14th Rencontres of the AEMB

Sent on behalf of the Association des étudiants du monde byzantin:
We are pleased to announce the forthcoming 14th Rencontres of the AEMB, to be held on 6 and 7 october at the Institut national d’histoire de l’art in Paris. The young researchers brought together for the occasion will make their contributions on the following theme: “Memory and marks: commemorating, transmitting, and perpetuating.”
We hope to see many of you there!

[The program can be accessed online here].

Le bureau
François Pacha Miran – président
Léa Checri – trésorière
Apolline Gay – secrétaire
Association des étudiants du monde byzantin
Paris, France


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!

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: https://medievalblackseaproject.princeton.edu/conference-2023-4/

BSANA Annual Conference and Membership Drive

Sent on behalf of BSANA President Lynn Jones:
The 49th annual Byzantine Studies Conference is fast approaching: October 26-29th! Please visit bsana.net to renew your membership, contribute to our general fund, support graduate student attendance, or help grow our Byzantinists of Color fund.
A reminder: If you are presenting a paper, your BSANA membership must be up to date. Renew or join now! Don’t forget to visit the conference website: Early Bird rates for registration ends Sept. 15; reduced rates for the Conference Hotel end Sept. 21. Sign up now!
We look forward to seeing you in Vancouver!

Dumbarton Oaks sessions at ICMS (Kalamazoo) 2024

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: https://wmich.edu/medievalcongress/call. 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 Session (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.



CFP: “Syriac Studies in the UK: Past, Present, Future”

On behalf of Alberto Rigolio (Durham University):

Call for papers: Conference “Syriac Studies in the UK: Past, Present, Future”

When: 21-23 March 2024

Where: Durham University

Abstract submission deadline: 31 October 2023

We are delighted to announce that the conference “Syriac Studies in the UK: Past, Present, Future” will take place at Durham University, on 21-23 March 2024. The conference focuses on the history of Syriac Studies in the UK and aims to celebrate and reflect on the work of scholars in this field across the past centuries.

A series of papers will focus on specific aspects of the history of Syriac Studies in the UK, including the biographies and intellectual contributions of scholars in/from the UK, the history and development of the field, the discovery, circulation and study of Syriac manuscripts, and the formation of Syriac library collections in the UK. Confirmed speakers include Siam Bhayro (Exeter), Sebastian Brock (Oxford), Chip Coakley (Cambridge/Jericho Press), Lindsey Davidson (Bristol), Susan Harvey (Brown), Kristian Heal (BYU), John Healey (Manchester), Erica Hunter (Cambridge), Christa Müller-Kessler (Jena), George Kiraz (IAS Princeton/Gorgias Press), Salam Rassi (Edinburgh), Alison Salvesen (Oxford), David Taylor (Oxford), Francis Watson (Durham), and John Watt (Cardiff).

In addition, we invite abstract proposals for 15-minute papers, illustrating the ongoing or future research by contemporary scholars in the field of Syriac Studies. We invite proposals from doctoral students, early and mid career researchers, and established academics for papers on any topic related to Syriac Studies, such as ongoing or future research projects, forthcoming or recent publications, or ideas for public outreach – and we also especially welcome papers on the history of the field.

We aim to create a space to learn about and discuss past, present, and future research directions in our field. There will be abundant opportunities for discussion in a supportive environment, and we hope that this will be a useful venue for dialogue and exchange. We kindly encourage you to circulate this call among students and those who might not be on this mailing list.

Proposals for 15-minute papers (max. 350 words + short bibliography) should be sent to conferencesyriacintheUK@gmail.com by October 31st, 2023.

In order to support the participation of doctoral and early-career researchers, a limited number of college rooms in Durham will be available free of charge for doctoral and early-career speakers who may not be eligible for full support from their home institution. If this applies to you, please indicate it when you send your abstract, and add your academic CV in attachment. In addition, meals for all speakers will be covered.

The conference is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Durham Centre for Early Christianity, the Department of Classics and Ancient History at Durham University, and the British Academy.

Please address any query to Andy Hilkens (andy.hilkens@ames.ox.ac.uk) or Mara Nicosia (mara.nicosia@durham.ac.uk).

We hope to see you all in Durham!

Organizing and Scientific Committee

Andy Hilkens (British Academy Newton International Fellow, University of Oxford)

Mara Nicosia (British Academy Newton International Fellow, Durham University)

Alberto Rigolio (Associate Professor, Durham University)

Francis Watson (Chair in Early Christian Literature, Durham University)

Ted Kaizer (Professor in Roman Culture and History, Durham University)

Karl Heiner Dahm (Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, Durham University)

CFP: “Matter, Materiality and Pilgrimage in Pre-Modern Times: Production, Staging and Reception”

We invite proposals for the session CIHA202400192 Matter, Materiality and Pilgrimage in Pre-Modern Times: Production, Staging and Reception” at CIHA (Lyon, France, 23-28 June 2024).

Session description
This 180-minute paper session aims to explore the materiality of objects and places in pilgrimage sites from various cultures and religions during pre-modern times. The aim is to evaluate the converging and diverging features of materials such as gold, silver, bronze, glass, wood, bone, skin, hair, nails, precious stones, pigments, stone, soil, wax, printed matter, water and other liquids, plants, leather, fabric that were used, formed, experienced, perceived and variously appropriated by pilgrims as well as by the local actors and devotees. Pilgrims habitually travelled in well-established routes dotted with sacred sites and shrines, occasionally with overlapping stops, allowing for comparative perceptions of material properties. Their movement adopted ritual attributes that extended to the symbolization of natural and artificial objects, whose materials became incorporated in a symbolic perception of space. Organic and inorganic relics and their containers, painted panels, frescoes, liquids, tombs, buildings, natural elements were encountered by the pilgrims, and their attributes, whether material or immaterial, animated their experience. The staging strategies employed in specific visual and spatial sceneries to ensure the objects’ cultic success, prompted further interactions among pilgrims, objects, and places. At the same time, the afterlives of pilgrimage objects and sites raise questions about their staging and reception in the present day.
To promote a comprehensive exploration of the subject from a transregional and transreligious perspective, we invite submissions that centre on – but are not restricted to – the following questions:
– In what ways do pilgrims’ experiences, practices, and expectations shape the production and materiality of objects and places, and how is this recorded/experienced by pilgrims?
– How are specific media, materials and techniques established and connected to the objects in question?
– How do materials connect to and are altered by pilgrims (e.g. the effects of the visual, tactile, and more generally sensorial interactions with objects, such as touching, kissing, lighting, incorporating etc.)?
– How does pilgrims’ movement impact their perception of objects, buildings, and landscapes?
– In pilgrimage sites, specific objects/spots acquire symbolisms. Is this translated in their material context and by which processes?
– How do natural objects, e.g. mountains, plants, rocks etc., become incorporated in a symbolic perception of space and how is their materiality expressed, experienced and valued?
– How are staging devices employed in cultic settings and what materials and techniques are typically used in their construction?
– How have museums and collections curated and displayed pilgrimage objects and artifacts?
– What are the challenges and opportunities in representing the materiality of pilgrimage practice in a museum context, considering the ethical implications of the extraction, trade, and ownership of pilgrimage objects and materials?
We welcome proposals (350-500 words) from professionals, independent researchers, doctoral students, junior researchers, senior researchers in art history or related disciplines, from all over the world. The deadline for submissions is 15 September. Please submit your contribution via the following link: https://www.cihalyon2024.fr/en/call-for-papers
If you have questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to any of the session organizers:
Vesna Scepanovic: vesna.scepanovic@unifr.ch
Sofia Zoitou: sofia.zoitou@unifr.ch
Ivan Foletti: foletti@phil.muni.cz

SAMR Zoom Flash Conference

Religion and Material Culture in Late Antiquity, April 25-27, 2023

The Society for Ancient Mediterranean Religions (SAMR) is hosting a zoom flash conference discussing evidence for and methodological issues in the study of materiality and late antique religion.


Tuesday, April 25, 6:00 pm Eastern Time

The Space of a Stylite: Columns and their Topographical Contexts,
Dina Boero (The College of New Jersey)

Wednesday, April 26, 6:00 pm Eastern Time

Desire in the Archive: A 1934 Excavation in Antioch’s Southeastern Nekropolis,
Sarah Porter (Gonzaga University)

Thursday, April 27,  6:00 pm Eastern Time

Animating Attachments: An Affective Archaeology of Late Antique Monastic Refectories,
Camille Angelo (Yale University)

For more information and to sign up: https://www.samreligions.org/flash-conference/

The 25th International Congress of Byzantine Studies (2026)

Following the online meeting of the Organizing Committee of the 25th International Congress of Byzantine Studies -Vienna 2026 with the members of the AIEB Bureau on 16 March 2023, we would like to inform you about the preliminary profile and structure of the Congress program and to appeal to all National Committees to send us their proposals for Round Tables by 31 December 2023. The call for Free Communications will be sent in spring 2025. You may find below the main theme of the Congress, the themes of six Plenary Sessions, as well as the timetable and procedures for Round Tables, to be confirmed and approved at the Inter Congress meeting in Athens on 12 April 2024.



The 25th International Congress of Byzantine Studies will be held on 24 to 29 August 2026 in Vienna, Austria.

Main Theme:

“Byzantium beyond Byzantium”, “Byzance au-delà de Byzance”, “Το Βυζάντιο πέρα από το Βυζάντιο”

General Rule:

Scholars can participate in no more than two sessions throughout the Congress. (i.e., as speaker in two sessions, or as speaker in one session plus as convener, or as convener in two sessions).

Plenary Sessions:

There will be six Plenary Sessions. The list of Plenary Session themes and speakers will be approved at the Inter-Congress meeting in Athens on 12 April 2024. National Committees will be informed about the details shortly before the meeting. The themes for Plenary Sessions are:

  1. Byzantium lost and found
  2. Romanitas beyond Byzantium. Diffusion and impact of ideas of Rome in a „post-Roman”world
  3. The beasts, the crops and the bones. Biological perspectives on the Byzantine world
  4. Byzantine Diversities
  5. Reading Byzantine literature across the centuries
  6. Byzantium in Central Europe

Round Tables:

General rules

  1. Round Tables must be proposed through the National Committee of the proposer. There is also the option of joint proposals by more than one National Committee.
  2. Round Tables are allocated 90 minutes. They should consist of no fewer than four and no more than six speakers, plus the convener(s), in order to ensure adequate time for discussion.
  3. The professional affiliation of the speakers should represent at least two countries. We particularly encourage the inclusion of young researchers.
  4. We strongly encourage those who propose Round Tables to follow the Congress main theme.
  5. The most important criterion for accepting a Round Table proposal will be its innovative scholarly contribution.
  6. The number of proposals, including joint proposals by each National Committee is limited to ten.
  1. Proposals should include a title, an abstract of 250 words, 5 key words, the names of the convener(s) and speakers as well as the name of the person sending the proposal, his/her affiliated institution and his/her mail address.
  2. Proposals should be written in English or French. Timetable
  • The deadline for submission of Round Table proposals by National Committees to the Organizing Committee is 31 December 2023. Any Round Table proposal sent after the deadline will not be accepted. The proposals should be sent to program.ICBS2026@univie.ac.at.
  • Conveners of Round Tables will be informed about the decision of the Program Committee (in accordance with the Bureau of the AIEB) in mid-February 2024. Proposed Round Tables will either be accepted or rejected or the option of an Organized Session will be offered.
  • Conveners of accepted Round Tables will be asked to confirm their participation and the organization of their Round Tables by 31 March 2024.
  • The list of Round Tables will be presented at the Inter-Congress meeting in Athens on 12 April 2024.

Vienna, March 2023
The Organizing Committee

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