Owing to the ongoing pandemic, this year’s Spring Symposium was held exclusively online. Although this is far from our preference for future Symposia, a happy consequence is that the proceedigs were recorded for the first time. We are endeavouring to bring these recordings to a wider audience, once they have been appropriately edited and we have obtained permission from the speakers. Videos will be uploaded to our new YouTube channel.
Present highlights include Dr Dimitra Kotoula’s keynote (linked to this virtual exhibition, hosted by the British School at Athens) and the tributes of friends, students, and colleagues to the dearly-missed Dr Ruth Macrides, to whose memory the Symposium was dedicated.
A new page on this website also collects all of our recorded events together in one place: https://www.byzantium.ac.uk/recordings-of-events/.
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.
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.