Solidarity Fund

SPBS International Byzantine Studies Congress 2022 Solidarity Fund for Turkish Scholars

The International Byzantine Studies Congress is the largest global gathering of scholars researching all aspects of the Byzantine world. The Congress has been organised by the International Association of Byzantine Studies (AIEB) since its inception in 1924 and takes place every five years. The venue is selected by national committees pitching their candidacy. In 2016, for the first time since 1955, and after an arduous campaign, Turkey won the nomination to host the 24th International Byzantine Studies Congress in 2021. However, as a result of the ongoing Covid19 pandemic, the Congress was moved to 2022 and a further change of venue was proposed as a matter of contingency. The Congress will now take place in Venice and Padua, in Italy.

Campaigning against Marginalisation

The Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies (SPBS) is aware that our Turkish colleagues, many of them early career researchers and students, were looking forward both to hosting the Congress and participating in its panels and roundtables. The relocation of the Congress risks marginalising colleagues in Turkey. Soon after the Congress was moved, a group of Turkish students raised legitimate concerns about the future of Byzantine Studies in Turkey, as well as the future presence and participation of Turkish scholars in our field.

Our Funding Goals

It is out of solidarity with our colleagues in Turkey, especially students and early career scholars, that the SPBS hopes to create an accessible source of funding that will cover the costs of attending the 2022 International Congress of Byzantine Studies in Italy. We are painfully aware of the dire economic situation in Turkey, one that has affected funding and opportunities for students and unestablished scholars. Moreover, we recognise the increasingly hostile border regimes adopted by many European countries. This is why we want to make sure that students and early career scholars from Turkey receive economic support to attend the Congress in 2022. We are fundraising to make sure that students and early career colleagues who were scheduled to give papers and participate in research events are able to do so at the 2022 Congress in Italy, and this includes ethnic and religious minority students and scholars resident in Turkey (including non-citizens).

The funds raised by this campaign will be used to cover visas, registration fees, travel, and accommodation, which are estimated to cost a minimum of £500 per person. Any leftover funds will spill over into a permanent fund to facilitate participation by students and early career scholars in the annual SPBS Spring Symposium.

Our Values

The SPBS is committed to academic pluralism and fostering a field of study that does not discriminate based on nationality, ethnicity, race, gender presentation and sexual orientation. We recognise the importance of a multiplicity of voices that will move the field forward by asking new questions and generating new forms of thinking and knowledge.

Please donate using the PayPayl button below and select “2022 Solidarity Fund“. We are very grateful for any donations received.