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.
19th July, 2019
Dear Signatories of the Petition,
We are pleased to inform you that the Monumenta Musicae Byzantinae can continue at the University of Copenhagen, where the project was founded in 1931. The notice of dismissal sent to the present project director, associate professor Christian Troelsgård, was revoked a few days ago, and an agreement has been made, according to which Prof. Troelsgård may for the next 3 years continue his Byzantine chant research activities, with the possibility of prolongation, provided that sufficient external funding has been raised before that time. His position, though, will be only part time (50%). As members of MMB’s Editorial Board, together with Prof. Troelsgård, we wish to thank all of you who have protested against the discontinuation and consequent loss of a precious research tradition, and have helped us to explain to the university authorities the true value of the MMB. Your support has been precious. MMB’s Editorial Board looks forward to continuing its collaboration with all the scholars who are engaged in research on Byzantine chant, especially as we seek new ways of sustaining the project in the longer term.
ON BEHALF OF THE MMB EDITORIAL BOARD
Prof. Nicolas BELL (Trinity College, Cambridge)
Prof. Francesco D’AIUTO (University of Rome “Tor Vergata”)
Prof. Sysse Gudrun ENGBERG (University of Copenhagen, emerita)
Prof. Christian HANNICK (Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, emeritus)
Prof. Christian THODBERG (University of Aarhus, emeritus)
Prof. Gerda WOLFRAM (University of Vienna, emerita)
Prof. John D. BERGSAGEL (former Director of MMB; University of Copenhagen, emeritus)
Prof. Tore Tvarnø LIND (secretary of MMB; University of Copenhagen)
All members of SPBS, and the wider community of Byzantine Studies, will be deeply saddened, and many devastated, to learn of the death of Dr Ruth Macrides on Saturday 27 April 2019.
Ruth was Reader in Byzantine Studies at the University of Birmingham where she had worked for twenty-five years and where she was a much loved colleague and friend. We will miss her terribly.
Our deepest sympathies are extended to her family at this time.
Colleagues in Birmingham have set up a tribute page for Ruth: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/activity/bomgs/news/2019/ruth-macrides.aspx.
Donations in memory of Ruth may be made to Médecins sans Frontières.
The Bryer Postgraduate Travel Fund was established in 2017 in memory of Prof. Anthony Bryer, who passed away on 22nd October 2016. The fund exists to support innovative, experimental and adventurous research by post-graduate researchers in Byzantine studies, particularly by supporting travel for research beyond the scope of conference grants or other structured events.
Following very successful initial fundraising, and thanks to the generosity of donors within and outside the field of Byzantine studies, the Fund will begin to award grants from March 2019. However fundraising continues, with the aim of increase the sums available to support research. Donations can now be made online via our website.