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New Issue of Estudios bizantinos

Estudios bizantinos, 2 (2014)

CONTENTS

El incensario bizantino “de Almería”. Consideraciones acerca de la importación de bronces “coptos” en la Hispania meridional durante la Antigüedad Tardía
Jaime Vizcaíno Sánchez
This paper studies an incense burner (thuribulum) preserved at the Museo Arqueológico Nacional of Madrid (MAN). This bronze censer joined the collection in the sixties of the 20th century, being its archaeological context unknown. The spanish archaeologist M. Almagro Gorbea published a complete study of this object, suggesting that it might have been discovered in the western part of Andalusia, probably in Almería, and proposing its Coptic origin (6th-7th centuries). The contribution explores the origin, date and cultural adscription of this important element of the Christian church furnishing (instrumenta liturgica or utensilia ecclesiae, following the texts). Moreover, it compares and contrasts the Madrid censer and other similar objects produced in Early Byzantium. It also analyses its liturgical function and reviews some methodological aspects regarding its role as archaeological prototype. It finally highlights the need to discuss further wrong certainties built up according to frequent uncritical repetitions.

El monasterio de Apa Sabino en Antinópolis: su organización administrativa interna
María Jesús Albarrán Martínez
The Monastery of Apa Sabinos, situated in Antinopolis, in Middle Egypt, offers a bilingual archive containing more than thirty Greek and Coptic papyri, mostly unpublished. The study of these papyri as a whole sheds light on various aspects of the administrative apparatus of this monastic centre, from the end of the 5th up to the 7th century AD. This article focuses on the administrative internal organization of the monastery, based on a hierarchy leaded by the superior, seconded by one or several assistants and a steward. Over the time, an increasingly diversified documentation reveals that the monastery developed an ever more complex administrative structure and acquired a legal personality.

L'immagine della città di Roma nel mondo arabo-islamico: tradizione del classico e periferie della memoria
Giuseppe Mandalà
The Rome of the Arabs is, in part, the result of a literary misunderstanding, a city imagined as real but in fact imaginary; such a representation did not come from the “wilder imaginations” of the Arabs, nor from a philological misunderstanding, that is, a presumed Arabic confluence of the names of the two great capitals – Rome and Constantinople – whose names and representations always remain, in any case, entirely distinct and separate. Arabic Rome is a real city that buried its historical, topographical and cultural meaning with a single idea, the renovatio or rather translatio Romae, in other words, the political ideology that wanted Constantinople as the New, and sometimes only, Rome. The present study analyses the use of the lemma “Rome” in the Awḍaḥ al-masālik ilà ma‘rifat al-buldān wa-l-mamālik (The clearer itinerary for the understanding of places and countries), a geographical dictionary compiled by Muḥammad ibn ‘Alī al-Būrsawī, better known as Ibn Sibāhī-zāde (m. 997 H./1589 A.D.). The analysis of this later description allows for unknown details to be retreived and moreover permits one to see how, in the specific field of Arabo-Islamic geography, the authority of tradition is passed down through the centuries, prevailing over every possible direct knowledge.

Tres piezas bizantinas con funciones apotropaicas conservadas en el Museo Arqueológico Nacional: dos enkolpia y un “sello” bivalvo inédito
Sergio Vidal Álvarez
This paper focuses on two byzantine enkolpia and an unpublished byzantine “seal” from the Numismatics Department of the Museo Arqueológico Nacional, Madrid. Both enkolpia (n.º inv. 61742 and 1973/84/1-3) and the bivalbe “seal” (n.º inv. 55152) seem to have been produced in Constantinople and Eastern Anatolia in the Macedonian period. All of them show interesting Greek inscriptions and in the case of the enkolpia the usual representations of the Crucifixion.

Byzantium and the First Crusade: Three Avenues of Approach
Jonathan Harris
A recurring theme in the historiography of the First Crusade is that of the Byzantine emperor asking Pope Urban to send a small contingent against the Turks and receiving instead vast armies over which he had no control. The crusade was thus completely unexpected and the emperor played no part in its genesis. Recent work has challenged that thesis and further approaches have emerged. A second theory argues that this was a novel departure in foreign policy. The emperor was in fact deeply involved in the origins of the First Crusade and played a leading role in shaping its ideals and goals. The third approach is more modest in scope: it argues that he was certainly involved but this was no unprecedented innovation, simply the extension of a tried and tested response to crisis. This response involved seeking outside allies, providing them with a financial incentive and even bringing a spiritual element into the agreement. It was the use of the last of these standard tactics that was to lead to misunderstandings between the Byzantine emperor and the crusaders.

Anna Komnene and her Sources for Military Affairs in the Alexiad
Kyle Sinclair
With the intensive focus on military affairs in the Alexiad provoking contentious theories and much debate, this article investigates more closely the sources of information available to Anna Komnene for her coverage of war during the reign of Alexios Komnenos. Though Anna discloses more about her sources than most Byzantine historians, it is argued that some of these claims, particularly those regarding her own capacity to witness events and converse with veteran participants, are somewhat disingenuous, intended to illustrate her adherence to traditional modes of inquiry and thus gain credence for her history. Without discounting the contribution of oral traditions of storytelling to the Alexiad, the study favours the growing consensus that Anna was more reliant on written material, especially campaign dispatches and military memoirs.

‘A living portrait of Cato’: Self-fashioning and the classical past in John Tzetzes’ Chiliads
Sophia Xenophontos
The aim of this article is to examine the creative ways in which John Tzetzes (c.1110 – after 1160) uses the figure of Cato the Elder within his Chiliads. In appropriating Cato’s care for his son’s education to his own pedagogical relationship with his father, Tzetzes departs significantly from Plutarch’s original (Life of Cato Maior). This recreation leads him, as I argue, to engage with notions of Hellenism in twelfth-century Byzantium, to uncover his anxieties stemming from the oppressive feeling of poverty, and to castigate current social conditions that irritated him, for instance the corruption of the ecclesiastical establishment. I additionally cast light on Tzetzes’ scholarly inventiveness; that is manifested in the way he infuses his own self-portrait with Cato’s qualities in an attempt to exonerate it from public censure.

De Oriente a Occidente. La leyenda bizantina de la Passio Imaginis en el siglo XV en la Corona de Aragón
Carlos Espí Forcén
The Passio Imaginis legend played an important role during the II Council of Nicaea in 787 to defend the miraculous status of images against iconoclasts. The conclusions of Nicaea were rejected by pope Hadrian I and by the intellectuals of the Carolingian court. Nonetheless, by the 12th century the work of John of Damascus was translated in Western Europe and Christian images gradually assumed the theory of transitus, i. e. an image could be invaded by its prototype and behave like if it were the person depicted on it. The assumption of this concept caused a renewed interest in the Passio Imaginis legend and it was therefore represented on some 15th-century altarpieces in the Crown of Aragon. On the one hand, it helped to reinforce the status of the crucifix as a container of the real presence of Jesus similarly to the Eucharist; but, on the other hand, it had fatal consequences for the communities of conversos in 15th century Spain.

La Geografía de Tolomeo en un impreso anotado por Nicolás Múrmuris propiedad de Diego Hurtado de Mendoza
Paula Caballero Sánchez
Among other volumes of the same work, the Spanish humanist Diego Hurtado de Mendoza possessed the editio princeps of Ptolemy’s Geography, printed in Basilea by Froben (1533) and now preserved with the rest of his library at the Real Biblioteca del Monasterio de El Escorial with the signature 117.VII.19. This printed book is singular for containing many scholia and corrections on the text added by Nikolaos Murmuris, a Greek scribe that copied completely or partially twelve manuscripts for Mendoza between 1451 and 1453. The analysis and the collatio of the scholia and the corrections added by Murmuris to the printed volume have allowed to identify its source: a Vatican codex (Vat. gr. 176) containing the commentary composed by Nikephoros Gregoras and Isaak Argyros on Ptolemy’s Geography.

Dialogue and Disputation in the Medieval Mediterranean

Scholarly articles of between 5,000 and 8,000 words are being solicited to complete a prospective special issue of Medieval Encounters, to be edited by Alex Novikoff (Fordham University) and Brian Catlos (University of Colorado Boulder/University of California Santa Cruz). Submissions should deal with some aspect of inter-communal or intra-communal debate among Christians, Muslims, or Jews and engage with the Mediterranean as a category of analysis, preferably between 600 CE and 1500 CE. All aspect of intellectual dialogue and religious disputation are welcome, and submissions need not necessarily address multiple religious populations (for instance inter-communal debates among Muslims or between Christians), but the framing of the concepts should be clear and an effort to connect the project to ongoing discussions of the Mediterranean is expected.

Expressions of interest by January 10, 2015; final submissions by February 15, 2015

Mobilizing the Past for a Digital Future

Mobilizing the Past for a Digital Future: the Potential of Digital Archaeology, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston, February 27–28, 2015

Organizers: Erin Walcek Averett (Creighton University), Derek Counts (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Jody Gordon (Wentworth Institute of Technology), and Michael K. Toumazou (Davidson College)

This two-day, NEH-sponsored workshop brings together pioneers in archaeology and computing to discuss the use, creation, and implementation of mobile tablet technology to advance digital archaeology, i.e., fully digital recording systems to create born-digital data in the field. Session themes are aimed at facilitating presentation, demonstration, and discussion on how archaeologists around the world use tablets or other digital tools in the field and lab and how best practices can be implemented across projects. The workshop highlights the advantages and future of mobile computing and its challenges and limitations. The workshop consists of formal paper sessions and opportunities for informal discussion of the issues and themes at moderated discussions, demonstrations, round tables, and speaker meals. The workshop’s goal is to synthesize current practices and establish a blueprint for creating best practices and moving forward with mobile tablets in archaeology.

All events are free, but registration is required for space limitations. Please note: the proceedings will be live streamed on both days.

Registration will close on February 5 or until space fills.

Travel and Translation in the Middle Ages

Travel and Translation in the Middle Ages, 32nd Annual New England Medieval Studies Consortium Graduate Student Conference, Yale University, March 28, 2015

Abstracts from graduate students are now being accepted for the 32nd Annual New England Medieval Studies Consortium Graduate Student Conference, the theme of which will be “Travel and Translation in the Middle Ages.” In light of recent endeavors such as the Global Chaucers project, the growing interest in the multilingual cultures of England, and the upcoming anniversaries of two great medieval councils, Fourth Lateran (1215) and Constance (1415), “travel” and “translation” are immediately relevant to many branches of medieval studies.

The organizers hope that this capacious topic will elicit proposals for papers from all disciplines of Medieval Studies.  We expect to have three to five concurrent panels of three papers each, and we welcome panelists to consider topics as varied as translation theory and comparative studies, manuscript transmission and paleography, and musicology and liturgical studies.  We also welcome papers dealing with any aspect of pilgrimage, migration, trade, relics and holy objects, crusade, religious warfare, and maritime culture.  Further, we look forward to receiving proposals that take more theoretical approaches to ideas of travel and translation in the medieval period.

The conference will feature a plenary lecture by Professor Cecilia Gaposchkin (Dartmouth), as well as a prize for best graduate student paper.

The Future of the Past: From Amphipolis to Mosul

The Future of the Past: From Amphipolis to Mosul. New Approaches to Cultural Heritage Preservation in the Eastern Mediterranean, University of Pennsylvania, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, April 10–11, 2015

Keynote speaker: Dr. Morag M. Kersel, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Anthropology, DePaul University

Interdisciplinary conference for young scholars (graduate and postgraduate) hosted by the University of Pennsylvania (Center for Ancient Studies), Bryn Mawr College (Dept. of Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Graduate Group in Archaeology, Classics, and Art History), and Temple University (Tyler School of Art, Dept. of Art History), with additional support from the Penn Cultural Heritage Center and the Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

The objective of this meeting is to bring together graduate students and emerging scholars from various academic disciplines to present new avenues in the field of cultural heritage. Many young scholars today have an interdisciplinary background in liberal arts studies that allows them to apply novel, innovative ways in the protection and preservation of our shared cultural property. For this conference we would like to focus on case studies from the eastern Mediterranean, including the Middle East and northern Africa. These regions are of particular interest because they have been recently affected by devastating wars, political turmoil, and economic hardship.  We would like to address various issues of cultural heritage including the protection, preservation, and management of archaeological sites and cultural landscapes, the introduction of new technologies for the conservation and studying of cultural artifacts, and the use of digital media in educating and sharing our cultural treasures with a broader audience. We believe that participation in this conference will promote intellectual discourse among new scholars and inspire them to continue to seek collaborations across disciplines by employing a variety of new practices in the protection of our cultural heritage.

KHI-RCAC Joint Fellowship

The Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz - Max-Planck-Institut (KHI) and the Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations of Koç University (RCAC, in Istanbul) offer a joint, one-year fellowship.

The successful candidate will spend the fall semester at one institution, and the spring semester at the other. She/he will carry out projects that represent advanced research on any aspect of the study of visual culture from antiquity to early 20th century.

The fellowship will be awarded, at one of two levels: one junior fellowship for advanced doctoral candidates who are writing their PhD dissertation, or one senior fellowship for candidates who have received a PhD within a decade of the year of application (PhD certificates not earlier than January 1, 2003). Candidates must be conversant in English. Fellows may not take on any other obligations such as teaching positions, even part-time ones, during any part of their Fellowship term.

The fellowship period will be one academic year, which will be spent as one term at KHI and one term at RCAC (fall semester: September 15 to January 31; spring semester: February 01 to June 15). The successful candidates can express a preference for spending the fall semester in Florence or Istanbul. During both semesters, it must be possible for fellows to carry out most of their research with the resources available in the city where they are resident.

Summer Institute in Digital Textual Studies, National Humanities Center

The first of the National Humanities Center’s summer institutes in digital humanities, devoted to digital textual studies, will convene for two one-week sessions, first in June 2015 and again in 2016. The objective of the Institute in Digital Textual Studies is to develop participants’ technological and scholarly imaginations and to combine them into a powerful investigative instrument. Led by Willard McCarty (King’s College London and University of Western Sydney) and Matthew Jockers (University of Nebraska), the Institute aims to further the development of individual as well as collaborative projects in literary and textual studies. The Institute will take place in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in 2015 and at the National Humanities Center in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, in 2016.

The Institute will focus on the problematic intersection of textual humanities and digital computing and will emphasize the transformative effects of each upon the other. It will involve both reasoning about text with digital tools and constructing tools to extend the scope and depth of reading. Moving recursively from formulating questions to experimental probing of text, the Institute will be both theoretically and practically oriented. Through direct practical work, participants will be able to engage with and analyze new styles of reasoning offered to the humanities by digital computing. This engagement will involve participants in a struggle to bring together the logic and formal language of computing with modes of reading and questioning traditional to the humanities without dilution of either.

The Institute is not primarily concerned with technological training, rather it aims at developing a hands-on, practically oriented technological imagination.

The Institute is intended for the kind of scholar that the National Humanities Center normally selects for residential fellowships, i.e. mid-career or senior scholars working in any area of the humanities.

Manoogian Fellowships, University of Michigan

The Armenian Studies Program at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, announces the Manoogian Fellowships. These fellowships, made possible by a generous gift from the Manoogian Simone Foundation and Alex and Marie Manoogian Foundation, and to be known as "Manoogian Simone Foundation Fellows," will comprise pre-doctoral, post-doctoral, and visiting scholar  positions at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

The purpose of the Visiting Scholar fellowships is to diversify the Armenian studies curricular offerings to undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Michigan. Visiting Scholars, who are usually invited for one semester, will be asked to teach one or two classes per term, and to participate in ASP sponsored events including presenting two public lectures. Fellowships can also be offered for mini-courses to be taught over three or four weeks

The purpose of the post-doctoral fellowships is to offer research and teaching opportunities to candidates who have been awarded Ph.D.s during the past three years. Post-doctoral fellows will be asked to participate in ASP sponsored events, to present two public lectures, and to teach one course per semester or one course per year. Post-doctoral fellowships may be awarded for one academic semester or one academic year to recent graduates whose dissertations are closely related to Armenian studies. The scope and number of fellowships awarded is contingent upon the availability of funds.

The purpose of the pre-doctoral fellowship program is to provide an opportunity to graduate students enrolled in doctoral programs at other universities in the U.S. or abroad engaged in graduate-level research related to Armenian studies to benefit from the resources of the University of Michigan (libraries, collections, faculty, and courses) for short or long periods of time. Applicants may have their own financing or could apply for funding from ASP.

Digital Edition and Translation of the Coptic-Sahidic Old Testament

The Göttingen Academy of Sciences has two job openings for the long-term project Digital Edition and Translation of the Coptic-Sahidic Old Testament. These are two-year fixed term positions starting at the earliest possible date on or after February 1, 2015. An extension of the contract beyond the initial two-year term may be available. The project (planned completion date: December 31, 2036) is based in Göttingen.

The appointees will be responsible for the following tasks:

  • Collection and catalogisation of Coptic manuscripts of the Old Testament in an online database
  • Transcription and analysis of the manuscript texts to create a digital edition
  • Comparison and analysis of the textual tradition for the production of a critical edition of the individual books of the Coptic Old Testament
  • Translation of the Coptic text of the edition into English or German

Requirements are specifically:

  • Ph.D. or M.A. (or equivalent) in the areas of Coptic Studies, Theology/Religious Studies, Egyptology, Christian Oriental Studies, Byzantine Studies or related fields. Opportunities for training and the pursuit of further academic qualifications (e.g. a Ph.D.) are available.
  • A solid knowledge of Coptic language and literature and of the history and culture of Christian Egypt. Additional expertise and experience - especially in the areas of Philology/Editions and Manuscript Studies, Digital Humanities (digital editions, data analysis and visualisation), Corpus Linguistics, Biblical Studies / Religious Studies / Theology / Church History, Christian Near Eastern and Byzantine Studies, Arabic and Islamic Studies - are particularly welcome.

Candidates are expected to have:

  • Willingness and ability to quickly familiarise themselves with the textual culture and history of the Coptic Old Testament
  • Familiarity with modern databases and online research and the willingness and ability to be trained in the use of a variety of Digital Humanities tools and methods
  • Language skills (other than Coptic) in Ancient Greek and modern foreign languages (relevant for the project are a reading knowledge of German and French). Other language skills, in particular in Hebrew, Ancient Egyptian, Arabic, Syriac or Ethiopic (Ge'ez), are helpful.
  • Excellent time management and good teamwork skills

Library Research Grants, Princeton University

Each year, the Friends of the Princeton University Library offer short-term Library Research Grants to promote scholarly use of the research collections. The Program in Hellenic Studies with the support of the Stanley J. Seeger Fund also supports a limited number of library fellowships in Hellenic studies, and the Cotsen Children’s Library supports research in its collection on aspects of children’s books. The Maxwell Fund supports research on materials dealing with Portuguese-speaking cultures. In addition, awards will be made from the Sid Lapidus '59 Research Fund for Studies of the Age of Revolution and the Enlightenment in the Atlantic World. This award covers work using materials pertinent to this topic donated by Mr. Lapidus as well as other also relevant materials in the collections.

These Library Research Grants, which have a value of up to $3,500 each, are meant to help defray expenses incurred in traveling to and residing in Princeton during the tenure of the grant. The length of the grant will depend on the applicant’s research proposal, but is ordinarily up to one month. Library Research Grants awarded in this academic year are tenable from May 2015 to April 2016.

Adriatic Connections: The Adriatic as a Threshold to Byzantium (c.600–1453)

Adriatic Connections: The Adriatic as a Threshold to Byzantium (c.600–1453), The British School at Rome, January 14–16, 2015

A three-day workshop organised in conjunction with the British School at Athens.

Papers:

Wednesday, January 14
How Byzantine was the Adriatic?
Paul Stephenson (Nijmegen)
The Early Rivals of Venice: Comparative Urban and Economic Development in the Upper Adriatic c. 751–1050
Tom Brown (Edinburgh)
Le origini di Venezia fra l’Italia, Bisanzio e l’Adriatico
Stefano Gasparri (Venice)
A Winter Sea: Byzantium and the Barbarians during the Ebbing of the Adriatic Connection 600–800
Francesco Borri (Vienna)
Dalmatia and Albania under Venetian Rule
Oliver Jens Schmitt (Vienna)
Hagiography and the Cult of the Saints in Early Medieval Byzantine Dalmatia
Trpimir Vedriš (Zagreb)
La Pouille byzantine
Jean-Marie Martin (CNRS)
The Iconography of the Virgin in the Early Medieval Adriatic (c. 751–1095)
Magdalena Skoblar (BSA/BSR)

Thursday, January 15
The Adriatic Sea AD 500–1100: Corrupted or  Unified and ‘Global’?
Richard Hodges (Rome)
Venezia e l’Adriatico tra la tarda antichità e l’alto medioevo: evoluzione dell’insediamento nel quadro socio-economico
Sauro Gelichi (Venice)
Thinking of Linking: Pottery Connections, Southern Italy, Butrint and Beyond
Joanita Vroom (Leiden)
From One Coast to Another and Beyond: Adriatic  Connections through the Sigillographic Evidence
Pagona Papadopoulou (Athens)
Abul-Abbas & All That: Visual Dynamics between the Caliphate, Italy and the West in the Age of Charlemagne
John Mitchell (Norwich)
Icone e affreschi della Puglia nell’Adriatico e nel Mediterraneo bizantino
Valentino Pace (Udine)

Friday, January 16
Venice between the Adriatic and the Aegean in the Twelfth Century Michael Angold (Edinburgh)
The Rise of the Adriatic in the Age of the Crusades Peter Frankopan (Oxford)
Contexts of Sea Power and the Evolution of Venetian Crusading Christopher Wright (London)
Venice and the Southern Adriatic after the Fourth Crusade: Negotiating the Expansion Guillaume Saint-Guillain (Amiens)
Venise cosmopolite: le cœur battant de la Méditerranée chrétienne
Elisabeth Crouzet-Pavan (Paris)

Andrew W. Mellon Post-Doctoral Curatorial Fellow, Bowdoin College

The Andrew W. Mellon Post-Doctoral Curatorial Fellow works to strengthen the academic role of the Museum’s collections, facilitating the use of original works of art by faculty and students.

This is a three-year appointment.

Responsibilities include:

  • Supports collective and one-on-one curricular engagement with museum objects
  • Promotes faculty engagement with the collection through introductory and ongoing workshops designed to develop curricular opportunities
  • Facilitates object-based class sessions in the Museum’s dedicated art-study classroom
  • Organizes teaching exhibitions with students and faculty across the disciplines, acknowledging and encouraging new directions in research, scholarship, and dissemination
  • Curates and organizes scholarly exhibitions and writes associated publications
  • Conceives and implements programming (lectures, symposia) related to exhibitions and the Museum’s permanent collection

A recent Ph.D in art history is required. Applicants who will receive their Ph.D. by June 30, 2015 will also be considered. Broad knowledge of art history desired. Proven ability to work on multiple projects within a deadline-driven environment, and strong research, writing, and public speaking skills. Strong organizational and project management skills.

A minimum of one year working in a museum environment and demonstrated experience with object-based learning are required.

Associate Director, Research & Academic Program, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute

The Clark Art Institute is both an art museum and a center for research and higher education. Its Research and Academic Program (RAP) is a convener as well as a site for important discussion of ideas in the fields of art, art history, and visual studies. The RAP also sponsors a residential fellowship program and through this and its academic programs, the Clark creates contexts for those doing work in the field to generate and sustain crucial scholarship. In conjunction with the Starr Director of the RAP, the Associate Director conceptualizes, organizes, and implements the Clark fellows program and a rigorous schedule of academic events.

Essential Functions

Intellectual Leadership

  • Demonstrate an active and ongoing interest in current debates in the fields of art, art history, and visual studies, and a commitment to advanced scholarship, whether in the academy or museum.
  • Work with the Starr Director in conceptualizing, organizing, promoting and overseeing the Clark Fellowship program.
  • Work with the Starr Director to create and maintain an active conference, colloquium, and symposium schedule.
  • Assist in conceptualizing and developing new academic programs and initiatives within the RAP.
  • Work closely with the library, museum, and graduate program staff, students and visiting scholars and contribute to the Clark by service on committees and by participating in other institutional activities.
  • Provide intellectual and social support to visiting scholars and Fellows and offer assistance as needed to Fellows in residence concerning their research projects and other scholarly and professional activities.
  • Represent the RAP at meetings of Association of Research Institutes in Art History (ARIAH), International Association of Research Institutes in Art History (RIHA), College Art Association (CAA) and other national and international organizations.
  • Perform other similar duties as assigned or as requested by supervisor.
  • There is an opportunity to teach in the Williams / Clark Graduate Program in the History of Art.

Administration and Management

  • Manage and oversee the RAP’s administrative staff.
  • Manage the budget of the Research and Academic program by leading the budgeting process; reconciling financial statements; and overseeing expenditures.
  • Work with the Starr Director and the Clark’s Advancement office to write grant applications for outside support of the RAP’s programs.
  • Work with the Clark’s special events coordinator and the Director to plan and implement special events involving the RAP. Assist in coordinating preparation of annual fellowship announcements, lecture announcements, reception invitations, preparation of published announcements of fellowship awards and other printed material.
  • Maintain a master calendar of programs and Fellows’ residencies throughout the year; review and coordinate calendars and schedules of the museum, the Research and Academic Program, Williams College, and other partner institutions.
  • Assist in handling correspondence with former and incoming Fellows and other visitors to the RAP.
  • Assist and oversee members of the RAP’s administrative staff in developing procedures for dealing with health insurance, taxes, and visa arrangements for incoming Fellows.
  • Provide updated materials for all aspects of the RAP programs for the appropriate pages of the Clark Art Institute website.
  • Work with the RAP’s administrative staff to maintain division files and records.

A review of applications will begin immediately.

The Anatomy of Political Bodies

The Anatomy of Political Bodies, Faculty of “Artes Liberales”, University of Warsaw, April 17–18, 2015

The research group “Rex nunquam moritur: Comparative Approaches to Political Theologies from the Middle Ages to the Present” is pleased to announce a call for papers for the international two-day conference on The Anatomy of Political Bodies.

The objective of the conference is to examine political bodies past and present as a cultural phenomenon. What mechanisms lead to their emergence, their consolidation and, finally, their crises and decay? How have similar power mechanisms been adapted in different sociocultural, geographical and chronological contexts? By  posing  these  questions  we  intend  to  explore  how  the  various  understandings  and practices of legitimisation, authority and power have become intertwined with anatomical metaphors. Analyses of cultural artefacts as mediators between the theory and the practice of exercising power is also within the scope of our interest.

We address this invitation to early career researchers (PhD students and recent PhD holders) from diverse fields within the humanities, social and political sciences. Prospective contributors may wish to examine (but are not limited to) the following issues:

  • The representations, justifications and pragmatics of exercising power;
  • The role of technology, media and science in discourses of power;
  • Community- and identity-building as a function of the body politic;
  • Liturgical rites, salvation promises and sacred fetishes of power; o The implications, transformations and limits of political bodies; o Secular and ecclesiastical political bodies;
  • Secularization of political bodies and contemporary political theologies.

The language of the conference is English.

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Byzantine Studies, Uppsala University

The Department of Linguistics and Philology, Uppsala University, is searching for a postdoctoral research fellow in Byzantine studies to begin in April 2015.

The subject of Greek comprises the study of the Greek language and literature from the earliest times (ca. 700 B.C.) to the fall of Constantinople in 1453. At Uppsala teaching and research are pursued on both classical and medieval texts, and researchers here work in a lively research environment with a broad interest in the Greek language and culture from Antiquity onwards. Methodologically, the subject is represented by multiple orientations, from textual criticism and palaeography to language history and literature studies.

The position involves own research and research-related activities in the subject of Greek specialising in Byzantine Studies, with placement within the “Text and Narrative in Byzantium” Project. Administrative duties within the framework of the project are included, partly in connection with the project’s collaboration with the Byzantine Studies environment in Paris. Some advanced-level (second-cycle) teaching may be included. The applicant will be expected to actively plan, implement and participate in seminars and other arrangements, both at the Department and in international contexts. A comprehensive description of the research work planned within the framework of the position must be enclosed with the application. The planned research project is expected to be related to the Project’s focus on narrative in Byzantium, which could mean, for example, a narratological study of Byzantine material or a study of narrative forms or narrative techniques during some part of the Byzantine period.

Eligible for this position are persons who have completed a doctoral degree or an equivalent degree in the subject area of Byzantine Studies or Greek with a Byzantine specialisation. Primary consideration should be given to those who completed their doctorate no more than three years prior to the application deadline. For special reasons, such as leaves of absence relating to sickness, parental leave, positions of trust in union organisations, etc.,applicants with older doctorates will be considered.

Gregory of Nyssa on theôsis

Gregory of Nyssa on theôsis, lecture by Elena D-Vasilescu (Oxford), King’s College London, January 20, 2015, 5:30–7:30 pm

This seminar explores Gregory of Nyssa’s view on theôsis/deification and the role of love in this process as expressed in De Anima et Resurrectione (On the Soul and the Resurrection) and Homilies on the Song of Songs. For the fourth-century Cappadocian father, human beings can attain likeness to God by participating in the divine attributes, as made discernible through Christ, and by striving to inculcate in themselves properties peculiar to the Godhead. Love is the quality which Jesus displayed to the supreme extent before joining his Father in Heaven, thus showing human beings the way to achieve the same (‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me’; John 14.6). In the process of fulfilling their potential, people have the opportunity to express their love for God and for their neighbours, and also to receive it from them. Thus, the joining back to God is the supreme act of love.

Elena D-Vasilescu is Research Fellow at the Faculty of History, University of Oxford. She studied in Bucharest, Ottawa and Oxford, where she completed her doctoral dissertation on iconography. A monograph based on this was published in 2009 and recently the manuscript of a book on spiritual nourishment as reflected in patristic and medieval literature and in iconography was submitted to Oxford University Press. She is currently working on deification in the work of Gregory of Nyssa, and is co-editing a book on this topic.

“Social” Profiles and “Social” Groups: Perceptions about Social Position in Byzantium

“Social” Profiles and “Social” Groups: Perceptions about Social Position in Byzantium, Institute of Historical Research, National Hellenic Research Foundation, Athens, December 19, 2014

“Society” is a modern term that relates to the ensemble of relations among people and among distinct “social” groups. Even though in Byzantium the perception of “society” was comprised in the term “Rhomaion politeia”, the Byzantines had their own theories regarding the “position” that separate groups occupied in “society”. Definitions vary according to the point of view: an individual might be defined according to state (“constitutional”) rules within the space one lives and within the community one moves, which can be large e.g. within the palatine hierarchy, or can be quite narrow, e.g. within a village; but an individual is also defined according to perceptions that are maintained about one’s position e.g. the perceptions about descend (eugeneia, dysgeneia), or wealth, or about distinct professional groups (agrotai, pragmateutai, technitai, etc) and according to perceptions that one projects about himself and his own position (e.g. one’s perception about the importance of his noble ancestry). The profiles that are thus formed are quite different from one another and affect the relations of people and groups among them.

This divergence is the subject that will be discussed in the proposed workshop. With the purpose of sketching separate group profiles in Byzantium, of detecting definitions, self-definitions and definitions of the “other” that compose the social image of people and groups, separate protypes, social roles, hierarchies and structures will be investigated, which determine the position of people and groups in the byzantine society.

PROGRAM

61st Annual Eric P. Newman Graduate Seminar in Numismatics

61st Annual Eric P. Newman Graduate Seminar in Numismatics, American Numismatic Society, June 8–July 31, 2015

For over half a century, The American Numismatic Society, a scholarly organization and museum of coins, money, and economic history, has offered select graduate students and junior faculty the opportunity to work hands-on with its preeminent numismatic collections. With over three-quarters of a million objects, the collection is particularly strong in Greek, Roman, Islamic, Far Eastern, and US and Colonial coinages, as well as Medallic Art. Located in New York City’s SoHo district, the Society also houses the world’s most complete numismatic library.

The rigorous eight-week course, taught by ANS staff, guest lecturers, and a Visiting Scholar, introduces students to the methods, theories, and history of the discipline. In addition to the lecture program, students will select a numismatic research topic and, utilizing ANS resources, complete a paper or digital project while in residence. The Seminar is intended to provide students of History, Art History, Textual Studies, and Archeology who have little or no numismatic background with a working knowledge of a body of evidence that is often overlooked and poorly understood. Successful applicants are typically doctoral candidates or junior faculty in a related discipline, but masters candidates are admitted as well.

This year’s Visiting Scholar will be Prof. Dr. Aleksander Bursche of the Archeology Institute of the University of Warsaw. Prof. Bursche is specialist in the relationships between Greeks, Romans and ‘Barbarians’, with a particular emphasis on monetary and economic interactions.

A limited number of stipends of up to $4000 are available to US citizens, and non-US citizens studying at US institutions under certain visas.

Digital Coptic 2

Digital Coptic 2, Georgetown University, March 12–13, 2015

Coptic SCRIPTORIUM is pleased to host a second workshop and symposium on Digital Humanities and Coptic Studies.  It will take place March 12-13, 2015 at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.  This event follows on the workshop in May 2013 at Humboldt University, Berlin (http://www.copticscriptorium.org/workshop2013/workshop2013.html).  The first day will be a public symposium and workshop on the state of the field; the second day will be dedicated to Coptic SCRIPTORIUM (use of the corpus and technologies, contributing to the project, future directions, possible collaborations).

For the symposium, we welcome proposals for presentations on research in Digital Coptic studies (20 minutes), project descriptions (10 minutes), and roundtables or panels on questions and emerging standards.  Researchers in areas other than Coptic whose work can contribute to scholarly conversations in Digital Humanities and Coptic Studies are welcome to submit proposals, as well. Ample time will be reserved for discussion throughout the day.  

There are no registration fees to attend.  There may be limited travel bursaries available for presenters.

SUBMIT A PROPOSAL

Cyrenaican Church Floor Mosaics of the Justinianic Period: Decoration or Meaning?

Norman D. Cowell. "Cyrenaican Church Floor Mosaics of the Justinianic Period: Decoration or Meaning?" Libyan Studies 45 (November 2014): pp. 85–96.

Abstract

The well-preserved church floor mosaics of the Justinianic period discovered at Qasr Libya have been dismissed as a haphazard collection of motifs, most of which are purely decorative. The author presents arguments to question this statement and carries out a re-examination to see if a symbolic programme can be recovered from them. In this task two principal sources of imagery are drawn on; bible passages and, in view of the wide variety of fauna represented, the stories in early bestiaries where the alleged behaviour of animals is given a theological interpretation. This analysis was extended to cover a selection of other church floor mosaics of similar age. In each case it has been found possible to construct a coherent programme of symbolism and to link this to rites which would have been celebrated in those locations.

Liquid & Multiple: Individuals & Identities in the Thirteenth-century Aegean

Guillaume Saint-Guillain and Dionysios Ch Stathakopoulos, eds. Liquid & Multiple: Individuals & Identities in the Thirteenth-century Aegean. Monographies (Centre de recherche d'histoire et civilisation de Byzance), 35. Paris: Association des amis du Centre d'histoire et civilisation de Byzance, 2012.

Review by in Marina Koumanoudi, National Hellenic Research Foundation, in Mediterranean Historical Review 29, no. 1 (2014): pp. 94–97.

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Traces of Tarhuntas: Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Interaction with Hittite Monuments

Felipe Rojas and Valeria Sergueenkova. “Traces of Tarhuntas: Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Interaction with Hittite Monuments.” Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology 27 no. 2 (2014).

Abstract

This article examines what people in Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Anatolia thought about and did with Hittite and Neo-Hittite rock-cut reliefs and inscriptions. It brings together archaeological and textual evidence that demonstrates the intensity, variety, and sophistication of interactions with Bronze and Iron Age material remains between the classical and early Byzantine periods. It also calls attention to the ways in which indigenous inhabitants and foreign visitors alike used such remains to construct or verify narratives about local and universal history. The evidence analyzed here should be of interest to those studying social memory as well as cross-cultural interaction within and beyond the Mediterranean.

The Language of Power: Articulating Kingship In the Medieval Islamicate World

The Language of Power: Articulating Kingship In the Medieval Islamicate World, panel at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), Denver, November 21–24, 2015

Throughout history, societies have commonly invested much of their cultural innovation and resourcefulness in the articulation of power manifested within the institution of kingship and the personhood of the sovereign. On the contrary, according to Roy Mottahedeh, “Islam, in the view of the overwhelming majority of its early adherents, was meant not to create kingdoms but to bring a divinely appointed polity, based on a Divine Law which would last until the Day of Judgment.” Thus, early medieval Islamic political thought, although accepting of a monocratic single ruler succeeding Muhammad in the position of the khalīfa, greatly disfavored the notion of mulk and kingship, associating them with the fallacies and autocracies of non-Arab, namely Byzantine and Persian rulers. Yet, by the twelfth century, absolutism under a designated ruler had become the common form of rule throughout much of the medieval Islamic world and thus in several juristic writings, caliphate (khilāfa; also known as imāma, imamate) is often contrasted with kingship or monarchy (mulk). In fact, recent scholarship has demonstrated that notions of kingship and caliphate often overlapped, instead of adhering to the strict dichotomy drawn by the medieval ‘ulama between khilāfa and mulk. This panel aims to explore the enunciation and representation of the language of medieval Islamic kingship by examining, in broad terms, the relation of kingship and divinity, kingship in relation to law/shari‘a and morality, relationships between ruler and ruled and the patronage networks therein, as well as political legitimacy and the symbolism of power. Thus we seek papers exploring legal, theological, and political discourses related to Islamic notions of kingship, courtly rituals and ceremonies, panegyrics and belles-lettres, art, architecture, and material culture, continuities and discontinuities between Islam and Late Antiquity regarding rulership, within the courts of Muslim and non-Muslim monarchs located within the medieval Islamicate world.

(Un)mapping the Mediterranean

(Un)mapping the Mediterranean, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, March 13–14, 2015

The “Ocean Crossings” group University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign announces the call for papers for the Graduate Student Colloquium (Un)mapping the Mediterranean.

The Mediterranean has always been a space marked by fluidic and nomadic networks formed by transnational fluxes of people, goods and ideas. Mapping seems to be the preliminary condition for crossing to happen – allowing subjects to position themselves and to move within space. However, even the act of crossing can become a destabilizing moment through the breaking down of preconceived spatial and cultural coordinates. In this perspective, the Mediterranean allows the possibility to unsettle rather than to trace borders, thus opening up the space for new connections that transcend existing social, cultural, or political frameworks.

Proposals may address, but are not restricted to:

  • artistic, literary, social and epistemological representations of the Mediterranean
  • the relationships of the subject to the Mediterranean and its crossing
  • mapping and cartography
  • borders and transnationalism
  • mobility and migration

The keynote speaker is Zeev Gourarie, Director of Science and Collections, Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations, Marseille, France.

Negotiating Identities: Expression and Representation in the Christian-Jewish-Muslim Mediterranean

Negotiating Identities: Expression and Representation in the Christian-Jewish-Muslim Mediterranean, NEH Summer Institute for College and University Teachers, Barcelona, July 5–August 1, 2015

Our Institute involves a rethinking of the history of the later Middle Ages (c. 1000–1500) through the optic of the Mediterranean, emphasizing questions of religious and ethnic pluralisms, cultural contact, hybridity, transculturation, and the negotiation of identities. Rather seeing the Mediterranean merely as the arena of conflict and contact between monolithically-conceived cultures (e.g. Muslim, Christian, Jewish, European, African, Middle Eastern), it takes as its starting point the dynamics and structures common to each of these as they engaged with one another. As a region whose history of connectivity can be documented over at least two and a half millennia, the Mediterranean has recently become the object of innovative scholarship in various disciplines that shifts attention from the internal structure and development of discrete entities (political states, ethnic or religious groups, cultural traditions) to a study of interconnectedness and dynamics of interaction. The emphasis on contact and circulation invites a nuanced reconsideration of recent (and not-so-recent) conceptualizations of modes of interaction between Christian, Muslim, and Jewish societies. Paradoxically, the medieval Mediterranean, often cast as a site of the origin of Christian-Muslim hostility in the form of the Crusade, has also been idealized as the site of “convivencia” – the harmonious coexistence of Christian, Islamic, and Judaic cultures. The facility with which ideas, cultural practices, and technologies traversed the Mediterranean is testament to the commonalities underlying the formal divisions between ethnic and religious groups. At the crossroads of northern European, African, and Middle Eastern cultures, linked (via long-distance trade) to South and East Asian, African and northern European, the Mediterranean played a key role in the emergence of the modern West in ways Mediterranean Studies has recently begun to document.

In the last decade, Mediterranean Studies has emerged as an important interdisciplinary teaching and research field, as attested by the proliferation of Mediterranean Studies groups, conferences, institutes, journals, and publications series, as well as the growing number of academic positions in history, art history, literature, and philosophy being framed in terms of the pre-modern Mediterranean, both in the US and abroad. Catlos and Kinoshita—both in their individual research and especially through their multiple collaborative projects—have systematically sought to develop the potential of Mediterranean Studies as a forum for making visible the connections, commonalities, and conflicts that otherwise fall between the cracks of disciplinary boundaries, and have become leaders in this new and exciting, interdisciplinary field.

In this vision, Mediterranean Studies is not limited to the study of those times and places that produced articulations (geographical, historiographical, cartographical) of the region as a whole. Nor is the Mediterranean treated as an area with fixed geographical boundaries, or as a unified, much less essentialized, culture. Rather, we take the Mediterranean as an area whose distinctive geography of fragmented, and therefore interdependent micro-regions has produced a pattern of ever-shifting interconnections accommodating populations of mixed religion, ethnicity, language, and much else. While sometimes leading to political and ideological polarization, these kaleidoscopic variations also lend themselves to what Catlos has described as “mutual intelligibility” across some of the categories central to more traditional medieval historiographies. This helps to account for the currents of innovation and synthesis that transformed medieval Europe: the adoption of Greek and Arabo-Islamic science and medicine, the monotheistic re-configuration of Aristotelian philosophy, the translation and adaptation of literary works and styles, and the ease with which Muslim and Christian powers could engage with each other and incorporate ethnic and religious out-groups (notably Jews) in their societies and institutions. Mediterranean Studies thus encourages the exploration of contact and exchange not only in political, economic, and religious spheres (diplomacy, long-distance trade, shared currents of legalism or mysticism across confessional lines), but also in literary, artistic, and cultural ones (the translation of texts, circulation of decorative arts, and transmission of styles and ideas).

This is a perspective that over the last ten years has captured the imagination of scholars, both in their research and their teaching. However, even for today’s medievalists— increasingly trained in comparative work—working across national and confessional traditions remains challenging. This Institute provides participants with the conceptual and methodological tools to engage effectively with Mediterranean Studies as a frame for both research and teaching, and introduces them to practical work being carried out in a number of disciplines, represented in the research of our diverse faculty.

A New Look: Sinai and Its Icons in Light of the Digitization of the Weitzmann Archive

A New Look: Sinai and Its Icons in Light of the Digitization of the Weitzmann Archive, Princeton University, April 17–18, 2015

The icons at the Monastery of Saint Catherine at Mount Sinai will be the focus of a two-day conference, “A New Look: Sinai and Its Icons in Light of the Digitization of the Weitzmann Archive,” that is being organized by the Department of Art and Archaeology, Princeton University, and will take place at Princeton on April 17–18, 2015.

The Department of Art and Archaeology is completing a major initiative to digitize and catalogue a key archive for the study of Byzantine icons—several thousand color images of the icons owned by the Monastery of Saint Catherine at Mount Sinai. The oldest continuously inhabited Christian monastery in the world, with a history that can be traced back over seventeen centuries, Saint Catherine’s possesses an extraordinary collection of icons that date from Late Antiquity to the modern era, illustrating the history of the icon and including many of the most important surviving pre-Iconoclastic panel icons. Kurt Weitzmann, who codirected expeditions to the monastery between 1956 and 1965, had intended that these materials would be published in a series of volumes. Unfortunately, only the first of these (Kurt Weitzmann, The Monastery of Saint Catherine at Mount Sinai: The Icons. Volume One: From the Sixth to the Tenth Century. Princeton: Princeton University press, 1976) was ever published. The Department of Art and Archaeology’s archive of color images of the icons taken by the expeditions to Sinai is now being digitized and will be made available for study. The project was funded by a generous grant from Princeton’s David A. Gardner ’69 Magic Project.

The annual Weitzmann lecture will be given on the evening of Friday, April 17, by Professor Robin Cormack, Courtauld Institute of Art, emeritus.

Director of Library, Dumbarton Oaks

Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection is an institute in Washington, D.C., affiliated with Harvard University. The Research Library (approximately 200,000 volumes) has world-class collections in the institute’s three research areas of Byzantine, Garden and Landscape, and Pre-Columbian Studies. The Rare Book collection is especially strong on works of landscape architecture, botany, and horticulture, and includes botanical illustrations, manuscripts and drawings. Reflecting the research focus of Dumbarton Oaks, the collection also includes facsimiles of Byzantine and medieval manuscripts, early printed editions of Byzantine texts, and works on the art and archeology of the pre-contact peoples of Mesoamerica, lower Central America, and Andean South America.

The Director of the Library will provide strategic direction for the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library, consistent with the institute’s mission and vision, while also providing leadership and mentoring to an experienced and highly competent team of library professionals. The successful candidate will bring a solid understanding of the major challenges facing academic research libraries, in areas such as collection development, preservation, technology integration, and space utilization. He or she will also have a proven track record in the use of information technology to bridge the worlds of librarians, researchers, and students. A strong team-player, the Director of the Library will collaborate with the institute’s scholarly programs, Publications, and IT to enhance learning and research, collection development, and digital projects.

The position remains open until filled.

MORE INFORMATION

Saint Louis Conference on Manuscript Studies

Saint Louis Conference on Manuscript Studies, Saint Louis University, October 16–17, 2015

The Vatican Film Library invites paper submissions or session proposals for the 42nd Saint Louis Conference on Manuscript Studies, to be held at Saint Louis University in St. Louis, MO, 16–17 October 2015. The conference is organized annually by the Vatican Film Library and its journal, Manuscripta, and is the longest running conference in North America devoted exclusively to medieval and Renaissance manuscript studies. The two-day program each year offers sessions on a variety of themes relating to medieval book production, distribution, reception, and transmission in such areas as paleography, codicology, illumination, textual transmission, library history, cataloguing, and more.

The guest speaker for 2015 is Stella Panayotova, Keeper, Department of Manuscripts and Printed Books, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

Papers or session proposals should address the material aspects of late antique, medieval, or Renaissance manuscripts. Submissions may address an original topic or a session theme already proposed. Papers are 20 minutes in length and a full session normally consists of three papers. If you are interested in organizing one of these sessions, or wish to suggest a paper or session of your own, please contact us as soon as possible.

Mellon-CES Dissertation Completion Fellowships in European Studies

The Council for European Studies (CES) invites eligible graduate students in the humanities to apply for the 2015 Mellon-CES Dissertation Completion Fellowships in European Studies.

Winners of the Mellon-CES Dissertation Completion Fellowships will also be expected to participate in a number of professional development activities organized by the Council for European Studies for the benefit of its fellows and designed to support early career development.  These activities include: publishing in Perspectives on Europe, a semi-annual journal of the Council for European studies; presenting at the International Conference of Europeanists, hosted by the Council for European Studies; and participating in several digital and in-person career development seminars and/or workshops.

Eligibility:
Mellon-CES Dissertation Completion Fellowships are intended to facilitate the timely completion of the doctoral degree by late-stage graduate students in the humanities working on Europe.  

To be eligible an applicant must:

  • be ABD (year 5 and above);
  • be a US citizen or green card holder;
  • can have no more than one full year of dissertation work remaining at the start of the fellowship year as certified by his or her dissertation advisor;
  • be enrolled at a higher education institution in the U.S. that is a member of the Council for European Studies Academic Consortium. Students whose universities are not currently members of the CES consortium may apply, but they are encouraged to apply early in the application season so that every effort may be made to enroll the institution in the CES member consortium and, thus, establish the student's eligibility by the application deadline.

The applicant must also have exhausted the dissertation completion funding normally provided by his or her academic department or university, and he or she must be working on a topic within or substantially overlapping European Studies.

Place and Space in the Medieval World

Place and Space in the Medieval World, University of York, May 29–31, 2015

‘Space’ and ‘Place’ are terms that have had a ‘renaissance’ within medieval scholarship in recent decades, becoming increasingly employed to describe the cultural and intellectual landscape of the Middle Ages. However, despite the widely recognised importance of these terms, of late, various factions of scholars have begun to debate whether one has primacy over the other in terms of its agency and usefulness in determining how we conceptualise and discuss the medieval world. While taking into account these vagaries, this conference will extend the conversation surrounding these terms and ideas, considering the extant visual and textual sources alongside the contemporary scholarly discussions of this milieu.

Ideas of space and place as applied to the Medieval are flexible and pervasive, affecting discussions such as those of cultural agency and development. These ideas are inseparable from discussions of human geographies, of local landscapes, of inscribing human agency upon the earth, of intellectual engagement with architectural spaces and structures, and of cultural identities, as well with the visual objects, artefacts and texts produced in this period. The perception, use, and representation of space and place can be seen as an essential dimension of medieval life – all of which create inter-relational ideas that often serve to present one place (or space) while allowing the imagining of others. This conference considers the possible theoretical and conceptual approaches to space and place in their widest contexts, through examining written, archaeological, pictorial, architectural, geographical, cartographical and liturgical material in order to shed new light on the uses, understandings, and transformations of space and place in the Middle Ages and to investigate the ‘the spatial turn’ in the pre-modern world, asking; where were they then and where are we now?

Cultural Brokers at Mediterranean Courts in the Middle Ages

These few remarks have certainly not done justice to the rich spectrum presented here. The term 'cultural broker' proves to be highly productive, forcing us to revisit many of our traditional perspectives toward the ordinary relations among representatives of many different cultures, religions, languages, and political systems in the wider world of the Mediterranean.

Marc Von der Höh, Nikolas Jaspert, and Jenny Rahel Oesterle, eds. Cultural Brokers at Mediterranean Courts in the Middle Ages. Mittelmeerstudien, 1. Paderborn and Munich: Wilhelm Fink / Ferdinand Schöningh, 2013.

From The Medieval Review (TMR). Review by Albrecht Classen, University of Arizona

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THE MARY JAHARIS CENTER
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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