Call for Papers: Colour, Emotion and Senses

Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies, University of Birmingham, May 2021

Deadline: 31 July 2020

We are pleased to announce the Call for Papers for the 21st Postgraduate Colloquium of the Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies at the University of Birmingham, U.K.

Papers and posters are invited on the theme of colour, emotion and the senses. The investigation of the above themes has the potential to grant insight into the everyday experiences of people, transcending class, gender and race. This colloquium aims to explore the lives of people across the eastern Mediterranean from a variety of perspectives, from Late Antiquity through to the Present Day, from textual sources to visual culture and archaeology.

Keynote Speaker: Professor Margaret Mullett, Harvard University/Dumbarton Oaks emerita.

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

– Taste, food and feasting
– Sound and celebration
– Family, kinship and relations
– Religion and the sensory experience
– Music and dance
– Costume and colour

Papers of approximately 20 minutes or posters (maximum size A1) related to any of the fields covered by Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies are welcome. Please submit abstracts of no more than 250 words no later than 31 July 2020 to 2020CBOMGScolloquium@gmail.com.

For further details, see https://gemuob.wordpress.com/annual-colloquium-3/

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.

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!

The 53rd Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies

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.

https://www.byzantium.ac.uk/the-53rd-spring-symposium-of-byzantine-studies/