Job: Professor (W1, tenure track) of the History of the Medieval Middle East and the Mediterranean

University of Tübingen, Germany

Deadline: 29 June 2020

The Faculty of Humanities at the University of Tübingen invites applications for a position in the Department of History, Medieval History section, as a Professor (W1, tenure track) of the History of the Medieval Middle East and the Mediterranean to commence as soon as possible.

The holder of this professorship will represent the History of the Medieval Middle East and the Mediterranean from the 7th to the 15th century.

The successful candidate will have a completed doctorate in the area within the advertised professorship which demonstrates potential for outstanding publications in leading international journals. He or she will be able to demonstrate teaching experience. Applicants will be expected to be able to read historical sources in at least two different languages in the area (Greek, Arabic, Syrian, Persian, Coptic, etc.). The holder of this position will be in a position to develop core research areas from both before and after the turn of the first millennium CE.

The successful candidate will be willing and able to collaborate on a broad thematic basis within the Faculty’s research centers and networks and in all study programs of the History Department.

This is a tenure-track position and is subject to an interim evaluation after four years and a final evaluation after six years. If the final evaluation is positive, the post will be upgraded to a full (W3) professorship after six years with no re-advertising of the position. The position has a teaching load of four hours per week prior to interim evaluation, and six hours thereafter.

For full details: https://uni-tuebingen.de/en/faculties/faculty-of-humanities/faculty/vacancies-job-offers/#c1077819.

Call for Papers: Licht aus dem Osten? Natural Light in Medieval Churches Between Byzantium and the West

Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, 26-27 November 2020 (or virtually)

Deadline: 15 June 2020

Throughout the medieval period, Christian churches were designed in such a way that natural light was deployed to underscore a variety of theological statements. The solutions usually found in Latin and Byzantine churches have been analysed in recent decades. However, the cultures that developed at the crossroads of the Latin, Greek, and Slavic cultural spheres, particularly in regions of the Balkan Peninsula and the Carpathian Mountains, advanced their own formulas for how to use natural light in ecclesiastical buildings. These solutions depended on know-how inherited from Antiquity, and were further shaped by local climatic, economic, and theological parameters. The present workshop invites papers on the economy of natural light in medieval churches constructed across Eastern Europe, from the Balkans to the Baltic Sea, and throughout the medieval period. Whether adopted or inspired from the more established traditions on the margins of the Mediterranean, local customs are examined in order to understand how natural light phenomena unfolded in ecclesiastical spaces, and how they related to the design, architecture, decorations, liturgical objects, or rituals performed inside the buildings. The multilayered analyses of light Inszenierung examined in this workshop cast light on the structuring of sacred spaces in the Byzantine-Slavic cultural spheres. Moreover, the expertise behind the deployment of these natural light effects reveals patterns of knowledge transfer and cultural interaction between Byzantium, the West, and the Slavic world that extended in regions of Eastern Europe during the Middle Ages.

Proposals for 30-minute papers in English should include the following: an abstract (300 words max.) and a brief CV (2 pages max.). Proposals should be emailed to the organizers of the workshop at aisulli[at]umich.edu and vladimir.ivanovici[at]usi.ch by 15 June 2020. Please include in the email subject line “Berlin Workshop Proposal”.

For all accepted presenters, the cost of travel, accommodations, and meals will be covered by the host institution through a grant sponsored by the VolkswagenStiftung and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Call for Papers: Catastrophes and Memory (500-1500 CE)

4th Edinburgh International Graduate Conference in Late Antique, Islamic and Byzantine Studies, University of Edinburgh, 19-20 November 2020

Deadline: 15 June 2020

Disasters (natural, manmade or “supernatural”) shape historical memory and our understanding of the past. This conference focuses on the problematic relations between catastrophes and memory in Late Antique, Islamic and Byzantine societies. Memory plays a crucial role in the way events are perceived, understood and narrated by different groups and elites: locals might see the conquest of their city as a catastrophe, while the conquerors portray the same as glorious or divinely inspired. We invite papers and posters that address issues and questions including, but not limited to:

· Natural/environmental: Plagues, earthquakes, famines/droughts, floods, fires, climate change
· Socio-cultural/linguistic: Iconoclasm, artistic and urban disruption/renewal, cultural vandalism, translation movements, language death and breaks in literary tradition
· Political/military: Conquests, coups, sieges, wars, revolts, revolutions, civil wars, usurpations, succession crises and religious/ “holy” wars (Crusade/Jihad)
· Religious: Heresies, schisms, theological or dogmatic conflict, new religions, apocalyptic traditions and eschatology
· Memory “devices” and strategies: How do memories of catastrophes manifest themselves in material culture, texts, images and other different sources? Where do we see evidence of intentional forgetting?
· Comparative/Interdisciplinary: Elites versus non-elite memory of catastrophes; geographical (Mediterranean and Eurasia); temporal (500-1500CE)
· The role of the 21st century cultural historian: What is and should be modern scholars’ role in situating catastrophe?

This conference will be hosted by the Late Antique, Islamic and Byzantine Society of the University of Edinburgh on November 19-20, 2020 in Edinburgh. We welcome papers and posters from postgraduate students and early career researchers from all disciplines with an interest in Late Antique, Islamic or Byzantine studies. Confirmed speakers include Dr. Leslie Brubaker and Dr. Foteini Spingou.

Papers: Presentation is 20 minutes in length, delivered in English.

Posters: Participants will present their research at a poster session. Dimensions should not exceed 70cm (width) x 100cm (height) and posters must be printed and brought by the author. We strongly encourage undergraduate, masters and first-year PhD students to summit posters of their dissertations or research.

To apply, please respond with an e-mail including whether you hope to present a paper or poster, an abstract of no more than 300 words, and a small academic biography of no more than 120 words to edibyzpg@ed.ac.uk. The deadline for submitting papers and posters is June 15, 2020.

Registration Fees (fee includes lunch both days):
· Students speakers: £15 before September 15, 2020; £20 after
· Non-Students speakers: £35 before September 15, 2020; £40 after

We will publish a selection of the papers in a peer-reviewed volume that will bring together the strongest contributions in each area to produce an edited volume of high-quality, deep coherence and rich variety.

Any questions please address to edibyzpg@ed.ac.uk.

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

Call for articles: Porphyra XXVIII

Plague and natural disaster

Deadline: 30 June 2020

During the long history of Byzantine Empire, the state and its people were vexed by many plagues and natural disasters. The plague that began during the era of Justinian is certainly the most well-known and was perhaps the most devastating pandemic that befell the Empire before the fourteenth-century Black Death. Primary texts vividly describe the diseases that struck the people of Constantinople and other Byzantine lands.

Other natural disasters are also very famous, whether they happened in the Aegean islands, some part of Anatolia, or in Constantinople. One of the most important was probably the disaster that happened during the reign of Leo III, which some coeval sources interpreted as a divine sign. With territory straddling multiple fault lines, many earthquakes in Byzantium damaged and destroyed notable cities like Antioch.

With plague and natural disaster as part of its imperial rhythm, Byzantium was able to endure repeated waves of crisis and restore and adapt socially, economically, and architecturally.

With this aim, Porphyra is launching a CFP for everyone interested in this particular topic. Topics may include but are not limited to literature, history, religion, and history of art.

In the light of these considerations and in the perspective of dedicating the next issue of Porphyra (XXVIII) to “Plague and natural disasters”, we invite interested professors, doctoral students, research doctors, young researchers and scholars to send their contributions to editor@porphyra.it before and no later than 30 June 2020.

Papers may be submitted in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Modern Greek. Contributions must be complete upon submission – a proposal is no longer sufficient for a contribution. Editorial rules must be followed precisely; otherwise the contribution will be rejected. To be accepted the article in full must comply with general scientific standards of research and publication, and be formatted according to Porphyra editorial rules (found on the website). Every article must be accompanied with a short English abstract (250-300 words max) and 10-15 keywords. It is also possible to submit monograph reviews (1500 words max).

For further details, see http://www.porphyra.it/call-for-papers/

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