Letter from the BSANA President

Dear BSANA members,
Happy New Year!

Thank you to everyone who joined us at our recent, hybrid BSC!
We had 284 participants — 141 in person, and 143 remote, which is a promisingly robust attendance. In addition to our North American attendees, we had participants join us remotely from 17 countries. We are grateful to Betsy Bolman and her crew at Case Western Reserve and the Cleveland Museum, who gave us such a gracious welcome and a seamless, hybrid conference. Particular thanks go to Galina Tirnanic and the Program Committee for putting together a complex puzzle of in-person and remote speakers.

We continue to be grateful to the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture, who sponsored three panels geared toward our graduate and early career members, and two sessions.

Four new Board Members were elected at the Saturday lunch: Christina Christoforatou, Baruch College, CUNY; Alice Lynn McMichael, Michigan State University; Jordan Pickett, University of Georgia; and Shaun Tougher, Cardiff University. We welcome them, and thank the members who cycled off the Board this year for their service: Ben Anderson, Hannah Ewing, Meredith Riedel, Alexander Riehle.

A Post-Conference Survey has just been issued and I urge you all to respond—your input helps us to shape our conferences and our policies to better suit your needs.

On Saturday the new Board convened to elect new officers. We are building on the knowledge gained during the pandemic, with Alice Sullivan continuing as Secretary, Brad Hostetler as Communications Officer, Byron MacDougall as Vice President, and Lynn Jones as President. Ruma Salhi has agreed to serve as Treasurer, and we thank Tia Kolbaba, who is stepping down after two years. Please check the website, bsana.net, for the emails of our Executive Board.

We look forward to our next conference, November.3-6, 2022, in Los Angeles. Our hosts are Sharon Gerstel and Zrinka Stahuljak, the CMRS Center for Early Global Studies, the UCLA Stavros Niarchos Foundation Center for the Study of Hellenic Culture, and the Pourdavoud Center for the Study of the Iranian World. We hope to see you there!

We also look forward to seeing many of you at the International Congress of Byzantine Studies this summer! Full updates can be found via the link on BSANA’s website, bsana.net.

In addition to the new website, we now have a lively social media presence. Find us, and follow us, @bsanabsc on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter! Please submit any news to bsana.communications@gmail.com for posting on the listserv and website. If you are not receiving listserv announcements, please sign up. Send an email requesting to join to bsana.communications@gmail.com.

On behalf of the Board, I send our best wishes to you all,

Lynn Jones
President, BSANA

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Medieval History/Literature, University of Oslo

A Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (SKO 1352) is available at the Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas, University of Oslo.

The Postdoctoral Research Fellowship is funded by the Research Council of Norway and is associated with the project ‘Narrative Hierarchies: Minor Characters in Byzantine and Medieval History Writing’ (grant nr. 324754) https://www.hf.uio.no/ifikk/english/research/projects/narrative-hierarchies/index.html. The candidate is expected to carry out research as part of the main project.’

The position is available for a period of 2 years (full time).

The position may be extended for a third year, involving a research stay outside of Norway, subject to the successful acquisition of additional funding from the Research Council of Norway (Funding for Research Stays Abroad for Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellows: https://www.forskningsradet.no/en/call-for-proposals/2019/personal-overseas-research-grant-for-doctoral-and-post-doctoral-fellows/).

This project aims to explore medieval power and gender relations in historiographical narrative. In medieval histories, kings, emperors, and other elite men typically occupy more prominent roles than labourers, women, eunuchs, slaves, soldiers, and foreigners. The unevenness with which attention, space, and importance are distributed between different types of characters produces hierarchies within these narratives. This research project sets out to analyse these narrative hierarchies, with a particular focus on non-elite and non-male minor characters.

The PI’s work will focus on a corpus of late Byzantine (c. 1200 – c. 1460) histories. Parallel to this work, the successful postdoctoral fellow, the PI, and external collaborators will explore several other contemporary historiographical traditions. These transhistorical studies will aim both to create a framework by which the study of Byzantine history writing can be meaningfully placed in conversation with wider medieval traditions of history writing and narrative and to reflect on the Byzantine tradition’s idiosyncrasies.

A detailed project description is available for applicants on request (please contact Matthew Kinloch: https://www.hf.uio.no/ifikk/english/people/aca/history-of-ideas/temporary/mattheki/index.html).

Byzantine Seminar Series at the University of Edinburgh

The Centre of Late Antique, Islamic and Byzantine Studies (CLAIBS) invites you to attend the Byzantine Seminar Series at the University of Edinburgh.

The seminars take place at 17:15 and will be held via Zoom. You can register by following this link: https://ed-ac-uk.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZErc-ivqTwpHNf57PwnG5xjYqqdbG9z_iZd

Monday 17 Jan
Beate Böhlendorf-Arslan (Philipps-Universität Marburg) ‘Archaeological interpretation between hypothesis and evidence: some thoughts on new discoveries in the Late Antique and Byzantine city of Assos / Turkey’

Monday 31 Jan
Constantin Zuckermann (École pratique des hautes études, Paris) ‘The fiscal context of the Byzantine Farmer’s Law’

Monday 14 Feb
Vasileios Marinis (Yale University) ‘The many lives of the martyr Euphemia’

Monday 28 Feb
Emilio Bonfiglio (Universität Tübingen) ‘Education in Late Antique and Early Mediaeval Armenia: Agency and movements of scholars and books between Armenia and Byzantium’

Monday 14 Mar
Giulia Maria Paoletti (Austrian Academy of Sciences) tbc

Monday 28 Mar
Ioanna Rapti (École pratique des hautes études, Paris) ‘Viewing the history of Siwnik’ with Step’anos Orbelian, prince, bishop and historian (ca 1300)’

JOB: Director, Museum of Art and Archaeology, University of Missouri

The award-winning Museum of Art & Archaeology (MAA), fully accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, features work from diverse aesthetic and cultural origins encompassing over 6,000 years of human history on six continents. The over 16,000 items in the MAA include extensive materials from the ancient Mediterranean and Byzantine eras; European and American fine art from the 13th century to the present, including a Samuel H. Kress Study Collection of European paintings; objects representing Asian, African, Oceanic, and ancient American cultures; and assemblages excavated by MAA-led archaeological missions.

The Director will be charged with developing an innovative vision and executing a strategic plan to generate and implement an educational and curatorial mission for a twenty-first-century land grant university museum. This is an exciting moment in the history of the museum as it moves into the historic Ellis Library at the heart of campus and prepares for a period of revitalization and growth.

Mount Athos Foundation of America Annual Mount Athos Book Prize

The Mount Athos Foundation of America (MAFA) is pleased to announce the inauguration of an Annual Mount Athos Book Prize. This prize, to be judged by a distinguished panel of scholars unaffiliated with MAFA, is meant to honor the best scholarly work on Mt. Athos or a topic related to the Holy Mountain and its rich historical, literary, theological, architectural and iconographic traditions.

The winning author or authors will receive an award of $500, and the Foundation will publicize the award and the winning book on the MAFA website, in its newsletter, and in a press release. In the case that no eligible books are put forth for consideration, the prize will be deferred until the following year. All relevant entries will be listed in the MAFA booklist, https://www.mountathosfoundation.org/books/

Publishers and authors are invited to submit entries for eligible titles published during the current year to MAFA to Bookprize@MountAthosFoundation.org by 31 January of the year following publication.

In the event that more than five titles are submitted, MAFA will at its discretion establish a short list of no more than five titles. Book publishers will be expected to send three physical copies of the book (one for each member of the 3-person panel of judges) and (if available) a digital copy. The physical copies are required in order for the judges to evaluate the production quality of the book.

Entrance into competition for the MAFA book prize is free and open to authors and publishers from all countries. It is envisioned that books will be published in English (or in English translation of originally foreign-language titles). Books published by any of the following are ineligible:
• members of the MAFA board of directors
• members of the executive committee of MAFA’s sister organization, Friends of Mount Athos
• donors and patrons of either of these organizations.

Criteria for Judging
The panel of Judges will evaluate each submission on the basis of
• scholarly integrity and documentation
• originality of the argument and presentation
• effectiveness of presentation
• production quality of the book, and
• contribution to enhanced understanding of the Holy Mountain and its historical, literary, theological, architectural and/or iconographic traditions.

Questions may be addressed to the MAFA Book Prize email, above.

Mount Athos Foundation of America Travel Scholarships

The Mount Athos Foundation of America (MAFA) offers annually two Mount Athos Travel Scholarships of up to $1000 each to support research projects related to Mount Athos.

Consistent with MAFA’s Scholarship Policy, grant recipients are selected on a nondiscriminatory basis. Although women are not permitted to visit Mt. Athos itself, women may still be awarded MAFA travel scholarships for the purpose of undertaking travel to other sites for the purpose of Athos-related research, such as libraries, museums, and research institutes, or dependencies of the Athonite monasteries located outside Mt. Athos.

There is no restriction on what fields of research will be supported. For example, they may be ones that are traditional for Mount Athos, like Byzantine and post-Byzantine history, art, architecture, musicology, diplomatics and manuscript studies; Eastern Orthodox theology, literature, hymnology, monasticism, monastic spirituality, patristic studies, etc. They may also be in scientific or social-scientific subject areas like botany, geology, forestry, anthropology or sociology, or an interdisciplinary field. This list is by way of example only; other fields of research are acceptable, as long as the project is focused on Mount Athos and the significance of the project to the applicant’s research project is made clear.

MAFA and Mount Athos Center Support
The MAFA Scholarships are unique in providing the winners not only funding, but also logistical support for their projects. In cooperation with the Mount Athos Center (Αγιορειτική Εστία) in Thessaloniki, we
• introduce our scholarship winners to the monasteries in which they hope to work,
• provide orientation to patterns of work and life within the monasteries, and
• provide logistical support as needed upon arrival in Thessaloniki.
MAFA’s goal is to assure, to the extent possible, the acceptance of the researcher in the monastery or monasteries and thus the success of the winning projects.

Application Calendar
MAFA follows a “rolling applications” system, that is, MAFA will judge the applications as they are received. We do not observe any deadline for receipt of applications.

For application materials, additional information and examples of earlier successful applications: https://www.mountathosfoundation.org/scholarships/

Inquiries may be addressed to: grantsinfo@mountathosfoundation.org.

Open Position: Summer 2023, Summer Session Director, Deadline Jan. 31

Deadline: January 31, 2022

Summer Session (traditional six-week program): One Position

Term: Summer 2023

Eligibility: Former membership in the School and at least two years of teaching in a post-secondary educational institution. Gertrude Smith Professors should have at least some knowledge of modern Greek and the ability to be engaging, organized, flexible and positive under often-demanding conditions. Qualified applicants in all areas of classical studies, including archaeology, art history, epigraphy, history, and languages are encouraged to apply.

Description: See more information about the ASCSA Summer Session: https://www.ascsa.edu.gr/programs/summer-session

Duties: Plan the itinerary of the session, in consultation with the staff in Athens, at least six months prior to the session; collaborate with the Committee on the Summer Sessions in the selection of participants; correspond with participants concerning travel, equipment, academic requirements, etc.; supervise all aspects of the program in Greece, including teaching, coordinating with on-site expert lecturers, keeping a detailed log of the sessions, managing incidental expenses within a pre-approved budget, and submitting a report to the Director.

Compensation: Stipend of $9,064, plus travel and expenses, housing for the Summer Session leader(s) for eight weeks in total as available June 1 to August 15. See the policy.

Application: An online application consisting of a cover letter, a curriculum vitae, and three letters of support. More information can be found at: https://www.ascsa.edu.gr/about/staff/positions-available

Inquiries can be sent to:
Committee on the Summer Sessions Chair, Elizabeth Baltes
E-mail: ssapplication@ascsa.org

The appointments will be announced by March 29.

Book Epigrams, Verse Scholia and Some Limit Cases: Versified Paratexts on Historiography and Their Interplay

Speaking From the Margins lecture series, organised by the Database of Byzantine Book Epigrams project (Ghent University).
Julián Bértola (Ghent University), Book Epigrams, Verse Scholia and Some Limit Cases: Versified Paratexts on Historiography and Their Interplay

Date: Tuesday 14 December 2021
Time: 16:00 CET
Location: online via Zoom. No registration required.

For the abstract and the link to the meeting, please visit https://www.projectdbbe.ugent.be/events/julian-bertola-book-epigrams-verse-scholia-and-some-limit-cases/.

You can find more information about the Fall 2021 Series of the Speaking From the Margins lectures on the DBBE project website: https://www.projectdbbe.ugent.be/lectures/.

CFP Reception of Aristotle’s Topics in medieval Islamic, Jewish and Christian traditions

The XXVIth annual SIEPM colloquium will take place on 4-6 April 2022 at Bar Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel. The subject of the colloquium is: Dialectic in the Middle Ages: Between Debate and the Foundation of Science. Dialectic played a central role in medieval Islamic, Jewish, and Christian intellectual cultures as both a tool for knowledge making and an object of study in its own right. Medieval intellectual cultures saw dialectic, often associated with Aristotle’s Topica, as crucial for describing and defining philosophy and science, as well as characterizing and inculcating religious beliefs. Debates and discussions, which played a large role in medieval education systems in all three traditions, were also frequently associated with Aristotle’s Topica. Indeed, Aristotle’s chief text on dialectic was associated with teaching the masses religious ideas, constructing arguments for various forms of debate, imparting religious, scientific, and philosophical concepts to the intellectual elite, and discovering the grounds of scientific arguments and their basic premises. At the same time, the text enabled a study of the methods themselves, viz. a study of arguments based on opinions, generally accepted premises (as opposed to demonstrations), induction, and the groundwork of debate itself. The forms of disputations and debate that we encounter in medieval Islamic, Jewish, and Christian intellectual cultures varied among intellectual and religious climates and so did the historical understanding of dialectic.
In the frame of this conference, we would like to explore the various intellectual endeavors associated with dialectic, particularly with Aristotle’s Topica, among different cultures, with a view to how this concept changed and developed through time, place, intellectual context, and religion. The colloquium will be held in-person with roughly 20-25 lectures, each forty minutes in length with a subsequent discussion period of twenty minutes. To submit a lecture proposal for the colloquium, kindly send a title with an abstract of no more than 300 words and your c.v. by December 20, 2021 to the Colloquium Organizer Yehuda Halper at: Yehuda.Halper@biu.ac.il.
Academic Board: Nadja Germann (Islamic thought), Steven Harvey (Jewish thought), Katja Krause (Christian thought), Charles Manekin (Jewish thought), Tim Noone (Christian thought).
Stipends: A limited number of travel stipends will be awarded through the Israel Science Foundation. Scholars under the age of 35 or from select countries may also apply for Brepols-SIEPM stipends (https://hiw.kuleuven.be/siepm/brepols-siepm-stipends).

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