Reminder: 49th Annual Byzantine Studies Conference Registration

Reminder:  Register now for the 49th annual Byzantine Studies Conference in Vancouver! Click here to register for the conference, read the conference program, and find links to the conference hotel.  Rooms at the conference rate are filling up; reserve yours today.

All participants are required to be members of BSANA; find your membership category here.

We look forward to seeing you in Vancouver!

Nodegoat for Byzantinists Workshop

The Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture and Byzantine Studies Association of
North America are pleased to offer an introductory workshop on Nodegoat for graduate students
and early career researchers in collaboration with Dr. Jesse W. Torgerson of Wesleyan


An Introduction to Nodegoat for Byzantinists, workshop by Jesse W. Torgerson (Wesleyan

University), Zoom, Friday, October 13, 2023, 12:00–3:00 PM EDT.

How many of us organize key portions of our research and notes in spreadsheets? Whether
comparing manuscripts, organizing lists of persons and places, cataloguing objects, or creating
tallies of any kind, digital spreadsheets have become a ubiquitous scholarly tool. For many of us,
our spreadsheets have started to become unwieldy (how many columns is too many?), or they
would benefit from being able to “talk” to open-source reference information like the historical
locations in Pleiades. If this is you, then you would benefit from learning about how to build

your own relational database: come and learn.

Nodegoat ( is an open-source software, built to allow scholars with no
training in computer programming, doing historical social science and humanities research, to
turn their research notes into a custom database. Nodegoat’s free platform allows you to turn an
organized spreadsheet into data entry platforms for whatever kind of notes you want to create, to
explore new possibilities for analysis, visualization, and links with other projects, and to allow
you to set up custom visualization tools to analyze and present what you have. This introductory
workshop will introduce you to the concepts behind Nodegoat, guide you in setting up an initial
research environment, and leave you with the information to develop that environment.
For those who are interested in setting up their own Nodegoat database, a follow-up workshop
will provide guidance and the opportunity to learn additional customizations. Information about
the follow-up workshop will be shared with participants after the initial workshop.
Registration closes Monday, October 9, 2023.

Who is eligible?
* Graduate students and early career researchers (PhD received after October 2015) in the
field of Byzantine studies.
* All participants must be BSANA members. BSANA membership is free for graduate
students and early-career contingent scholars who have earned their PhD within the last
eight years and who do not hold a permanent or tenure-track appointment. If you are not
already a BSANA member, please complete the BSANA Membership Form
( before registering for the workshop. Your membership
status will be confirmed before your space in the workshop is confirmed.

To read a full description of the workshop and register your interest, please visit

Contact Brandie Ratliff (, Director, Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art
and Culture, with any questions.

Upcoming Mary Jaharis Center Online Lectures (Sept 28 and Oct 6)

The Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture is pleased to announce the first two lectures in our 2023–2024 lecture series.

Thursday, September 28, 2023 | 12:00 PM EDT | Zoom
Byzantium as an Indian Ocean Society
Rebecca Darley, University of Leeds

Much of the current move towards global history is focused on connections. Viewed from this perspective, there is no very good reason for seeing Byzantium in the first millennium CE as an Indian Ocean society. Its direct contact with the Indian Ocean was attenuated in comparison with earlier Roman contact and increasingly mediated by others, most notably from the seventh century onwards, citizens of the Umayyad then Abbasid Caliphates. There are other ways to think about both Byzantium and global history, though. This paper examines Byzantium not as a player in an Indian Ocean defined by mercantile networks, but as one of many societies around the Indian Ocean littoral, shaped by common forces. Between the fourth and the ninth centuries, understanding Byzantium as an Indian Ocean society, in direct comparison with complex states from the Horn of Africa to peninsular South Asia provides a new insight into the development of governmental structures, state religion and economic practices that all affected the lives of millions of people in profound and sometimes unpredictable ways.

Rebecca Darley is a scholar of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Western Indian Ocean in the first millennium. She is currently employed as Associate Professor of Global History, 500-1500 CE at the University of Leeds.

Advance registration required at

Friday, October 6, 2023 | 12:00 PM EDT | Zoom
A Song of Theology and Emotion: Romanos the Melodist’s Hymn on Pentecost
Andrew Mellas, St Andrew’s Theological College and University of Sydney

While Romanos the Melodist composed hymns rather than theological treatises, the theology of his poetry echoed the festal orations of the fourth-century Cappadocian, Gregory the Theologian. Articulating the mystery of the Trinity through the performance of his hymn for the feast of Pentecost, Romanos wove together sacred song and theology, retelling the scriptural stories that defined the Byzantines, and shaping an emotional and liturgical community in Constantinople. Poetry and music showed forth the hidden fears and desires of scriptural characters amidst the overarching narrative of Pentecost, inviting the faithful to become part of the biblical narrative unfolding before them and experience the mystery of the Trinity. This paper will explore how Romanos the Melodist reimagined the events narrated in the second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, amplifying the biblical story, echoing the theology of Gregory’s oration on Pentecost and providing an affective script for his audience.

Andrew Mellas is a Senior Lecturer at St Andrew’s Theological College and an Honorary Associate at the University of Sydney’s Medieval and Early Modern Centre.

Advance registration required at

Contact Brandie Ratliff (, Director, Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture with any questions.

2024 SPBS Spring Symposium in Byzantine Studies

Call for communications: The 55th SPBS Spring Symposium in Byzantine Studies will be held at the University of Kent (Canterbury, UK), from 13th-15th April 2024. The topic is ‘Justice in Byzantium’, a topic especially pertinent in our turbulent modern societies. Justice is one of the pillars on which every civilisation should be based even though it is not always granted for all, and Byzantium was no exception. Its inhabitants had to deal with justice-related issues in everyday life, but theoretical, religious, and philosophical implications were also involved in its very conception. These ideas are not merely reflected in written laws but in historical and literary works, as well as in unwritten rules, customs, and traditions.

Panels will discuss social, civil, divine, and criminal justice, as well as concepts of revenge and unwritten/ written rules. Our keynote speaker is Daphne Penna (Groningen). Confirmed speakers include Dionysios Stathakopoulos (Cyprus), Carlos Machado (St Andrews), Arietta Papaconstantinou (Reading), Rosemary Morris (York), Anna Kelly (St Andrews), Lorena Atzeri (Milan), Mike Humphreys (Cambridge), Catherine Holmes (Oxford), Robert Wiśniewski (Warsaw), Caroline Humfress (St Andrews), Peter Sarris (Oxford), Matthijs Wibier (Cincinnati), Simon Corcoran (Newcastle), Dan Reynolds (Birmingham), Shaun Tougher (Cardiff), and Maroula Perisanidi (Leeds).

Those interested in presenting a Communication (15 mins max) should contact Laura Franco ( with a title and abstract by December 15th 2023. For any queries relating to the Symposium, please contact Anne Alwis ( Once the conference website with booking details is live, a further email will be circulated.

CFP(s): Dumbarton Oaks Sessions at 2024 International Congress On Medieval Studies

Dumbarton Oaks is sponsoring three really great sessions next year at the 2024 International Congress On Medieval Studies, May 9–11 at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI. Those interested in delivering a paper at one of our sessions should make sure to visit the call for papers: All submissions must be through the conference portal (click on “Make a Proposal” on the CFP page and then click on the dropdown menu for “Sponsored and Special Sessions of Papers,” and select the session you’re interested in from the list). The deadline for submissions is September 15: we hope to hear from everyone! This year’s sessions are:

Hybrid Sessions (presenters can be either in-person or virtual)

Apollonius of Tyre: Medieval Translation and Rereading

Organizer: Nicole Eddy

Delivery Mode: Hybrid

Principal Sponsoring Organization: Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library

The story of Apollonius of Tyre is as widely traveled as its hero, with versions extant in Latin and an array of European vernaculars. The story finds its way into the Carmina Burana and the Confessio Amantis, and was enjoyed by readers from Castile to Greece. Its sensationalizing adventures of pirates and shipwrecks, evil kings and generous ones, love lost and families reunited, riddles, incest, and miraculous resurrections—all captivated medieval audiences. This session seeks papers that explore the Apollonius story in any of its adaptations. Submissions may employ any methodogy, and we welcome fresh approaches to this key work.


In-Person Sessions

Coins and Seals in Byzantium

Organizer: Jonathan Shea

Delivery Mode: Traditional in-person

Principal Sponsoring Organization: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection

Co-Sponsoring Organization(s): Princeton Univ. Numismatic Collection

Byzantine coins and seals survive in enormous numbers, and thus provide some of the most important sources of evidence for economic and administrative history, social and religious developments, onomastics and prosopography. This panel welcomes papers working on all aspects of coins and seals and although focusing on Byzantium is open to speakers working on materials from a comparative perspective.


The Red Sea in the Middle Ages

Organizer: Colin Whiting

Delivery Mode: Traditional in-person

Principal Sponsoring Organization: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection

This session focuses on the global medieval world using exchanges between the Eastern Mediterranean, the Red Sea, and the Indian Ocean as its basis. Papers will consider encounters that took place in Late Antiquity, when the northern Red Sea was under Roman rule, and especially the complex interplay between Byzantium, Arabic cultures, Africa, and the western Indian Ocean in the following centuries. Whether the Red Sea served as a commercial highway or as a hub for interconnected regional networks, it remains greatly important and yet understudied in medieval scholarship.

Index of Medieval Art Student Travel Grant

Once again, the Index of Medieval Art is pleased to offer a student travel grant for this year’s Index of Medieval Art conference, “Whose East? Defining, Challenging, and Exploring Eastern Christian Art” (Nov. 11, 2023). The grant will support one non-Princeton student who wishes to attend the conference but lacks the financial resources to do so. Up to $500 will be offered in reimbursement for travel and accommodations.

Preference will be given to students whose institutions do not offer travel funding, who are not currently supported by a research fellowship, and who would be traveling from outside a 120-mile radius of Princeton. The grantee will be invited to participate in all aspects of the conference, including the speaker lunch, and to pursue research at the Index if their visit schedule permits. If you know students to whom this would be of interest, please share this link and encourage them to apply by October 1.


Conference: Black Sea Migrations in the Long Thirteenth Century: Bodies, Things, Ideas

Black Sea Migrations in the Long Thirteenth Century: Bodies, Things, Ideas

September 22-23, 2023
211 Dickinson Hall | Princeton University

The Black Sea witnessed a great influx of new populations in the thirteenth century as peoples from across Eurasia came to settle on its coasts and hinterlands, transforming the character of the region. After the fall of Constantinople in 1204 during the Fourth Crusade, western Europeans–spearheaded by the Venetians and French, and subsequently the Genoese–extended their commercial reach, gaining access for the first time to the basin and establishing colonies and outposts on its northern coast. In the same period, the overland route to Central and East Asia came under Mongol control. These developments were accompanied by the destabilisation of existing polities, as well as the displacement of Slavs, Turks and other peoples. Many of the casualties of the new socio-political structures that emerged were deprived of their freedom and forced to embark on new lives as enslaved persons in the Mamluk Sultanate or the city states of northern Italy.

This conference examines the role both of the major ports and cities of the region — such as Constantinople, Pera, Kiev, Caffa, Sudak, Tana, Sarai Batu and Trebizond – and of the agrarian and pastoral communities of the hinterlands in shaping the trans-regional movement of people, goods and ideas between Asia, Europe and Africa. To investigate this historical problem, we invite leading scholars to share their research on these complex political, commercial, and cultural interactions, bringing to light some of the rich source material that survives in unprecedented abundance from this period.

We will reconstruct the ways in which overland and maritime routes interacted with settlement patterns and political boundaries. We will also examine kinds of ties that were forged between communities of diverse origin. We will ask whether the increased level of mobility in this period gave rise to a distinctly new and unified culture in the region – especially in shaping forms of governance, systems of belief, and knowledge production across the Black Sea. Or, did factors such as the diversity of peoples and customs, stark economic competition, process of colonization, and rise of the slave market produce greater fragmentation and diversity locally?

For a schedule and more information, see the conference website:

National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships at the ASCSA

Funding Opportunity: National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships at the ASCSA.
Deadline: October 31, 2023
The NEH Fellowship supports postdoctoral and advanced research in all humanities fields supported by its mission and resources. Founded in 1881, the American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA) is a premier resource in Greece for American scholars in the fields of Greek language, literature, history, archaeology, philosophy, and art, from pre-Hellenic times to the present. It offers two major research libraries: the Blegen, with over 113,000 volumes dedicated to the ancient Mediterranean world; and the Gennadius, with over 146,000 volumes and archives devoted to post-classical Hellenic civilization and, more broadly, the Balkans and the eastern Mediterranean. The School also provides centers for advanced research in archaeological and related topics at the Athenian Agora and Corinth excavations, and at the Malcolm H. Wiener Laboratory for Archaeological Sciences. By agreement with the Greek government, the ASCSA is authorized to serve as liaison with the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports on behalf of American students and scholars for the acquisition of permits to conduct archaeological work and to study collections.
For more information:


Two Positions for 2024-2025
Deadline: October 31, 2023

Term: Early September 2024 to end of May 2025.

Eligibility: An established scholar working in any area related to the mission of the School who possesses a significant record of publication and teaching and is affiliated with a Cooperating Institution. Applicants should hold the rank of Associate Professor (or equivalent) or higher. Preference will be given to those who have not received recent funding from the School. Previous holders of the Whitehead may apply if the previous term was at least five years prior. Applicants should have reasonable expectation of being granted leave to take up the position should it be awarded. Successful applicants are normally given about four weeks from late December to early January to accept or decline the award. The Whitehead Scholar is considered a fulltime position, and holders may not accept other forms of employment during the tenure of the award.
Project: The Whitehead Distinguished Scholar shall pursue research on a project that uses the facilities of the School and enriches its academic program. Whitehead Scholars participate in the academic life of the School in a variety of ways, especially by working closely with Regular and Student Associate members of the School during the winter term (late November to late March) on the subject of their expertise, and by joining School trips and excursions throughout Greece. A list of past Scholars’ work with members is available here on the School’s website.
Applicants are encouraged to consult with the Mellon Professor, Brendan Burke (, well in advance of the October 31, 2023, deadline when planning their proposed contributions to the academic program of the School.
Compensation: Stipend of $40,000 plus round-trip coach airfare to Athens, board at Loring Hall for the Whitehead Scholar (one-half senior rate for spouse and one-half student rate for dependents), School housing, and hotel and transportation on any or all of the field trips and excursions that comprise the Regular Academic program.
Application: On or before October 31, applicants should submit the following materials as part of the online application:
  • Brief statement of interest (1 page)
  • Curriculum vitae (max. 3 pages) including list of publications
  • Statement of current and projected research (max. 3 pages)
  • Proposed contribution to the academic program (max. 3 pages)
  • Account of the frequency and length of earlier visits to Greece
  • Two letters of recommendation to be submitted online by October 31. Upon submission of the online application, recommenders will be sent an automated email with instructions about how to submit their letters of recommendation. Or, applicants may choose to send the request at any time by clicking the “Send Request Now” button on the application form.
The selection committee may conduct a short interview as part of the application process, and finalists will be notified in advance. The appointments will be announced by January 15, 2024.
The American School of Classical Studies at Athens does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, national or ethnic origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation when considering admission to any form of membership or application for employment.


American School of Classical Studies at Athens
321 Wall Street
Princeton, NJ 08540-1515

Exhibit announcement: “Spirituality in Eastern Christianity: Images of a Living Tradition”

Exhibit announcement: “Spirituality in Eastern Christianity: Images of a Living Tradition,” photographs by Alain de Lotbinière opens at Museum of Russian Icons on September 22.

203 Union Street, Clinton, MA 01510 |
Nina Berger, Public Relations | | 617.543.1595



Museum of Russian Icons presents Spirituality in Eastern Christianity: Images of a Living Tradition, an exhibition of photographs by Alain de Lotbinière

September 22, 2023—January 21, 2024

CLINTON, MA––The Museum of Russian Icons presents Spirituality in Eastern Christianity: Images of a Living Tradition, an exhibition of photographs by Alain de Lotbinière, September 22, 2023–January 21, 2024. The 26 images that compose this exhibition were taken during the course of several trips to Northern Macedonia, Serbia and Russia, as well as during visits to sites in Turkey and Egypt.

The history of the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Churches trace their roots to the very earliest days of Christianity, such that by the fourth century CE it had taken root not only within the Roman and Byzantine Empires, but also in countries that today include Syria, Iraq, Iran, India, Egypt and Ethiopia. The much later schism of 1054 CE that resulted in the separation of the Eastern and Western Catholic faiths, also resulted in fundamentally different expressions of spirituality as defined by their respective churches. Whereas in the Western Christian tradition it is taught that the way to know God is mainly through the word of the Bible and the light of human reason, the Eastern approach is decidedly experiential, the image of God being contained in the “Nous”, or heart, of a person’s being. Eastern Christian spiritual traditions teach that it is through the experience of the Holy Mysteries that a direct knowledge of God is possible, the emphasis in the West being on faith and intellectual reasoning.

“For those of us educated in the Western traditions of humanism and intellectual reasoning, it may be difficult to comprehend the Orthodox traditions when it comes to their reverence for icons, examples of which adorn this museum,” states de Lotbinière. “For the Orthodox believers, icons are not images that are worshipped in the traditional sense of the word, but rather images that are venerated, being seen as windows to the spiritual realm. This reverence is witnessed whenever we step into an Orthodox church, as hopefully some of these images succeed in conveying.”

The majority of the images were taken with Leica monochrome digital cameras, cameras in which the color filter array present in all other digital cameras is removed, thereby allowing more light, and consequently more detail, to be registered on the sensor. A distinct advantage in monochrome digital cameras is their ability to extract detail in very low light conditions, such as those present inside churches or monasteries. Another important advantage in using Leica monochrome digital cameras is their compact and noiseless design, lending themselves superbly to discreet photography in sensitive locations.  Digital Silver Imaging photo lab printed and mounted the photographs.


Alain C.J. de Lotbinière is a practicing neurosurgeon who lives in Connecticut, USA. The son of a Canadian diplomat, his early education was formed in several European countries: Holland, France, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, before returning to Canada to complete his medical training in the field of neurosurgery. Photography runs deep in the family; his father having given him his first camera on his fourteenth birthday. His GGG grandfather, Pierre Gustave Joly de Lotbinière, acquired one of the first daguerreotype cameras from the Parisian optician, Noël Paymal Lerebours, and set off to the Middle East in 1839 to make photographic records of the ancient monuments in Greece, Syria, Palestine, and Egypt, several of which were published in 1842 as lithographs in Excursions Daguerriennes. Having just published a book based on his travels through medieval parts of Russia, de Lotbinère is currently working on a book focused on 19th-century travel to Egypt and its monuments.

Artist’s statement 

“My interest in photography began early in my life as a way to document the many countries I visited as a child. Over the years it has grown into something of an obsession, a need to touch and at the same time be touched by the impressions that surround me. To be sensitive to what the fleeting moment can bring, to receive an image and be able to capture its essence. To be still in an ever-changing world of shadows and light, this is the special challenge that photography holds for me,” says de Lotbinère.


The Museum of Russian Icons, founded in 2006 by the American entrepreneur Gordon Lankton, holds the most comprehensive collection of Russian icons in the US, as well as a growing collection of Greek, Veneto-Cretan, and Ethiopian icons. Spanning over six centuries, the collection showcases the development of the icon from its Egyptian and Byzantine roots and explores the spread of Orthodoxy across cultures. The Museum serves as a place for contemplation and for experiencing the beauty and spirituality of icons. The permanent collection and temporary exhibitions offer unparalleled opportunities to situate Eastern Christian art within a global context and to explore its connection to contemporary concerns and ideas. The Museum’s Study Center stimulates object-based learning and multidisciplinary research and aims to share its research in the field of Eastern Christian art with wide audiences through an active slate of academic and public programs.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 10am-4pm. Closed Monday–Wednesday.

Admission: Adults $12, seniors (59+) $10, Students $5, Children (13-17) $5, Children under 13 Free.

Follow the Museum of Russian Icons on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Visit the website,, home of the online collection (including research papers on individual icons), a virtual tour of the Museum, the Journal of Icon Studies, and the British Museum’s Catalogue of Byzantine and Greek Icons.



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