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

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

Update: SPBS Spring Lecture postponed

The SPBS is sorry to announce that its Spring Lecture – ‘The fortifications of Byzantine and Crusader Cyprus’, by Dr James Petre – will be postponed indefinitely owing to ongoing measures against the spread of COVID-19. The lecture was due to take place on 31 March in Senate House, London. We intend to reschedule the event at a later date when public gatherings become more practicable. In the meantime, please stay well!

URGENT: Spring Symposium Postponement

A message from Professor Leslie Brubaker:

We are sorry to inform you that, due to the ongoing risks of the COVID-19 virus and the possibility of a full campus closure at the University of Birmingham, and on the advice of administrators, we have decided to postpone Nature and the Environment: the 53rd Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies until 27th-29th March 2021.

This postponement will not affect the advertised programme for Nature and the Environment, and we will look forward to welcoming you in Birmingham next year, should you still wish to attend.

If you have already paid for registration, and would still like to attend in 2021, we can roll over your registration until next year and keep the funds in our dedicated account. Alternatively, if you would prefer a refund, please feel to contact Daniel Reynolds (D.K.Reynolds@bham.ac.uk) or Thomas White (T.P.White@bham.ac.uk) in the University of Birmingham Department of History Office.

For those of you who have already booked travel, the majority of flight operators are offering to rebook flights for people whose travel plans have been disrupted by the virus. We also recommend that you contact your insurance company as soon as possible.

Further advice may be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

If you require a formal letter to confirm the cancellation of the event, we will be happy to provide one for you. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch. In either case, please contact Dan Reynolds or Tom White, as above.

With all best wishes, and please stay well!

Leslie Brubaker

Chair, SPBS and
Director, Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies
University of Birmingham, UK.

Fellowship: Short-Term Predoctoral Residencies

Dumbarton Oaks, Washington D.C., USA

Dumbarton Oaks offers a limited number of Short-Term Predoctoral Residencies for advanced graduate students who are preparing for their PhD general exams, writing their doctoral dissertations, or expecting relevant final degrees in the field of Byzantine, Pre-Columbian, or Garden and Landscape studies. Students who plan to conduct research in the fieldwork and photo collections, the rare book collection, or the museum collections are particularly encouraged to apply. The general library collections at Dumbarton Oaks contain more than 210,000 items in a variety of formats, while our rare book collection holds more than 10,000 volumes, prints, drawings, photographs, and blueprints. We welcome and encourage you to peruse our holdings in advance via the HOLLIS catalogue found here. Due to the short-term nature of the award, we are unable to process inter-library loan requests. Each residency provides two to four weeks of single accommodations and lunches on weekdays (with the exception of scheduled refectory closures). In addition, a Reader badge for access to the Library will be issued for the period of the residency. Applicants who live 75 or more miles from Washington, DC, will receive preference.

Successful applicants for residencies will be eligible to apply a second time before they receive their PhD degrees. The award of a residency does not preclude a subsequent award of a junior or a regular fellowship or a One-Month Research Award. Upon completion of the residency, recipients are asked to submit a research report to the Program Director, and to provide future degree completion and subsequent position placement information to the program.

For application details see: https://www.doaks.org/research/fellowships-and-awards/short-term-predoctoral-residencies

SPBS Subscription Rates

Please note that subscription fees for SPBS membership will be increasing on 1 January 2020, as announced at the Society’s AGM in March. Our subscription rates have been unchanged for decades and it has become necessary to raise them to support the Society’s continuing operation and ability to provide grants.

Standard membership will increase to £30/year, with student membership increasing to £15/year. All new members joining from 1 January will pay the new rates, while existing members will become liable only upon the date of their membership renewal; current Life members will of course remain unaffected.

Until January, new members are welcome to join at the present rates, either online or offline.

The Executive Committee thanks all the Society’s members for their continuing support for the promotion of Byzantine Studies.

Online Resource: North of Byzantium: Medieval Art, Architecture and Visual Culture in Eastern Europe

North of Byzantium (NoB) is a new initiative organized by Maria Alessia Rossi (The Index of Medieval Art) and Alice Isabella Sullivan (Getty/ACLS), and primarily sponsored by the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture. Through its annual events, NoB explores the rich history, art, and culture of the northern frontiers of the Byzantine Empire in Eastern Europe between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries, and aims to connect students, scholars, teachers, artists, and curators to resources related to the medieval and early modern artistic production of Eastern Europe.

Visit the NoB website and subscribe to receive news and updates.

We are in the process of developing this platform and we would be grateful for any further details and relevant information that we could add under “Resources” and “Related Events” – send us a note at northofbyzantium@gmail.com.