Sensory Reflections: Traces of Experience in Medieval Artifacts

Sensory Reflections: Traces of Experience in Medieval Artifacts, Session at 51st International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI, May 12–15, 2016

The rich potential of medieval matter (most obviously manuscripts and visual imagery, but also liturgical objects, coins, textiles, architecture, amulets, graves, etc.) to complement and even transcend purely textual sources is by now well established in medieval scholarship across the disciplines. So, too, attention to medieval sensory experiences—most prominently emotion—has transformed our understanding of medieval religious life and spirituality, violence, power, and authority, friendship, and constructions of both the self and the other.  This session draws the two approaches together, plumbing medieval material sources for traces of sensory experience—above all ephemeral and physical experiences that, unlike emotion, are rarely fully described or articulated in texts. Papers should address some of the varied ways that the experiences of the senses could be communicated (or constructed) through medieval objects.   

Fiona Griffiths, Stanford University
Kathryn Starkey, Stanford University

Stanford University Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies

Medieval Tablescapes, Dining, and the Visual Culture of Food

Medieval Tablescapes, Dining, and the Visual Culture of Food, Session at 23rd International Medieval Congress, Leeds, July 4–7, 2016

In connection with the broad theme of Leeds, “Food, Feast & Famine,” the Student Committee of the International Center for Medieval Art (ICMA) seeks proposals for 15-20 minute papers that examine the roles of food, dining, and production in the visual culture of all periods and geographies of the Middle Ages. Food is a thread that links together religious and secular, elites and peasants, and is a theme that welcomes papers on the humblest as well as the most lavish objects and buildings.

Possible topics include but are not limited to: depictions of food, feasting, or food preparation in sculpture, manuscripts, or other media; the Eucharist as food; representations of food and hospitality for travellers or pilgrims; the automatons, textiles, metalworks, and other objects that were used in feast or banquet settings; the architecture of feasting or food-preparation spaces; the depiction of patron saints of food-producing guilds (e.g. winemakers), and even representations of abstinence from food.

Kress travel grants might be available for presenters to supplement the cost of travel.

The Student Committee of the International Center of Medieval Art involves and advocates for all members with student status. As a committee that addresses the concerns of students, we see this session as a forum for discussion and informal mentorship within our field.

Meg Bernstein, U.C.L.A.

International Center of Medieval Art Student Committee

Christ’s College Junior Research Fellowships 2016

Christ’s College, University of Cambridge, invites applications for a stipendiary Junior Research Fellowship. The Fellowship will normally be tenable for four years from not later than 1st October 2016 and is not renewable.

This year a stipendiary JRF is open to those whose research is principally in one or more of the following subject areas:

  • Asian & Middle Eastern Studies
  • Architecture
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • History
  • History of Art
  • History & Philosophy of Science
  • Land Economy
  • Linguistics
  • Modern & Medieval Languages
  • Music
  • Theology

Applications are invited from candidates who hold a first degree, or a higher degree or who are studying for a higher degree. Candidates are advised that a Junior Research Fellowship is intended for a researcher early in their career and offers an opportunity to carry out novel research in a stimulating academic environment.

A successful applicant is expected to be either a graduate student, probably in the latter stages of research leading to a PhD Degree (or equivalent), or a post-doctoral researcher who has completed their PhD Degree after 1 January 2015. Candidates who do not fulfill these criteria are unlikely to be considered.

Candidates should not hold or have held a stipendiary research fellowship at another Oxford or Cambridge college.

Associate Editor, Publications, American Historical Association

The Associate Editor, Publications serves in a variety of capacities at the American Historical Association’s headquarters office, editing and writing articles on issues vital to the discipline for historians in all fields and professions for the Association’s monthly newsmagazine, Perspectives on History, and blog, AHA Today. The associate editor will also contribute to the long-term strategy of the Association’s publications and media presence.


  • Work with the editor of Perspectives and the Associate Editor, Web Content and Social Media to plan, solicit, and develop content for print and online publications.
  • Initiate, develop, and write news stories and other articles for Perspectives, Perspectives Online, and AHA Today.
  • Manage and coordinate sections of Perspectives as needed and agreed upon with the editor.
  • Track Perspectives and AHA Today stories from manuscript to publication.
  • Copyedit and proofread other feature articles and correspond with authors about suggested revisions as needed.
  • Track articles through the review process and maintain related databases.
  • Collaborate with the Associate Editor, Web Content and Social Media in the development of a dynamic social media presence.
  • Assist with responding to media queries and outreach to media organizations.
  • Participate in planning and implementing activities relating to annual meeting (assigned as needed, with flexibility).
  • Other duties that may arise necessary to the functioning of the Association.


  • PhD in history or related field preferred. ABDs and MAs with significant relevant experience may also apply.
  • Strong writing skills and the ability to write for a range of different audiences.
  • Some experience with editing and proofreading.
  • Working knowledge of digital publication technologies and content management systems, and familiarity with social media.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects both collaboratively and individually.
  • Experience with data management, analysis, and visualization a plus

Review of applications begins immediately.


Interfaith Relations in the Fourteenth Century

Interfaith Relations in the Fourteenth Century, Session at 51st International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI, May 12–15, 2016

The session will explore how the many crises of the fourteenth century (famines, economic problems, the plague, etc.) affected interfaith relations in Northern Europe and the Mediterranean, and in both the Christian and the Islamic worlds. It will also consider the role of other factors in shaping attitudes toward the religious “other” during the fourteenth century, such as new trends in religious culture and spirituality, political transformations, social pressures, and changes in the balance of power between Christians and Muslims in the Mediterranean. Finally, the session will seek to include papers that demonstrate continuities, as well as breaks, with the medieval traditions of toleration for religious minorities.

Fourteenth Century Society

Mediterranean Worlds 7

Mediterranean Worlds 7, Université de Toulon, September 15–17, 2015

MedWorlds: 7th International Conference of Mediterranean Worlds on the subject “Socio-economic and cultural exchanges in the Mediterranean: continuities and ruptures” will take place September 15–17, 2015, at the Université de Toulon (France).

The aim of this conference is to raise the issue of exchanges according to a multidisciplinary approach and analyze the aspect of continuity and disintegration from a critical point of view. Ever since the unification of the Mare Nostrum by the Romans up until the contemporary cultural mosaic resulting from European colonial empires, the Mediterranean region represents, as a center of exchanges and a crossroads between different civilizations, a long and diversified history. This diversity can be seen in the range of both conflicting identities as well as the interaction between cultures, in exclusion and integration, and in cleavages and intermingling. Insofar as exchanges imply the acknowledgement of diversity, as well as mobility, transformation and change, they may not be considered to be purely descriptive and static. They need to be placed within the context of a dialectic involving continuity and disintegration, openness and rejection, and with all the risks this may entail for Mediterranean identities, hovering between an anthropological continuum and the disintegration of civilizations.


Non-Muslim Contributions to Islamic Civilisation

Edinburgh University Press announces Non-Muslim Contributions to Islamic Civilisation, a new series which explores the understudied yet immense contributions of non-Muslims to the richness of Islamic civilisation and the complex interplay between cultures.

Non-Muslim Contributions to Islamic Civilisation, published by Edinburgh University Press, with series editors Carole Hillenbrand and Myriam Wissa is a new book series which deviates from the traditional focus on interfaith relations, and vividly brings to life the long, complex and varied contributions of non-Muslims in Islamic history and culture from late antiquity to early modernity (500 and 1800 CE.).

The series focuses on the contributions  of Jews, Christians (including Armenians, Copts, Ethiopians, Georgians, Mozarabs and Syriacs) Samaritans, Mandeans, Hermetics, Harranians, Zoroastrians and peripheral cultures such as the Hindu, Buddhist, Confucian, Taoist, “Shamanist” and African  traditions to the intellectual, ideological, legal, economic and technological development of Islamic civilisation.  

The series embraces the wide range of approaches and scholarship, transforming our view of the driving forces behind the formation of Islamic civilisation and how the management of its development has run hand in hand with its political expansion. It will highlight the social and cultural interactions that this expansion produced, while the new interactions with India, China and Central Asia set them in a broader context.

It aims to promote a more holistic approach which provides a new analysis of non-Muslim contributions in order to transcend issues from various disciplinary perspectives: philosophy, methods of theological debate, science, medicine, astronomy, astrology, alchemy, literature, administration, notions of rule, law, techniques such as irrigation and agriculture among other topics. The series also considers the relationships between trade, religion and state practices and documents the work of people in the trading towns connecting the Middle East, the Mediterranean, India, inland Asia, South Asia and beyond. By doing so it offers insights into how this dynamic shaped the contours of the diverse Islamic space.

This series will include monographs, edited volumes, and advanced textbooks written in English from established and younger scholars alike, offering a balance of interests, vertically through the period from 500 to 1800 or horizontally across the Islamic Caliphate and beyond. Proposals are invited from authors with a completed Book Proposal Form. We welcome ambitious writing projects, niche titles and as well as important books requiring translation.

Tsakopoulos Hellenic Collection Library Research Fellowship Program 2015-2016

Thanks to generous continued funding from the Elios Charitable Foundation and additional funding from the Tsakopoulos Hellenic Foundation, the University Library - California State University, Sacramento is pleased to announce the continuation of the Library Research Fellowship Program to support the use of the Tsakopoulos Hellenic Collection by fellows for scholarly research in Hellenic studies while in residence in Sacramento. The Program provides a limited number of fellowships ranging from $1,000 to $4,000 in the form of reimbursement to help offset transportation and living expenses incurred during the tenure of the awards and is open to external researchers anywhere in the world at the doctoral through senior scholar levels (including independent scholars) working in fields encompassed by the Collection's strengths who reside outside a 150-mile radius of Sacramento. Only researchers on unpaid leave or with partial funding from their home institution and/or other sources are eligible for fellowship funding under this Program. Researchers on fully-paid leave from their home institution or with full outside research fellowships are not eligible to receive fellowship funding; they may, however, be appointed as Research Scholars through a separate application process.

The term of fellowships can vary between two weeks and three months, depending on the nature of the research, and for the current cycle will be tenable from Oct. 1, 2015–June 30, 2016. Fellows are responsible for making their own travel and accommodation arrangements.

Journal of Greek Archaeology

Archaeopress announces the Journal of Greek Archaeology, a new international English-language journal specializing in synthetic articles and in long reviews.

The scope of this journal is Greek archaeology both in the Aegean and throughout the wider Greek-inhabited world, from earliest Prehistory to the Modern Era. Thus we include contributions not just from traditional periods such as Greek Prehistory and the Classical Greek to Hellenistic eras, but also from Roman through Byzantine, Crusader and Ottoman Greece and into the Early Modern period. Outside of the Aegean contributions are welcome covering the Archaeology of the Greeks overseas, likewise from Prehistory into the Modern World. Greek Archaeology for the purposes of the JGA thus includes the Archaeology of the Hellenistic World, Roman Greece, Byzantine Archaeology, Frankish and Ottoman Archaeology, and the Postmedieval Archaeology of Greece and of the Greek Diaspora.

The first issue of the journal will be in October 2016 and thereafter it will appear annually and incorporate original articles, research reviews and book reviews. Subscriptions will be available in print and e-format.

Editor: Prof. J. Bintliff, School of History, Classics & Archaeology, Edinburgh University

Embodiment: Senses, Body, and Space in Medieval Art and Architecture

Embodiment: Senses, Body, and Space in Medieval Art and Architecture, Session at 51st International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI, May 12–15, 2016

This session explores the relationship created between the physical body of the viewer and art objects, paintings, or architecture. Topics might include the way in which a cycle of wall-paintings encourages the viewer's body to trace a certain path through space, the ways in which a manuscript miniature can evoke the senses of touch, hearing, taste or even smell, and the way a casket creates a physical relationship with its owner/beholder who touches and opens it. This topic draws upon recent scholarly emphases on materiality, materialism, thing theory, sensuality, and the embodied nature of experience. Western medieval, Byzantine, Islamic, or other medieval objects/sites may be considered. Traditional object-based and more recent theoretical examinations are welcome.

Amanda Luyster, College of the Holy Cross

Local Sanctity in the Global Middle Ages: The Material Promotion of New Saints c. 1000–1250

Local Sanctity in the Global Middle Ages: The Material Promotion of New Saints c. 1000–1250, Session at 51st International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI, May 12–15, 2016

Saints’ cults and canonizations had the potential to stimulate dynamic cultural and artistic turning points for their institutions. While such cults have been studied as separate phenomena for individual sites, shrines, and saints, or approached with more comprehensive questions of contemporary piety and religion, this session will address moments of artistic and material responses to the development of local saints. New saints or relics as well as revitalized cults had fundamental consequences for each place, seen in streams of pilgrims or rising revenues for local institutions, subsequent building campaigns and new furnishings for the churches. Canonizations or the recollection of ancient traditions and relics were also often the result of a spiritual flourishing (re)focusing on the history of individual institutions, cathedral chapters as well as monastic communities. There are numerous prominent examples of the promotion of local sanctity for the period from the 11th to the middle of the 13th century, including Bernward and Godehard of Hildesheim, Charlemagne in Aachen, or Elisabeth of Marburg.

The sessions will also seek to explore the tension between local and global concerns: What outside forces and developments were contributing to this turn inward to „hometown“ saints? In the construction of the new, local saint, what material elements are included or referenced in books, shrines, and reliquaries to evoke a connection to Rome and the Holy Land? And to what degree do local artifacts come to stand for the site’s holy past? More broadly, papers should discuss questions such as: What happened in the context of the canonization of a saint, the advent of relics, and their flourishing veneration in and around the medieval church? How was the development of a given cult marked by significant building campaigns, changes of liturgy or donations? What objects were donated and what do we know about their purpose and assignment?

One focus will be on manuscripts that can be related to a specific cult. How were references to previous relic cults embedded within the books’ illuminated and liturgical programs? Another topic will address the way that shrines and reliquaries demonstrate the accretive process by which a new saint was promoted in a given institution. All lines of enquiry will include a consideration of the religious life at each site, the use and setting of the objects, the interplay of local and global concerns, and the intellectual and religious background of the donors and institutions that produced these objects.

Kristen Collins, J. Paul Getty Museum
Gerhard Lutz, Dommuseum Hildesheim

Speculatio - Medieval and Modern

Speculatio - Medieval and Modern, Session at 51st International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI, May 12–15, 2016

Medievalists regularly deal with fragmented or partially recorded material evidence, e.g., in the case of a mosaic or a manuscript where some parts are still visible and others are lost and hard to reconstruct. The published results of our research often reassemble such fragmentary evidence and provide only the convincing, conclusive arguments. We rarely elaborate further on the dead ends, the ambivalence of the evidence and the gaps in our knowledge, like missing or lost written records from archives. Thus, speculation comes into play in multiple ways and occurs on several levels – we imagine what the missing pieces might have been, we try to consider lost connections between bits of “hard evidence,” we speculate about links among written, oral, visual, and material cultures and about networks in various parts of the medieval world. In doing so, our work often mirrors our own contemporary interests and agendas.

This panel takes the medieval connotations of “speculatio” (exploration, observation, spying out - contemplation, rethinking, speculation) seriously and brings light to the moments of decision-making in reading partial evidence, in interpreting ambivalence in the meaning of objects from the past, and in drawing conclusions from a scattered set of clues or contradictory materialities. The session highlights the recent rediscovery of the concept of speculation as it is articulated in the desire of “speculative realism” to produce a “wager on the possible returns from a renewed attention to reality itself” and to formulate a new program of discovery. Speakers will consider the relationship between such contemporary approaches and medieval notions of “speculatio” as a negotiation of the impossibility to know the absolute or the divine. Seen as a practice both of thought and of the production of artifacts, speculation can thus be seen a specific juncture where medieval culture (art, literature, sciences) and modern desires for and forms of understanding meet.

We would particularly like to encourage also speakers working from a non-Western perspective/part of the “medieval” world. Bringing together different disciplines and historiographies is one of the aims of our session.

Beate Fricke, University of California, Berkeley
Niklaus Largier, University of California, Berkeley

Material Collective

What do we lose when we lose a library

What do we lose when we lose a library, KU Leuven, September 9–11, 2015

To commemorate the centenary of the destruction of the Library in 1914, the Goethe-Institut Brüssel, the British Council Brussels and the University of Leuven (KU Leuven) are organising a three day international conference on the challenging topic: What do we lose when we lose a library?

The burning or destruction of books – and material heritage – is a symbol of so much more. What does a community lose, what does a city or country lose, when a library is turned to ashes? Examples come from all times and places. We can think for example of the destruction of a library in Alexandria in the far past, the demolition of a library of the Jesuits in China, the library fires in Leuven in 1914 and in 1940, the destruction of manuscripts in Chartres and Warsaw during the Second World War and the ruined libraries in Croatia and Sarajevo at the end of the 20th Century. The threat to the library in Timbuktu in 2012 and the very recent destruction of books and archives in Mosul, Aleppo and Sanaa complete this sad list. The worldwide protection of libraries will therefore stay one of the biggest challenges for the conservation and spread of knowledge.

For three days, more than thirty speakers from a range of countries will closely look into the historical facts, the methods and strategies on how threatened book collections can be protected. What are the traumas from the past? What can we learn from these for the future? How can libraries strengthen their position? How can they protect their collections? In addition, the conference will also explore the digital challenge for libraries.

Keynote speakers of the conference are

  • Abdel Kader Haidara, Mamma Haidara Library, Timbuktu, Mali
  • Aleida Assmann, University of Konstanz, Germany
  • David McKitterick, Trinity College, Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • Ismet Ovcina, National and University library of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo
  • Michael F. Suarez S.J., Rare Book School, University of Virginia, United States
  • Herbert Van de Sompel, Research Library of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, United States
  • Father Justin, Saint Catherine's Monastery, Sinai, Egypt
  • Alan Kramer, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
  • Emmanuelle Danchin, University of  Paris, IRICE, France.


Registration closes August 31, 2015.

Rural Lives and Landscapes in Late Byzantium: Art, Archaeology, and Ethnography

Sharon E. J. Gerstel. Rural Lives and Landscapes in Late Byzantium: Art, Archaeology, and Ethnography. Cambridge University Press, 2015.

From Cambridge University Press

This is the first book to examine the late Byzantine peasantry through written, archaeological, ethnographic, and painted sources. Investigations of the infrastructure and setting of the medieval village guide the reader into the consideration of specific populations. The village becomes a micro-society, with its own social and economic hierarchies. In addition to studying agricultural workers, mothers, and priests, lesser-known individuals, such as the miller and witch, are revealed through written and painted sources. Placed at the center of a new scholarly landscape, the study of the medieval villager engages a broad spectrum of theorists, including economic historians creating predictive models for agrarian economies, ethnoarchaeologists addressing historical continuities and disjunctions, and scholars examining power and female agency.

Lives, Roles and Actions of the Byzantine Empresses (4th–15th c.)

Lives, Roles and Actions of the Byzantine Empresses (4th–15th c.), Czech Academy of Sciences, September 11–12, 2015

Slavonic Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences and the editorial board of Byzantinoslavica organize on Thursday September 10, 2015 on the occasion of the 40th death anniversary of the eminent Czech Byzantinist msgre ThDr. et PhDr. Francis Dvorník, Professor of Charles University and Harvard University  an international workshop Lives, Roles and Actions of the Byzantine Empresses (4th–15th c.).

Due to limited space, the organizers request that guests register with the secretary of the symposium Dr. Martina Čechová. Please note that guests will be served on the first come first serve basis and no registrations will be accepted after September 7.


Visualizing Medieval Connections: Network Analysis and Digital Mapping

Visualizing Medieval Connections: Network Analysis and Digital Mapping, Session at 51st International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI, May 12–15, 2016

We invite abstracts for 15-20 minute papers on connections and connectivity in the Middle Ages, understood in the broadest geographical and temporal terms.  As depictions of medieval societies as isolated, stable, and homogenous continue to be challenged, this panel seeks emerging perspectives on what it meant to be connected in the Middle Ages and how those connections shaped spatial and social identities.  What moved in the medieval world (ideas, objects, people, stories, technology)? How did different rhythms of motion and patterns of circulation intersect with one another? How can medieval connections be visualized and represented, and what new impressions of the medieval world might we form by focusing on movement and interaction rather than stasis?

We are particularly seeking papers that engage the methodological question of how to bring new digital approaches, such as social network analysis and digital mapping, to bear on this research. Our goal is to bring together scholars who are using these methods in order to promote a conversation on the problems and advantages of their application to medieval history.

Kate Craig, Auburn University
Leanne Good, University of South Alabama

ASOR Annual Meeting Student Travel Grants

ASOR is once again pleased to announce up to ten travel scholarships of $250 for students enrolled at ASOR member institutions. Funding for these scholarships comes from the institutional membership fees. Applications must be submitted by email and are due by August 15, 2015. In order to receive the funds, the institutional dues for the student's school must be current for 2015-2016, and the student must stay at the ASOR hotel. Students need not present a paper in order to be eligible. Preference will be given to students from schools that did not receive an award recipient in the previous year.

Foundation for Biblical Archaeology ASOR Annual Meeting Scholarships

Through a generous gift from The Foundation for Biblical Archaeology, up to six (6) Student Service Scholarships of $700 each will be offered for transportation and hotel costs incurred while attending ASOR's 2015 Annual Meeting in Atlanta.

Students must be members of ASOR (either undergraduates or graduate) or be enrolled at an ASOR-member school. Scholarship recipients will provide up to 18 hours of service at the Annual Meeting, arranged to accommodate the sessions they would like to attend. Duties will involve assisting with registration, helping Session Chairs with audiovisual needs during the sessions, and aiding Program Committee members with other set-up and arrangement needs. Students must also attend an orientation session on Wednesday, November 18 at 3:00pm at the conference hotel. Recipients of these scholarships must also stay at the conference hotel.

Slavery in the Medieval World

Slavery in the Medieval World, call for papers and sessions, 23rd International Medieval Congress, Leeds, July 4–7, 2016

The study of slavery in the Medieval World has been largely marginalized in the past. Despite large amounts of evidence, medievalists have traditionally opted to focus their attentions elsewhere or to have seen slavery as being of only marginal importance in the societies and economies of the world from late antiquity until the opening of the Atlantic trade. While some important studies have been done in the past, a new interest in the subject has been growing with research looking more and more at the subject and its ramifications.

While it seems that the International Medieval Congress at Leeds this summer has barely ended, it is already time to begin thinking about next year. This summer, of course, there were more papers and sessions devoted to the subject of slavery (and related topics) in the medieval world than ever before.  As a result, some were even scheduled to run against each other. In order to avoid this next summer and to better promote understanding of the topic, it is hoped to organize a strand of sessions to be held next year at the IMC Leeds 2016 (4 to 7 July 2016, at the University of Leeds).

The overall topic will be ‘Slavery in the Medieval World’ with separate sessions focusing on various eras and topics under the overall theme.

The individual sessions will be numbered and will have sub-titles relevant to what their particular focus is (as well as individual session organizers). Possible topics might include such areas as "Slavery in Medieval Arabia", "Manumission", "Children in Slavery", "Slavery and the End of the Western Empire" and so on and so forth.

The total number of sessions will, of course, be determined by the number of participants; ideally, we will have a mix of early career and more senior scholars as well as of people working on a range of geographic and temporal areas.

By bringing together scholars working on different areas and periods of the history of medieval Europe, Asia, and Africa, we hope to address the question of whether there is a single subject of slavery in the medieval world, whether some practices and activities can be seen as being of global importance, and how the earlier modes of slavery found in antiquity shaped later practice. Whether the teachings of the monotheistic religions served to ameliorate slave-systems inherited from the past or whether they served to make them stronger could be discussed while the role of slavery itself in the systems of exchange and of personal relationship might also be usefully addressed.

All proposals addressing the topic, whether of single papers or of organized sessions, are welcome and will be examined.

Practical issues

If you are interested in giving a paper or organizing a session, please send an email by 23 August 2015 to

While we look forward to proposals for individual papers, we also encourage potential collaboration, respondents, and moderators.  Of course, please feel free to forward this call for papers to any student or colleague who might be interested in participating in our strand!

When you write, include the following information:

  • paper title
  • a short abstract/brief description indicating what the paper will be about (max. 200 words)
  • your contact details and affiliation
  • equipment needed? (Laptop, Beamer, etc.)

 We will determine how papers of 20 minutes each best fit and we’ll let you know the results as soon as possible (no later than mid-September). We are unable to cover travel, registration and accommodation expenses for speakers. Please consider the bursary application offered by the IMC (deadline 17 October).

Source: BYZANS-L

Collections Cataloguer, Princeton University Art Museum

The Princeton University Art Museum seeks Collections Cataloguers to join a team dedicated to providing full digital access to the encyclopedic holdings of the Museum.

The Collections Cataloguer (CC) will be responsible for retrospective cataloguing across collections in the Museum Collections Information System (TMS) utilizing best practices in the cataloguing of works of art. As part of the Museum's Information and Technology department, and reporting to the Manager of Collections Information, the CC will focus on transcribing a critical mass of analogue information about the Museum's encyclopedic collections from source documents such as curatorial files and accession records.

  • Perform data "clean-up" as needed.
  • Assist in the implementation of data standards and data entry guidelines.
  • Organize, compile, and digitize (as needed) source documents relating to individual works of art in the collection.
  • Enter compiled data in collections information management system adhering to established standards and guidelines.
  • Confer regularly with collections information staff to ensure accuracy of information and the use of appropriate authority tools.
  • Attend weekly team meetings.  

Essential Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree in art, art history, museum studies, information sciences, or related discipline
  • Ability to work independently and efficiently to produce consistent, high-quality results over long-term project
  • A high degree of organization, self-motivation, and great attention to detail is critical
  • Excellent oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills
  • Interest in museums, art history, visual culture
  • Proficiency using multiple operating systems (Windows and Mac OSX) and basic software including Microsoft Office Suite and Adobe Creative Suite

There are two vacancies and each is a one-year term position.


Head of Manuscript Section, Harvard College Library

Reporting to the Associate Librarian for Technical Services, the Head of the Manuscript Section leads, manages, and supports Houghton Library’s efforts to accession, describe, preserve, and provide access to archival, manuscript, photographic, born-digital and other non-print holdings in all formats and across Houghton’s curatorial areas. The incumbent will bring a progressive, flexible, and innovative approach to this work and will be responsible for developing and/or implementing strategies, technologies, and standards that facilitate researcher access to Houghton’s holdings.  The Head of the Manuscript Section supervises section staff, plans and manages projects, and collaborates with staff and departments throughout Houghton Library, and participates actively within the broader Harvard special collections and archives community.

TYPICAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include the following. Other duties may be assigned.

  • Provides leadership and management for the Manuscript Section by developing and articulating strategic vision, building and maintaining a team spirit, managing day-to-day operations and special projects, collaboratively establishing priorities, and coordinating work within the unit and with other library units.
  • Supervises a current staff consisting of six regular and project employees through delegation of tasks and projects, establishment of goals, performance reviews, and provision of training.
  • In collaboration with the Associate Librarian for Technical Services, Curatorial, Public Services, and Manuscript Section staff, sets processing and cataloging priorities for Houghton archival and manuscript collections.
  • Reviews finding aids, catalog records, and other descriptive output to ensure quality and adherence to standards; acts as Houghton’s OASIS Liaison.
  • Explores, proposes, and implements new technologies in collaboration with Houghton, Harvard, and/or external colleagues.
  • Establishes and employs metrics for archival processing and manuscript cataloging in order to enhance discovery and use of Houghton holdings and to aid in project management and grant planning.
  • In concert with colleagues, develops and implements a long range and comprehensive plan to effectively process and catalog Houghton backlog collections.
  • Participates in grant writing efforts, creating work plans and developing budgets for processing and cataloging projects.
  • Oversees the development and maintenance of documentation for processing, cataloging, and other Section activities.
  • Working with the Head, Rare Book Team and the Technical Services Librarian, assists in planning and policy creation for the Technical Services Department.
  • Processes and catalogs collections and items as time permits.
  • Represents Houghton within the Harvard archival and library community, both informally through communication and collaboration, and formally by serving on committees and working groups.
  • Maintains an active presence in local and national professional archival organizations.


Postdoctoral Fellowships, Distant Worlds, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) in Munich is one of the leading European universities with a tradition reaching back more than 500 years. The university established in 2012 the Graduate School "Distant Worlds: Munich Graduate School for Ancient Studies" which is funded by the German Excellence Initiative. The Graduate School is an interdisciplinary research network that brings together LMU Munich and research institutions in Munich to provide an optimal environment for disciplinary research and the promotion of junior academics in the field of ancient studies. As part of its doctoral study and postdoctoral training programme, the Graduate School combines research from a broad spectrum of disciplines within the field of ancient studies.

The Graduate School invites applications for Postdoctoral Fellowships. The starting date will be November 1, 2015. The positions are limited to two years; the possibility of applying for a one-year extension is currently under consideration and will be decided as of 2016.

The School has seven focus-areas:

  1. Constructions of norms
  2. Constructions of elites
  3. Constructions of the "beautiful"
  4. Organisation of coexistence
  5. Organisation of exchange
  6. Organisation of dealing with dissent
  7. Organisation of memory an forgetting


  • Successful candidates will conduct an independent research project contributing to one of the seven focus areas, to be chosen by the candidates themselves. In pursuing their research, candidates will be supported by mentors chosen from the group of Principal Investigators of the School.
  • They will collaborate with doctoral students in an interdisciplinary junior research group and coordinate the activities of that group (supported by mentors).
  • They will develop new research perspectives in the field of ancient studies together with doctoral students, Principal Investigators and other members of the Münchner Zentrum für Antike Welten.


  • In order to apply, candidates will need to have completed their doctorate in the field of ancient studies with outstanding results.
  • Applicants will need to submit a proposal for an independent research project.
  • They should demonstrate their willingness to work in an interdisciplinary context as well as an interest in basic and theoretical questions.

Postdoctoral Research Position, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

The Collaborative Research Centre 1136 "Education and Religion in Cultures of the Mediterranean and Its Environment from Ancient to Medieval Times and to the Classical Islam" at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen (Germany), funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation), currently invites applications for a Research Position (Postdoc). The position (full-time) starts as soon as possible and lasts for three years with the possibility of extension.

The successful candidate will participate in and contribute to the research conducted within the CRC, including the interdisciplinary collaboration with other sub-projects and in the CRC’s plenary meetings and workshops. The postdoc will especially take part in the research agenda of sub-project C 04: Communication of Education in Late Antique Christianity: Teachers’ Roles in Parish, Family and Ascetical Community.

The project focuses on Christian teachers (male and female) in Late Antiquity in different contexts: the catechumenate (bishops and catechetical teachers), the family (particularly women) and the eremitic movement (teachers with charismatic instead of formal authorization). The shape of teachers’ roles will be investigated as well as their interaction and possible conflicts between ecclesiastical and – so to speak – independent communicators of religious education. Finally, the limits of human agency in communicating the faith will be dealt with.

The successful candidate for the research position should have

  • Ph.D. in Theology or related subjects
  • Mandatory: good command of ancient Greek and Latin
  • Desirable: experience in interdisciplinary collaborative research concerning Late Antiquity

Francis Dvorník – Scholar and His Work

Francis Dvorník – Scholar and His Work, Czech Academy of Sciences, September 10, 2015

Slavonic Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences and the editorial board of Byzantinoslavica organize on Thursday September 10, 2015 on the occasion of the 40th death anniversary of the eminent Czech Byzantinist msgre ThDr. et PhDr. Francis Dvorník, Professor of Charles University and Harvard University  an international symposium Francis Dvorník – Scholar and His Work.

Due to limited space, the organizers request that guests register with the secretary of the symposium Dr. Martina Čechová. Please note that guests will be served on the first come first serve basis and no registrations will be accepted after September 7.


Intercultural Exchange in Late Antique Historiography

Intercultural Exchange in Late Antique Historiography, Ghent University, September 16–18, 2015

The research group Late Antique historiography at Ghent University is organising workshop on historiography and intercultural exchanges in Late Antiquity (300–800 AD).

The workshop aims at engaging affirmed scholars as well as young researchers in an interdisciplinary discussion over cross-cultural contacts in Late Antiquity and their impact on the historiographical production in different languages, Latin, Greek, Armenian, Syriac, Persian, Coptic, Georgian, Arabic.


Please register by contacting workshop organizer Panagiotis Manafis.

Director of Byzantine Studies, Dumbarton Oaks

The Director of Byzantine Studies reports to the Director of Dumbarton Oaks and oversees the Byzantine Study Program at Dumbarton Oaks. The Director of Studies supports the Byzantine Fellows (who are resident for the academic year, a term, or the summer and pursue their own research) and organizes scholarly meetings such as symposia, colloquia, and lectures.

The individual holding the position has overall responsibility for administering the study program, including: coordinating the three annual meetings with the Board of Senior Fellows that advises the Director on fellowship selection and programmatic activities; supervising the Program Coordinator; ensuring the smooth running of activities in Byzantine Studies (such as research reports by Fellows, one-month research awards, the summer school, summer internships, one-month Visiting Scholars, etc.); and managing budget development, forecasting, and tracking of expenses (including project grants to archaeologists).

Within Dumbarton Oaks, the Director of Byzantine Studies provides input as requested on Byzantine holdings within the library (including Byzantine portions of the image and fieldwork archives); is expected to produce reports, such as the Byzantine portion of the annual report; and participates with other directors of scholarly departments in conducting basic research necessary to evaluate the success of programs.

In the broader scholarly world, the Director of Byzantine Studies promotes the vitality of the field. Outreach activities include regular communication with relevant Byzantine societies, listservs, and academic programs in the United States, Europe, and beyond. The Director of Byzantine Studies also fosters exchanges with closely connected fields such as medieval and Islamic studies.

The Director of Byzantine Studies acts as editor of the Byzantine journal, Dumbarton Oaks Papers, in conjunction with a small editorial board. He or she receives or solicits submissions, sends them out for peer review, relays comments to contributors, and ensures that accepted essays have been revised in accordance with reviewer comments and house style. The Director also serves as the acquiring editor for Byzantine books. This role requires assisting symposium organizers in their capacities as volume editors for proposed symposia volumes, monitoring submissions for other Byzantine series, creating proposals for review, and acting as developmental editor for all such submissions.

The application process is open to strong applicants at all career stages, from early to advanced. The appointment runs for five years, with the possibility of renewal up to an additional five years.

Supervisory Responsibilities:
The Director of Byzantine Studies supervises the Program Coordinator.

Basic Qualifications:

  • Candidates must hold a PhD in a discipline such as art, history, or philology with specialization in any field relevant to Byzantine studies.
  • Must have demonstrated administrative and editorial experience; a record of publications; and knowledge of medieval Greek.
  • A broad knowledge of various aspects of the field outside their own specialty.
  • Must have working knowledge of the American academic setting ( for example by teaching, student experiences, collaborative projects, publications, etc.)

Additional Qualifications:
Candidates must have the interest, ability, and commitment to join in the general intellectual life of Dumbarton Oaks.

The position remains open until filled. Please note that interviews will be in Cambridge, Mass. and are likely to be held in the second half of January 2016.


Medievalist, Art History, DePauw University

The Department of Art and Art History at DePauw University invites applications for a one-year term position beginning August 2015. Rank and salary will be commensurate with experience.  A completed Ph.D. is preferred, ABD will be considered. The department is seeking a Medievalist able to teach a survey of ancient to medieval; a second field is desirable, preferably non-Western.

DePauw University is a nationally-recognized, leading liberal arts college dedicated to educating 2,300 highly talented and motivated students from across the country and around the globe. Connected to the liberal arts college is one of the nation's first Schools of Music. For more than 175 years, DePauw has created an atmosphere of intellectual challenge and social engagement that prepares students for lifelong success. Located in Greencastle, Indiana, about a 45-minute drive west of Indianapolis, DePauw is also home to a 520-acre nature park - which includes at least 9 miles of trails - and Historic East College, built in 1877, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. DePauw is committed to diversity in its student body, faculty, staff, and curriculum.

Review of applications begins immediately.


2015–2016 Digital Classicist Seminar Berlin

We are pleased to announce the Call for Papers for the fourth series of the Digital Classicist Seminar Berlin. This initiative, inspired by and connected to London’s Digital Classicist Work in Progress Seminar, is organised in association with the German Archaeological Institute and the Excellence Cluster TOPOI. It will run during the winter term of the academic year 2015/16.

We invite submissions on any kind of research which employs digital methods, resources or technologies in an innovative way in order to enable a better or new understanding of the ancient world. We encourage contributions not only from Classics but also from the entire field of “Altertumswissenschaften”, to include the ancient world at large, such as Egypt and the Near East.

Themes may include digital editions, natural language processing, image processing and visualisation, linked data and the semantic web, open access, spatial and network analysis, serious gaming and any other digital or quantitative methods. We welcome seminar proposals addressing the application of these methods to individual projects, and particularly contributions which show how the digital component can facilitate the crossing of disciplinary boundaries and answering new research questions. Seminar content should be of interest both to classicists, ancient historians or archaeologists, as well as to information scientists and digital humanists, with an academic research agenda relevant to at least one of these fields.

Seminars will run fortnightly on Tuesday evenings (17:15–19:00) from October 2015 until February 2016 and will be hosted by the Excellence Cluster TOPOI and the German Archaeological Institute, both located in Berlin-Dahlem.

Presentations are expected to be delivered in English.

Pattern, Color, Light: Architectural Ornament in the Near East (500–1000)

Pattern, Color, Light: Architectural Ornament in the Near East (500–1000), Metropolitan Museum of Art, July 20, 2015–January 3, 2016

This exhibition features examples of architectural ornament from Egypt, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey that were found at sites ranging in date from approximately 500 to 1000. Few buildings from this period survive fully intact, but the pieces of walls, ceilings, and floors that remain shed light on the ingenious ways that artisans created sumptuous interiors and stately facades. Far from being mere embellishment, the decorative programs to which these pieces belonged were pivotal in creating memorable experiences for viewers, whether conveying the power of a patron or the depth of a religious concept.

The presentation includes objects from the departments of Islamic Art, Ancient Near Eastern Art, and Medieval Art and The Cloisters, highlighting interconnections between works that are traditionally displayed apart. While the Near East witnessed significant social and political changes during the period from 500 to 1000, including the rise of Islam and the collapse of the Sasanian Empire, the objects on display attest to the persistence of certain artistic ideas across religious and political boundaries. These include the use of an established repertoire of vegetal and geometric patterns to enliven walls, the application of vibrant color schemes to architectural surfaces through polychrome painting and dyed textiles, and a fascination with bright, jewel-like materials such as polished marble and glass mosaic. These enduring aesthetic concepts, which informed architectural style for more than half a millennium, are explored further through the lens of the exhibition's three themes: pattern, color, and light.

Graduate Student Conference Travel Grants, College Art Association

CAA will award a limited number of $250 grants to advanced PhD and MFA graduate students as partial reimbursement of travel expenses to attend the 104th Annual Conference, taking place February 3–6, 2016, in Washington, DC. To qualify for the grant, students must be current CAA members. Funds are for transportation to and from the conference only, not for meals or lodging. Successful applicants will also receive a complimentary conference registration.

Grant recipients are chosen by lottery. Depending on the number of applications received, preference will be given to conference attendees not participating as a speaker, chair, or discussant. Graduate students living outside the United States may also apply for the CAA International Member Conference Travel Grant but can only receive a single award.

Codex Sinaiticus: New Perspectives on the Ancient Biblical Manuscript

Scot McKendrick, David Parker, Amy Myshrall, and Cillian O’Hogan , eds. Codex Sinaiticus: New Perspectives on the Ancient Biblical Manuscript. British Library, 2015.

From the British Library

Codex Sinaiticus is one of the most important books in the world. Handwritten well over 1600 years ago, the manuscript contains the Christian Bible in Greek, including the oldest complete copy of the New Testament. Its heavily corrected text is of outstanding importance for the history of the Bible and the manuscript – the oldest substantial book to survive antiquity – is of supreme importance for the history of the book.

This collection of scholarly essays constitutes an important reappraisal of the history of the manuscript. Newly discovered archival material sheds light on the complex sequence of events which led to the Codex being dispersed across four libraries. The evidence relating to the production of the manuscript is assessed by several contributors, who pay careful attention to the thousands of corrections which were made to the text by several hands. The significance of Codex Sinaiticus for our understanding of the New Testament text is analysed in detail, with a number of articles showing how the manuscript helps us to understand the formation of the Christian canon in antiquity.

Read more about the publication and the Codex Sinaiticus Project on the Medieval manuscripts blog.

book cover

Celebrating Excess? Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Court, Consumption and Authority

Celebrating Excess? Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Court, Consumption and Authority, Session at 23rd International Medieval Congress, Leeds, July 4–7, 2016

The International Medieval Congress, an annual conference running continuously since 1994, is the biggest humanities event in Europe, attracting over 2000 delegates in 2014. It provides a unique forum for sharing and comparing approaches across a wealth of disciplines. The 2016 theme is ‘Food, Feast & Famine.’ Taking the feast as a starting point, these panels interrogate medieval writers’ assessments of rulership and authority via the discussion of consumption and ostentation in court settings.

By no means restricted to the luxury register of feast and plenty, we invite explorations of the tensions between distributive and extractive functions in court, and their relation to ideal, normative and transgressive behaviour in monarchs, factions, officials, rich and poor. This will illuminate contemporary characterisations of the court as a setting for the playing out of rule and authority as participation in, and focus of, economic flows, and the interrelation of these with the performance of authority and rulers’, retinues’, bureaucracies’ and populations’ places in the divine and human order.

We welcome contributions on courts across methodologies and disciplines, and across and beyond Europe’s fuzzy bounds - the panels build on the growing presence at Leeds of scholars working on geographical and cultural contexts across Eurasia to offer further opportunities for fruitful exchange and cross-cultural comparison.

Sami Kalliosaari, University of Leeds
Geoff Humble, University of Birmingham

Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowships in the Arts and Humanities, American University of Beirut

The Center for Arts and Humanities aims to foster innovative initiatives that strengthen the environment for humanistic inquiry and the arts at the University and in the region. An intellectual base for interdisciplinary scholarly and creative production, innovative curricular development and teaching, and public events, the Center will host postdoctoral fellows and internal faculty fellows as well as writers and artists in residence, high-profile public arts events, regional collaboration with scholars and universities, and other focused workshops and exchanges. The Center will highlight the relevance and importance of the arts and humanities across the University and to the broader local, regional, and international community. In addition to providing support for the arts and humanities the Center will serve as an alternative, Middle Eastern site for the study and production of humanistic knowledge.

An overview of the Center’s program and activities can be found on the Center’s website. The Center is supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and builds upon AUB’s successful Arts and Humanities Initiative.

Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowships
Post-doctoral fellowships are designed to support new PhDs as they transition into the professoriate and establish their own paths as educators and researchers. The dynamic integration of the fellowships with the Center’s programmatic activities will sustain a transformational and independent forum for collaborative and interdisciplinary curricular experimentation, research, intellectual dialogue, and production.

During the academic year, each fellow will pursue his or her pre-defined research agendas as well as design and teach one course each semester which experiments with innovative approaches in course delivery or explores new lines of inquiry.

Fellows will be active as organizers and participants in the Center’s regular programmatic activities which give equal emphasis to research, teaching, and curricular renewal (including structured discussions, “crash courses”, workshops, annual conference, etc.).

Appointees will be based in the Center for the Arts and Humanities, which will provide office space, and also be affiliated with a relevant academic department. Fellows will be expected to remain in residence for the duration of the academic year on campus in order to participate fully in the Center’s programmatic activities and teach two courses during the academic year. Each fellow will submit a written report on their fellowship and feedback on the effectiveness of the program at the conclusion of the academic year.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicants’ research and teaching interests must involve one or more of the following disciplines: Anthropology, Arabic Language, Arabic Literature, Archaeology, Art History; English Language, Fine Arts (visual arts, theatre, and music), History, Islamic Studies, Literature, Philosophy, Sociology, and other closely related disciplines.
  • Applicants must have received their doctoral degrees within five years prior to the appointment start date.
  • Individuals who have held other postdoctoral fellowships are not barred from applying.

Ordering Matter: Hierarchies of Material and Medium in Medieval Art

Ordering Matter: Hierarchies of Material and Medium in Medieval Art, Session at 51st International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI, May 12–15, 2016

Questions of the significance of materials now occupy a central place within medieval art history. Within this material turn, attention has generally been centered on the importance and meaning of individual materials, particularly luxury materials, such as gold, silver, ivory, and gemstones. But how were these—and other—materials evaluated relative to each other? That is to say, to what extent did material hierarchies obtain, both in theory and in (artistic) practice? This session investigates hierarchies of materials and media in medieval art from Late Antiquity through the end of the fourteenth century. It seeks to build upon the burgeoning body of work on medieval materiality and to engage recent interrogations of object ontology and the relationships between surface and substrate, and between substance and appearance.

We seek papers that examine objects within the larger discursive context of medieval matter, ranging from natural philosophy and theology to political symbolism and earthly economics. While papers may engage issues of material iconography and iconology, they should prioritize the larger question of hierarchical value and intersecting value systems. We are especially interested in papers that address some or all of the following questions:

  • Given that so many medieval artworks are gloriously multimedia things, what patterns of assemblage (of different media, of objects from different cultures, etc.) obtained, and how did these patterns create, reify, or critique hierarchies of material and media?
  • How are we to interpret materials that imitate or simulate others (e.g., glass that resembles gemstones, or gilded surfaces)?
  • In what ways do objects, either individually or categorically, align with or deviate from the media hierarchies promoted by specific discursive traditions (e.g., the transmission and diffusion of Pliny, Isidore, and other natural philosophers; the conventions of hagiography, romance, and other literary genres; and/or something less textualized, such as economic exchange, etc.)?
  • Which types of artistic media, if any, escape rigidly discursive definition? What are the conditions for such flexible and/or fugitive materials?
  • How can “preciousness” be used as an historically specific analytic tool?
  • In what ways might hierarchies of material and medium have generated meaning? Can we speak of an “iconography” of material hierarchies, whether in specific cases or generally?
  • What implications do hierarchies of material and medium have for medieval art history generally (whether in terms of production, patronage, or reception)?

Materials to be considered may range from the precious, such as gold, silver, enamel, ivory, gemstones, and textiles, to the semi- or non-precious, including copper-alloy (copper, bronze, and brass), wood, paint, glass, and stucco.

Joseph Salvatore Ackley, Columbia University
Adam R. Stead, University of Western Ontario

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for Byzantine Arts and Culture

Founded in 2010 through a generous gift from the Jaharis Family Foundation, the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture is dedicated to the promotion and advancement of knowledge about the rich heritage of Byzantine art and culture.

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