Stories and Storytelling in the Medieval World: an Interdisciplinary Conference

Stories and Storytelling in the Medieval World: an Interdisciplinary Conference, Institute of Archaeology, University College London, April 2015

The Early Medieval Interdisciplinary Conference Series is pleased to invite proposals for papers on ‘Stories and Storytelling in the Medieval World’. This interdisciplinary event intends to explore how stories were used, told, and received in different Early Medieval contexts. Discussion of the stories we tell and the use of stories in teaching about the period is also welcomed. As with previous EMICS events, a selection of papers will be put forward for publication.

The shaping and sharing of narrative has always been key in the negotiation and recreation of reality for individuals and cultural groups. Some stories, indeed, seem to possess a life of their own: claiming a peculiar agency and taking on distinct voices which speak across time and space. How, for example, do objects, manuscripts and other artefacts communicate alternative or complementary narratives that transcend textual and linguistic boundaries? As well as the stories themselves, scholarship is increasingly interested in how stories were told and received, from communal dramatic recreations to records produced for private meditation.

EMICS aims to bring a range of disciplines, including manuscript and literary studies, art history, archaeology and history, together. Consideration will be given to how stories can be created, reshaped, and re-experienced; to how the experience of narratives creates meaning; and to how the meaning of stories shifts across different contexts and media.  Case studies from different disciplines will provoke a conversation between fields of study about the making and decoding of stories in Early Medieval worlds.

We invite proposals for 20 minute papers on any aspect of storytelling, from researchers in any discipline, and considering any medieval culture. Papers from PhD students and early career researchers are particularly welcomed. Topics could include, but are not limited to:

  • stories re-used in different ways across a culture or period
  • storification of cultural challenges, such as the creation of monsters or myths
  • the construction of spaces and objects for storytelling or in response to stories
  • how stories were told or received in particular contexts or formats
  • how materials negotiate different modes of speaking and storytelling
  • the use of stories and storytelling in teaching and exploring Early Medieval worlds

Jacob of Sarug’s Homilies on Jesus’ Temptation

Adam Carter McCollum, ed. and trans. Jacob of Sarug’s Homilies on Jesus' Temptation. Texts from Christian Late Antiquity 38. Gorgias Press, 2014.

From Gorgias Press

Recognized as a saint by both Chalcedonian and non-Chalcedonian Christians alike, Jacob of Sarug (d. 521) produced many narrative poems that have rarely been translated into English. Of his reported 760 metrical homilies, only about half survive. Part of a series of fascicles containing the bilingual Syriac-English editions of Saint Jacob of Sarug’s homilies, this volume contains two of his homilies on the temptation of Jesus. The Syriac text is fully vocalized, and the translation is annotated with a commentary and biblical references. The volume is one of the fascicles of Gorgias Press’s The Metrical Homilies of Mar Jacob of Sarug, which, when complete, will contain all of Jacob’s surviving sermons.

Regius Professorship of Greek, University of Oxford

A Regius Professor of Greek is due to be appointed by Her Majesty the Queen at the University of Oxford with effect from 1 October 2015 or as soon as possible thereafter. The professor will have a high international profile in the study of Greek language and literature, together with broad intellectual interests and sympathies, enabling her or him to enhance global standing of the Faculty of Classics in research and to develop interdisciplinary connections within Oxford and beyond. She or he will offer academic leadership, engage in world-class research, and promote a culture of obtaining research funding among colleagues and graduate students. She or he will play a central role in graduate teaching and examining and will locate her or himself at the heart of graduate activities in the faculty; she or he will also make important contributions to undergraduate teaching. She or he will contribute, as appropriate, to the faculty’s development initiatives and to its active programme of outreach in schools and the wider community.

Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Humanities, Haverford College

The John B. Hurford ’60 Center for the Arts and Humanities of Haverford College invites applications for a two-year Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Humanities to begin Fall 2015.

We seek scholars interested in the study of cultural practices surrounding the care, disposal, and memorialization of the dead. Area of specialization is open, but might include religion, history, archaeology, anthropology, material and visual culture, performance studies, or literature, among other possibilities. Candidates should have broad historical and interdisciplinary interests. Women and members of underrepresented minority groups are especially encouraged to apply.

During the first year of the program, the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow will participate in a year-long faculty seminar led by Associate Professor Hank Glassman (East Asian Languages and Cultures) entitled “Attending to the Dead: Mortality, Memory, and Material Culture.” Applicants should make clear the nature of their potential contributions to this interdisciplinary seminar. A seminar in the cultural history of death, it will focus on the distillation and concretization of memory and affect in the form of monuments, gravestones, relics, paintings, sound recordings, photographs, and other objects.

In the second year, the Fellow will organize and present a national spring symposium related to his or her fields of interest. This event will be supported financially and logistically by the HCAH. During each of the four semesters at Haverford College, the Fellow will teach one course, each of which will be either at the introductory/intermediate or the advanced level. Applicants should submit two brief course proposals related to their area of interest, one for a broad-based introductory course, the other for a more specialized or advanced course. The successful candidate will demonstrate readiness to teach a diverse student body.

Porphyra Issue XXII

Porphyra, International journal for Byzantine Studies, launches a CFP for the next issue: all contributions dealing with any subject related to Byzantium are welcome. History, religion, literature, anthropolgy, culture, history of art are just some of the suggested themes. Whoever is interested in sending us a contibution is kindly requested to submit it no later than 15th November 2014.

Please note that Porphyra is a peer‐review journal. A proposal is no longer enough for a contribution: the whole article must be sent and approved by our staff. Submissions must follow the journal’s Editorial style guide. As in the previous issues, it is also possible to send us reviews which will be published in the appropriate section once approved by our staff.

Postdoctoral Opportunities in the Humanities 2015–18, University of Oxford

Junior Research Fellowships (JRFs) are one of the central elements of humanities research in the collegiate university of Oxford, and have long provided invaluable opportunities for early career academics to undertake a post-doctoral research project. Below is a list of the Colleges offering Fellowships and links to the details and application procedures for each post.

These posts are primarily research posts. Some carry limited teaching duties, but they provide an exciting opportunity to concentrate on your research while developing your scholarly career beyond your doctoral study. JRFs are prestigious posts, and many holders of such Fellowships have gone on to successful careers at top universities.

You must be at an early stage of your academic career, and be ready to embark on an independent research project. A competitive renumeration package and associated benefits are available for each Fellowship. Candidates are normally expected to have submitted their doctoral thesis before taking up the post, but at the moment of application can be doctoral students.

Research Fellowships in Cultural and Intellectual History, The Warburg Institute

The Warburg Institute is dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of the classical tradition - in the sense of those elements in European thought, art and institutions that have evolved out of the cultures of the ancient world. Its Library and Photographic Collection are designed and arranged to encourage research into the processes by which one culture learns from another and by which different fields of thought and art act on each other. They are particularly concerned with continuities between the ancient Mediterranean civilizations and the cultural and intellectual history of post-classical Europe, especially in the period to c. 1800.

The Institute is offering one long-term Frances A. Yates Fellowship of two or three years tenable from October 2015. Fellows’ interests may lie in any aspect of cultural and intellectual history but, other things being equal, preference will be given to those whose work is concerned with those areas of the medieval and Renaissance encyclopaedia of knowledge to which Dame Frances herself made distinguished contributions.

Textual Transmission in Byzantium: between Textual Criticism and Quellenforschung

J. Signes Codoñer and I. Pérez Martín, eds. Textual Transmission in Byzantium: between Textual Criticism and Quellenforschung. Brepols, 2014.

From Brepols

A workshop was held in February 2012 in Madrid to stimulate a debate on textual criticism centred on the analysis of Byzantine texts and their modes of publication, rewriting and diffusion. The main aim was to provide future editors or scholars of the history of texts with a rich typology of concepts to guide their task, such as interpolation, paraphrasis, metaphrasis, quotation, collection, amplification or falsification, among others, but always taking into account that the principles upon which the discipline of textual criticism was founded needed to be reconsidered when dealing with the transmission of Byzantine texts. The present book brings together the different case studies produced by the participants of the workshop into a coherent whole and distributes them into five different sections according to their methodological approaches: 1. Language and style; 2. Virtual libraries and crossed readings; 3. Philosophical treatises and collections; 3.The sources of history; 5. Law texts and their reception. The results of the different approaches put forward by the contributors offer a broad palette of methodological strategies that are, to a great extent, complementary, and will, so we hope, illuminate the task of the future editors with new reflections.

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Michaelis Pselli Chronographia

Diether Roderich Reinsch. Michaelis Pselli Chronographia. Millennium-Studien / Millennium Studies 51. De Gruyter, 2014.

From De Gruyter

The new critical edition of Michael Psellos’ Chronographia takes into account the entire scholarly work on this text since 1874 in a critical apparatus and a separate text-critical commentary. Compared to previous editions, it provides an improved text, suggesting many new readings. Comprehensive indices facilitate the search within the Greek text. The German translation appears in the Sammlung Tusculum.

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Whose Mediterranean is it anyway? Cross-cultural interaction between Byzantium & the West 1204–1669

Whose Mediterranean is it anyway? Cross-cultural interaction between Byzantium and the West 1204–1669, 48th Spring Byzantine Symposium, The Open University, March 28–30, 2015

The Early Modern Mediterranean basin was an area where many different rich cultural traditions came in contact with each other, were often forced to co-exist, and frequently learned to reap the benefits of co-operation. Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Muslims, Jews, and their interactions all contributed significantly to the cultural development of modern Europe.

The aim of this conference is to address, explore, re-examine and re-interpret one specific aspect of this cross-cultural interaction in the Mediterranean – that between the Byzantine East and the (mainly Italian) West. The investigation of this interaction has become increasingly popular in the past few decades, not least due to the relevance it has for cultural exchanges in our present-day society.

The starting point is provided by the fall of Constantinople to the troops of the fourth Crusade in 1204. In the aftermath of the fall, a number of Byzantine territories came under a prolonged Latin occupation, an occupation that forced Greeks and Latins to adapt their life socially and religiously according to the new status-quo. Venetian Crete developed one of the most fertile ‘bi-cultural’ societies, which evolved over 458 years. Its fall to the Ottoman Turks in 1669 marked the end of an era and was hence chosen as the end point for the conference.

Papers that explore any aspect of this Byzantine-Western interaction in the Mediterranean from either a visual, historical, textual, theological, social or cultural angle will be considered for the Communications Sessions of the Symposium.

Venice, Byzantium and the Mediterranean World, Research Fellowship, Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia

The Department of Philosophy and Cultural Heritage, Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, is offering a 12-month research fellowship on the theme: Venice, Byzantium and the Mediterranean World: Patronage, Circulation of Arts and Artifacts between the 9th and 15th Centuries.

El Greco, a Cretan painter?

El Greco, a Cretan painter?, lecture by Angeliki Lymberopoulou (Open University), King’s College London, November 24, 2014, 5:30pm

Domenikos Theotokopoulos (widely known as El Greco), was born in Candia (present-day Herakleion), the capital of Venetian Crete. But was he a Cretan painter? Geographically speaking, the obvious answer is ‘yes’. The notion may also have been part of the painter’s identity, because he repeatedly declared his origin as ‘Cretan’ (Κρής) on his signed works. But what did being ‘Cretan’ entail at this particular time? This question cannot be answered on the basis of topography alone. It needs to be regarded from different perspectives, taking into account the nature of sixteenth-century Venetian Crete as a bi-cultural and bi-religious society - a unique environment that nurtured the formative stage of El Greco’s exceptional artistic development.

Angeliki Lymberopoulou is a Lecturer in Byzantine art and culture at The Open University, having joined in April 2004 from the National Gallery in London. She specializes in the artistic production of Venetian Crete (1211–1669). Her research and publications focus primarily on wall paintings and icons; the social context of their production (i.e. the artists and their hybrid clientele); their demand within the local and European Renaissance market; the cross-cultural influences between Byzantine East and (mainly Italian) West; and the heritage of Byzantine art in the Renaissance period. She currently co-manages a Leverhulme funded International Networks project, which examines the representation of Hell on frescoes of Venetian Crete. El Greco is an interest within the broader context of post-Byzantine Cretan icon production. Her most recent publication on the acclaimed master is ‘From Candia to Toledo: El Greco and his art’, in Art and Visual Culture 1100–1600. Medieval to Renaissance, ed. K.W. Woods, London, 2012, pp. 282-325.

The Gospel Paris gr. 54 and the Union of Lyon: Renewal, Reunion, Reform, and Rejection

The Gospel Paris gr. 54 and the Union of Lyon: Renewal, Reunion, Reform, and Rejection, lecture by Kathleen Maxwell (Santa Clara University), Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales-CSIC, Madrid, October 30, 2014, at noon

Paris, BnF, gr. 54—a bilingual Greek and Latin illustrated Byzantine Gospel book—is a singular reflection of the Emperor Michael VIII’s efforts to renew relations with Rome through the union of the Greek and Latin Churches. Paris 54’s bilingual text, expanded narrative cycle with scenes related to St. Peter, and its many unfinished aspects can best be understood if it was conceived as a diplomatic gift, commissioned by the Byzantine emperor for the Latin pope. This paper will explore the contentious response to Michael VIII’s efforts to implement renewal and reform in late thirteenth-century Constantinople.

Assistant Professor, Post-Classical Mediterranean, University of Virginia

The College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences of the University of Virginia invites applications for a full-time, tenure-track position at the rank of Assistant Professor from scholars with a research focus on connective cultures in the post-Classical Mediterranean (4th to 10th century).

Possible areas of study might include: the interaction of knowledge, people and practices; the social, political and/or cultural history of one or more connective Mediterranean cultures or communities; minority, diasporic or vocationally distinct social groups (e.g., merchants, scholars of science and medicine); interstitial and nomadic polities and cultures; translation; reappropriation of earlier cultural forms, materials or technologies.

Candidates must demonstrate excellence in scholarly research and an ongoing program of publication. They must also be committed to outstanding teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels. PhD must be in hand by August 15, 2015.

Possible home departments include, but are not limited to: Art, Classics, History or Religious Studies. The appointee will also hold an initial two-year Mellon Fellowship in 'Comparative Cultures of the Pre-Modern World' at the University's interdisciplinary Institute of Humanities and Global Cultures.

Assistant Professor of Classics, Greco-Roman & Islamic Traditions, Tufts University

The School of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University seeks a scholar who studies the contact between the Greco-Roman and Islamic traditions during any period through the Renaissance for a tenure-track Mellon Bridge Assistant Professorship, to begin September 2015. This newly-created position is being supported by a grant from the Mellon Foundation to promote scholarship and teaching that bridges different departments and programs in the humanities. Mellon Bridge professors will be grounded in one department but will also teach in other academic departments or programs, according to their areas of expertise.

This position will have a primary appointment in the Department of Classics, and a secondary appointment in one or more of the following programs and departments: Arabic; Archaeology; Art History; History; International Relations; Middle Eastern Studies; Philosophy; Religion; Romance Languages; and a potentially new interdisciplinary master’s program, Digital Technologies for Pre-Modern Studies, which is currently in the planning stage. The School will extend secondary appointments and cross-list courses in other departments and programs as appropriate. The successful candidate will receive an appointment as a fellow at the Center for the Humanities at Tufts (CHAT) for the duration of the pre-tenure probationary period.

The intellectual emphasis of the Department of Classics is the transmission of knowledge across cultures and time. The Department currently teaches courses in Greek, Latin, Medieval Latin, and Sanskrit and in the archaeology and history of Egypt, the Greco-Roman world, Ancient Northern Europe, and the Mediterranean, as well as in the comparison of Greek, Roman, and Chinese history. In addition, department members and affiliated faculty maintain teaching and research interests in the medieval and early modern world. The Department of Classics also houses the Perseus Digital Library, one of the largest and most actively used open-access humanities databases in the world—currently containing approximately 165 million searchable words in Greek, Latin, Arabic, French, German, Italian, and English, and receiving more than eight million visits last year alone, with a returning-visitor rate of 66%. Perseus’s collections range from Homer through the Renaissance to nineteenth-century American literature and contemporary scholarship, and also include photographs and descriptions of art objects, buildings, and archaeological sites. The Perseus Perseids Platform, supported by a generous grant from the Mellon Foundation, is currently expanding Tufts’ digital infrastructure by facilitating the publication, revision, and conservation of previously unavailable texts, other media, and original research by faculty and students.

Applicants should demonstrate knowledge of Arabic as well as either Greek or Latin. Evidence of a strong record of scholarship is required. Doctorate and minimum of two years’ full- or part-time teaching experience is required. We especially welcome candidates who can support student research at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Candidates who are interested in augmenting the strengths of Tufts’ Perseus Digital Library and its Perseids Platform in Greek, Latin, Classical Arabic, or other languages are especially encouraged to apply. The successful candidate will be expected to teach undergraduate courses related to his or her specific research area using works in translation, as well as to have the capacity to teach undergraduate and graduate courses on works in the original Latin and/or Greek.

Early Christian-Muslim Debate on the Unity of God

Sara Leila Husseini. Early Christian-Muslim Debate on the Unity of God: Three Christian Scholars and Their Engagement with Islamic Thought (9th Century C.E.). Brill, 2014.

From Brill

Early Christian-Muslim Debate on the Unity of God examines the writings of three of the earliest known Christian theologians to write comprehensive theological works in Arabic. Theodore Abū Qurra, Abū Rā’iṭa and ‘Ammār al-Baṣrī provide valuable insight into early Christian-Muslim debate shortly after the rise of the Islamic empire.

Through close examination of their writings on the doctrine of the Trinity, Sara Husseini demonstrates the creativity of these theologians, who make use of language, style and argumentation characteristic of Islamic theological thought (kalām), in order to help articulate their long-established religious truths. Husseini offers close analysis of the authors individually and comparatively, exploring their engagement with Islamic theology and their role in this fascinating period.

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Fragmentation: The Eastern Mediterranean in Conflict and Cohesion

Fragmentation: The Eastern Mediterranean in Conflict and Cohesion,16th Annual Postgraduate Colloquium, Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman, and Modern Greek Studies, University of Birmingham, May 30, 2015

Papers are cordially invited for the 16th Annual Postgraduate Colloquium at the Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies. ‘Fragmentation’ is as important a phenomenon as ‘continuity’ in politics, economics, and cultures in the Eastern Mediterranean from late antiquity to the modern times. Instead of foreclosing debate on such common heritage in the region, the theme ‘Fragmentation’ provides a dimension on how institutions and various political, social, and economic groups interacted in harmony or in conflict, because of or in spite of such commonality.

We welcome 20-minute papers on topics in all fields of Byzantine, Ottoman and/or Modern Greek Studies that include, but are not limited by, the following:

  • Economic activities/institutions
  • Political institutions
  • Identity
  • Literature and narrative
  • Historiographical scholarship
  • Societal affiliation/mentality

Abstracts of 250 words should be submitted by 31 March 2015 to cbomgs.colloquium@

Source: BSANA listserv

Aristotle Transferred - The Ancient Greek Commentaries on Aristotle and the Transfer of Knowledge

Aristotle Transferred - The Ancient Greek Commentaries on Aristotle and the Transfer of Knowledge, Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Berlin, October 23–25, 2014

The conference “Aristotle transferred” challenges the concept of Richard Sorabji´s “Aristotle transformed” (Cornell University Press, 1990), i. e. the idea of distortion and of creativity that emerges (only) through transformation by suggesting a different model and instrument: the concept of “transfer”. This is derived from the basic conception of scientific history in premodern times underlying the research unit “Episteme in motion.”

The motions in which the ancient tradition is concerned with Aristotle can be described as forms of transfer of knowledge rather than of transformation. Inside traditions knowledge is moved by acts of transfer of knowledge. Text and context as well as their institutional representations and media undergo certain dynamics that are constituted by different forms of change and evolution: among which many are moving only bit by bit or subliminally away from the readings of their predecessors. The motions are determined substantially by continuity and stability. The processes of gaining knowledge and attaining higher levels of differentiated understanding of texts and philosophical concepts develop gradually and while permanently reflecting on tradition, on their hermeneutical methods and on the context in and for which the applied knowledge is built.

The schools of philosophy in Late Antiquity take part in social, political, religious, and general educational and cultural processes so that the teaching and learning in the different institutional frameworks themselves have to be analysed and viewed as acts of transfer. Emphasis needs to be put especially on the entanglement and mutual influence of institutions, hermeneutical process, media (especially oral learning and teaching), and philosophical thought.

Such readings of late ancient commentaries in Aristotle need to be systematical and historically comprehensive in order to present an overview of the different approaches towards hermeneutics, interpretation, the scientific and educational role of commentaries and philosophical teachers and their mutual influence in Late Antiquity. The conference wants to meet this challenges.


Christian Historiography between Empires (4th–8th Centuries)

Christian Historiography between Empires (4th–8th Centuries),  Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies (CEMS), Central European University, October 24–25, 2014

The conference will explore the construction of the Christian historiographic traditions from the fourth to the eighth century, between the Roman and the Sasanian empires first and, then, between Byzantium and the Islamic caliphates. The last decade has seen much development and many new results in the assessment of these historiographic traditions including some landmark publications. Byzantinists have explored new sources and approached well-known sources in innovative ways; new editorial and commentary projects are under way; sources in Oriental languages ceased to be the subject of the Orientalist disciplines and entered the major historiographic discourse; areas previously considered peripheral entered the mainstream narrative; narrative genres that previously had been neglected as having little value as historical sources, such as hagiography, have been re-evaluated. Readers have become less prone to accept everything at face value and more sensitive to hidden meanings and allusions. The present conference intends to take stock of these developments and explore the ways forward.

The Emperor Julian

The Emperor Julian, panel at the 2016 Society for Classical Studies Meeting, sponsored by the Society for Late Antiquity, San Francisco, January 7–10, 2016

Julian ruled as sole emperor for less than 20 months between November 361 and June 363; however, his reign is among of the best attested periods of ancient history, and more of his writings survive than of any previous Roman emperor. The last pagan emperor was also the first emperor born in Constantinople, and the first to have been baptized and brought up as a Christian. His religious reversal made Julian the object of intense interest debate for contemporaries such as Libanius, Gregory Nazianzen, and Ammianus Marcellinus (recently illuminated in Gregory’s case by Susanna Elm’s Sons of Hellenism, Fathers of the Church); he continued to provoke fascination throughout the Byzantine period and for historians and writers since the renaissance, including among many others Gibbon, Ibsen, and Cavafy. Interest in his religious reaction and the vivid personality revealed in his and his contemporaries’ writings has stimulated numerous popular biographies and biographically oriented scholarly works, and to some extent overshadowed literary interest in his works (though see now Nicholas Baker Brian and Shaun Tougher (eds.), Emperor and Author),or interpretation of his actions in the broader context of fourth-century political history. His context in the religious history of the period might merit further attention in the light of contrasting recent views of the religious history of the fourth century from Alan Cameron and Peter Brown. We invite proposals for papers on Julian as politician, as author, or as thinker; on the relationship between his actions and his writing; on Julian in the context of fourth-century literature and history; and on perceptions of Julian, whether by contemporaries or by later historians and creative artists.

Arguing It Out: Discussion in Byzantium III. Jews and Muslims

Arguing it out: discussion in Byzantium III. Jews and Muslims, lecture by Averil Cameron, Department of Medieval Studies, CEU, October 22 at 5:30pm

Part of the 2014 Natalie Zemon Davis Annual Lecture Series
The social and cultural history of Byzantium seems at first sight unsuited to the kind of thick description at which Natalie Zemon Davis excels. Yet recent scholarship that aims to locate Byzantine culture and society within new global and transnational approaches to history demands a more nuanced understanding. In these lectures Prof. Cameron will explore the question of what kind of thick description can be provided. She will focus on the long twelfth century, a time of intense creativity as well as of rising tensions, and one for which literary approaches are currently a lively area in current scholarship. She will argue for their integration within a broader approach to Byzantine social and cultural history focusing on discourse, and drawing on the many kinds of dialogue texts (secular and religious) that were a key feature of Byzantine textual production.

Jews and Muslims
Dialogues composed by Christians with, or rather against, Jews, and later also with Muslims, were composed in Greek from late antiquity throughout the Byzantine period. However, actual circumstances changed greatly over this long span of time.  Why did such works continue to be written and how do they relate to other types of writing? This lecture takes a broader view than lectures 1 and 2, also bearing in mind the changes after 1204, and relates these works to social and cultural circumstances in Byzantium, the west and the wider Mediterranean context. It concludes with suggestions for a more integrated social and cultural history of Byzantium.

Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, or Reader in Art History, University of Essex

The School of Philosophy and Art History at the University of Essex is pleased to invite applications for a post with the rank of Lecturer (with eligibility for permanency), Senior Lecturer, or Reader. We are well represented in 20th and 21st century art and visual culture, and particularly seek someone with expertise in the history of art, architecture, and/or visual culture between the dates of 1300 and 1850.

You will be expected to carry out a vigorous programme of independent research, to contribute broadly to teaching and supervision activities within the School, and to participate in the usual range of administrative duties. Essential qualifications for the post include: a PhD (or one awaiting examination) in Art History or a related discipline, or equivalent professional experience; evidence of research excellence; experience of teaching in a higher education environment or the demonstrable potential for excellence in teaching.

Female Bodies and Female Practitioners, Medical Traditions of the Late Antique Mediterranean World

Female Bodies and Female Practitioners in the Medical Traditions of the Late Antique Mediterranean World, Berlin, October 27–29, 2014

Gynaecology and obstetrics form an important part of human medical knowledge. As early as Graeco-Roman antiquity, gynaecology emerged as a distinct discipline within medical theory. This subfield of medical inquiry comprised a large store of ideas about anatomy (‘seeds’, embryo, sexual organs, etc.), bodily functions and physiological processes (conception, pregnancy, menstruation, etc.). Furthermore, several diseases or dysfunctions were specifically described and examples of diagnosis, prognosis and therapy were discussed and collected (e.g. by Soranus of Ephesus).

Although Galen did not write a treatise specifically about gynaecology, his immense oeuvre contains many remarks about women’s illnesses or obstetrics. These and material from Soranus and other sources, some of them now lost, were collected and used selectively by the compilers of the late antique/early Byzantine medical encyclopaedias, who also discuss the criteria for choosing the right midwife or wet-nurse. Oribasius, Aetius of Amida and Paul of Aegina all transmit earlier knowledge, some of it filtered through their own experience, and in the case of Paul it was his gynaecology in particular that made him famous in the Arab world, where he was known as ‘the Obstetrician’.

Questions about gynaecological issues in the broadest sense play an important role in the rabbinic, Talmudic tradition. This is due to the detailed commandments regarding ritual purity and other religious (halakhic) prescriptions that touch upon sexuality, pregnancy and childbirth. Since no particular work can be found which is exclusively related to gynaecology, the literary or discursive embeddedness of Talmudic passages on this topic in their differing contexts are of crucial importance.

The conference aims at discussing the emergence and transmission of gynaecological knowledge from different angles in ancient medical theory and practice. Beside the medical approach, we will consider cultural practices and socio-religious norms that enable and constrain the production and application of gynaecological know-how (e.g. certain taboos on examining or touching the female body, etc.). The role and function of female specialists (e.g. healers, midwives or wet-nurses) as objects and subjects within ancient medical discourses will also be elaborated in further detail.

The combination of topics from various disciplines will provide ample possibilities for a comparative exploration of this field. The multi-perspective approach will help to sharpen our understanding of similarities and differences between Talmudic knowledge on this topic and the medical traditions in Ancient Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Graeco-Roman, Persian, Byzantine, and Syriac cultures.


Assistant Professor of Eastern Mediterranean, University of Maryland, College Park

The Department of Art History & Archaeology at the University of Maryland, College Park, invites applications for a full-time, tenure-track appointment in the art history and archaeology of the eastern Mediterranean at the rank of Assistant Professor, to begin in the fall of 2015 or as soon as possible thereafter. Candidates should be able to teach courses in the field of eastern Mediterranean art history, architecture, and archaeology and should demonstrate high scholarly potential. (Candidates’ specialization may fall in any geographical area of the eastern Mediterranean and in any time period from the Iron Age to Late Antiquity.) Interest in cross-disciplinary teaching and research with faculty in other fields at the University of Maryland, as well as collaboration with curators at area museums, will be welcome. Candidates should have an interdisciplinary specialization in the art, archaeology, and sociocultural history of the eastern Mediterranean. A Ph.D. in Art History or a related field is required for appointment.

Faculty are expected to make significant contributions to knowledge through innovative research and publication, to teach and advise with excellence at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and to fulfill reasonable service obligations to the academic and local communities. We are looking for outstanding scholars with an interest in the broad context of the history of art and architecture in the eastern Mediterranean and who are committed to contributing diverse perspectives to the department, the university, and the community.

Post-Doctoral Research Associate, UMass Amherst

The University of Massachusetts Amherst invites applicants for a Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellowship linked to the Sawyer Seminar, “Beyond Medieval and Modern: Rethinking Global Paradigms of Political Economy and Culture.” We seek a humanist or social scientist studying global connectivities within alternative periodizations or mappings of world history, political economy, or culture.  We especially welcome applications from scholars with knowledge of  world historiography who:  study periods before western European hegemony and/or regions outside of western Europe, and give attention to the role of these periods or places in the so-called “rise of modernity” after 1500 (including any of its dimensions--political, cultural, economic, ideological).

Responsibilities: Participate in the full seminar series (including seminar paper presentation, public lecture, and attendance at all events); help to organize seminar events; mentor graduate students, individually and in a multi-meeting research workshop.  No formal teaching.  The fellow will also be assigned a faculty mentor, affiliated with an appropriate department in the Humanities or Social Sciences.

Charlotte Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship

The Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships are designed to encourage original and significant study of ethical or religious values in all fields of the humanities and social sciences, and particularly to help Ph.D. candidates in these fields complete their dissertation work in a timely manner. In addition to topics in religious studies or in ethics (philosophical or religious), dissertations appropriate to the Newcombe Fellowship competition might explore the ethical implications of foreign policy, the values influencing political decisions, the moral codes of other cultures, and religious or ethical issues reflected in history or literature.

Since the first round of competition in 1981, more than 1,100 Newcombe Fellows have been named. Fellows from early years of the program are now senior faculty members at major research universities and selective liberal arts colleges, curators and directors at significant scholarly archives, and leaders and policymakers at nonprofit organizations and in cabinet-level government agencies. In the past decade, national honors such as the MacArthur Fellowship, the Guggenheim Fellowship, and election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences have been accorded to more than a dozen Newcombe Fellows—a number that will continue to grow as more and more Fellows enter the most productive phases of their careers.

The Newcombe Fellowships are provided to Ph.D. candidates at American institutions located in the United States who will complete their dissertations during the academic year 2015-2016. In the current Newcombe competition, at least 22 non-renewable Fellowships of $25,000 will be awarded for 12 months of full-time dissertation writing; in addition, Fellows' graduate schools will be asked to waive tuition and/or remit some portion of their fees. Successful candidates will be notified, and the public announcement of new Fellows made, in spring 2015.

Travellers, Merchants and Settlers in the Eastern Mediterranean, 11th–14th Centuries

…he author’s layered categorisations explore Westerners’ interactions with the local social, cultural, economic, and political environment(s). Such a framework helps to open up room for more nuanced understandings of the Eastern Mediterranean between the 11th century and the 14th century.

David Jacoby. Travellers, Merchants and Settlers in the Eastern Mediterranean, 11th–14th Centuries. Ashgate, 2014.

From Reviews in History. Review by Wei-sheng Lin, University of Birmingham

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Research Fellowships, Magdalene College, Cambridge

The Governing Body of Magdalene College expects to elect two stipendiary Research Fellows with tenure for three years from 1 October 2015. (The Nevile Fellowship, endowed through the generosity of Trinity College, Cambridge, will be in the Sciences; the Lumley Fellowship, endowed through the generosity of H R L Lumley, will be in the Humanities).

Applications are invited from graduates, male or female, from any university. Candidates should normally have completed two or three years of research and may have written a PhD dissertation.

Junior Research Fellowships, University of Cambridge

Applications are invited for Junior Research Fellowships in arts and social science subjects. These will normally be tenable for three years from 1 October 2015. The Fellowships are open to graduates, men or women, of any University, with no age limit, but will normally be awarded to candidates who have recently completed their PhD or are close to completion. The function of these Fellowships is as initial (normally) post-doctoral positions appropriate to the start of an academic career.

Churchill College, Fitzwilliam College, Murray Edwards College, Selwyn College, St Edmund’s College and Trinity Hall operate a Joint Application Scheme for Junior Research Fellowships. Applications will be considered by all Colleges offering Fellowships in the relevant subject.



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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