of the Danube (15th-16th Centuries)

Monday 14th June
Kyriakos Fragkoulis (University of Birmingham), (Re)contextualising a Late Antique City through the Ceramic Record: The Case of Dion in Macedonia (Pieria, Greece)

Seminar Series: Byzantium and the Silk Roads

Byzantium at Ankara is happy to announce its new and exciting April Mini-Seminar Series entitled: “Byzantium and the Silk Roads” which includes Irene Giviashvili, Qiang Li, and Aniket Chettry as speakers.

We will start our scholarly trip on Friday 9 April (17.00 o’clock, Istanbul time) with Irene Giviashvili who will be talking about the “Intercultural dialogue between Georgia and Byzantium“.

For further info and registration go to https://www.byzantiumatankara.net/program-1 or send an email to byzantiumatankara@hotmail.com.

New Journal: Journal of Late Antique, Islamic and Byzantine Studies (JLAIBS)

We are pleased to announce the launch of a new journal, Journal of Late Antique, Islamic and Byzantine Studies (JLAIBS), https://www.euppublishing.com/loi/jlaibs, published by Edinburgh University Press. The JLAIBS as a hotspot for interdisciplinary dialogue aims to disseminate new approaches and methodologies that intend to transform our understanding of broader Late Antique and Medieval phenomena, such as knowledge transfer and cultural exchanges, by looking beyond single linguistic traditions or political boundaries. It provides a forum for high-quality articles on the interactions and cross-cultural exchange between different traditions and of the so-called Byzantine Empire and the Islamic world. Thematically, the journal also welcomes submissions dealing individually with Late Antique, Byzantine and Islamic literature, history, archaeology, and material culture from the fourth to the fifteenth century.

Articles should be written in English and can be up to 15,000 words in total length (i.e. including all footnotes, bibliography and any appendices). Submissions to Journal of Late Antique, Islamic and Byzantine Studies should be formatted in accordance with the full JLAIBS style guidelines (https://www.euppublishing.com/pb-assets/Notes_for_Contibutors/JLAIBS_Style_guide-1614190487.pdf), and sent as Word and PDF files to: jlaibs@ed.ac.uk

Editors:

Dr Petros Bouras-Vallianatos (University of Edinburgh)
Dr Marie Legendre (University of Edinburgh)
Dr Yannis Stouraitis (University of Edinburgh)

Editorial board:

Prof. Peter Adamson (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)
Prof. Gianfranco Agosti (Sapienza Università di Roma)
Assoc. Prof. Corisande Fenwick (University College London)
Prof. Robert Hoyland (New York University)
Prof. Marc Lauxtermann (University of Oxford)
Prof. Maria Mavroudi (University of California, Berkeley)
Prof. Annliese Nef (Université Paris 1 Panthéon)
Prof. Dr Johannes Pahlitzsch (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz)
Assoc. Prof. Arietta Papaconstantinou (University of Reading)
Assoc. Prof. Maria Parani (University of Cyprus)
Prof. Samuel Rubenson (Lund University)
Assoc. Prof. Kostis Smyrlis (National Hellenic Research Foundation/Athens)
Assoc. Prof. Jack Tannous (Princeton University)
Assoc. Prof. Alicia Walker (Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania)

SPBS Virtual Visit to Dumbarton Oaks

5pm (UK time) 29 April 2021

SPBS would like to invite all its members and supporters to come and visit the Dumbarton Oaks Byzantine Collection in Washington DC in the company of one of its curators, Dr Elizabeth Williams. Elizabeth will be introducing highlights from the collection under the title ‘Worldly Adornments: A Virtual Object Session with Textiles and Jewelry at Dumbarton Oaks’. There will be opportunities to ask questions during and after the talk. The event will be run through Zoom. If you would like to attend, please contact the SBPS Secretary, Dr Tim Greenwood, by email [twg3@st-andrews.ac.uk] and he will supply further instructions for joining the first ever SPBS Virtual Visit.

DO visit poster

“On Being Conquered in Byzantium” Virtual Symposium

16-17 April 2021

The famous adage that history is written by the victors may have become a truism, but the voices of conquered people have never been fully silenced—rather, we may not have been interested in hearing them. All too often, historiography (by no means limited to Byzantine studies) has focused on great-man histories, impersonal studies of societies, or the “longue durée,” all modes that diminish the importance of subjective individual experiences of people who were not great or who were not men.

This symposium therefore aims to refocus the collective scholarly gaze of Byzantinists away from the victors in war and toward the vanquished; away from heroes and rulers and toward victims and casualties; away from the political, economic, historical, and social causes of war and toward the personal and subjective experience of it; away from the insistence of dominant voices and toward the recuperation of marginalized ones.

Bringing together twelve specialists in literature, history, art history, and contemporary cultural theory, this symposium seeks to better understand both how Byzantines themselves understood being conquered and, as importantly, what being conquered in Byzantium can mean for us now.

Free and open to the public. Register here.

Dumbarton Oaks Virtual Museum Study Day

Deadline: March 28, 2021

How did objects convey information about individuals and society in Late Antiquity and Byzantium? Much like today, people of these periods carefully constructed their public personas through textiles, jewelry, seals, and other artifacts. This workshop will consider how modern-day notions of identity apply to premodern concepts of individuals’ relationships to their broader social, religious, gender, ethnic, and official communities. In addition, we will discuss the pragmatic challenges of displaying objects associated with individuals in museum contexts.

This year’s Dumbarton Oaks Museum Study Day will go virtual. We can accommodate up to 12 graduate students in art history, archaeology, history, classics, religious studies, and other fields who might benefit from close engagement with our collections and from training in material culture approaches.

To apply, please submit a CV and cover letter with a brief summary of the candidate’s research interests, plans for future research, and an explanation of why attendance is important to the candidate’s intellectual and professional development. All materials should be submitted to byzantine@doaks.org.

Professor Cyril Mango

The Executive of the Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies (the British National Committee) is grateful for the many kind letters of condolence that we have received since the sad death of Professor Cyril Mango. The loss is truly an international one, and there are few words that could do justice to such an intellectual giant. We will post a short obituary in the forthcoming Bulletin of British Byzantine Studies, and a full obituary in the next one.

Professor Dame Averil Cameron, President

Professor Leslie Brubaker, Chair

Professor Cyril Mango

It is with great sadness that the Society for the Promotion Byzantine Studies (UK) announces the death of our distinguished colleague Professor Cyril A. Mango. (14 April 1928 – 8 February 2021).

SPBS Spring Symposium: Nature and the Environment

The 53rd Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies

27-29 March 2021

Due to the ongoing disruption caused by the COVID-19 shutdown and related travel restrictions in the UK, we have decided to move Nature and the Environment: the 53rd Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies online.

The Symposium programme will go ahead as planned and will be hosted via the University of Birmingham’s webinar facilities. If you have already paid for your registration via the University of Birmingham website, we will be in touch shortly to arrange a full refund.

Registration for the online Symposium is now open.

In view of the shift to an online format, we have reduced the registration fees and have implemented a small cost to cover administrative expenses. Full details, including the updated programme, are available here.