Plekos – New Mailing List

Plekos is an online review journal, established in 1998/1999, which publishes reviews of new publications in the following fields: Classical Philology, Ancient History, Byzantine Studies, Patristics and Church History, as well as Roman, Late Antique, and Byzantine Art History, Archaeology, Philosophy, Epigraphy, and Numismatics.

The most recent as well as over 700 previous reviews can be found at www.plekos.de.

The journal is currently published and edited by Balbina Bäbler (Göttingen), Konstantin Klein (Bamberg), Ulrich Lambrecht (Koblenz), and Peter Riedlberger (Bamberg).

The editors would like to embrace the opportunity to alert you that from now on, there will is an additional mailing list for those who wish to receive the c. 50–60 reviews per year via e-mail. To remain up to date, please subscribe at the following link: https://www.listserv.dfn.de/sympa/subscribe/plekos

Speculum Themed Issue: “Race, Race-Thinking, and Identity in the Global Middle Ages” Call for Papers 

Speculum Themed Issue: “Race, Race-Thinking, and Identity in the Global Middle Ages” Call for Papers

 

Editors:

François-Xavier Fauvelle, Collège de France

Nahir Otaño Gracia, University of New Mexico

Cord J. Whitaker, Wellesley College

For far too long, scholarly consensus held that race and racism were mainly Enlightenment innovations, datable to no earlier than the seventeenth century. As long ago as the early twentieth century, some scholars pushed race’s origins to the sixteenth or even fifteenth centuries, but these scholars were few and far between. The Middle Ages and, with them, medieval studies were set off as a time and discipline innocent of race and racism. This remained generally true until the advent of critical medieval race studies in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Now, in 2021, special issues in major journals and no less than six full-length scholarly monographs have treated the imbrications of race with medieval art, literature, religion, and even the periodizing concept of the Middle Ages itself. Many more studies in medieval literature, history, art, religion, and culture have been conceptually informed by race, as have many studies in the modern perceptions and deployments of the Middle Ages. Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies calls for proposals for a themed issue, to be published as one of Speculum’s four quarterly issues, to recognize the intellectual value of the study of race to a comprehensive understanding of the Middle Ages.

We invite proposals for full-length essays (8,000-11,000 words) that interrogate race, race-thinking, and identity in the Middle Ages. For example, essays might consider the roles of race-making and racialization in the Islamic world; how race and identity, together with religion, was negotiated and navigated in border regions such as al-Andalus, Sicily or the Levant (between Latin Christendom and Islam), the Sahara and the Sahel region (between the Islamic world and Subsaharan Africa); how the dynamics of race-thinking informed relations between Latin and Greek Christendom and Islam or the Mongol Empire, or between the Muslim/Islamicate world and Christian, Jewish, Hinduist, and traditional-religious societies within it or beyond its reaches; how race intersected with the dynamics of trade and connectivity, religious affiliation and conversion, slavery and emancipation, peace and war. Essays may also take on the roles of race, race-thinking, and identity in the geography and periodization of the Middle Ages: Are historical moments that are quintessential to the history of race also relevant to medieval-and-modern periodizations? Essays may also consider how and why race, race-thinking, and identity have shaped modern concepts, uses, and scholarship of the Middle Ages.

The editors are open to essays that interrogate race, race-thinking, and identity in the Middle Ages by asking these and other deeply probing questions. Additionally, we are especially interested in essays that consider the globality of the medieval world: those that examine the networked interrelations and interdependences of Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Europe. In addition to scholarship in history and literature, we invite proposals using the tools and methods of anthropology, archaeology, art history, book history, historical linguistics, religious studies, sociology, and other fields germane to the studies of race, identity, and the Middle Ages.

The themed issue on race, race-thinking, and identity and the articles selected for it will be in keeping with Speculum’s purview as stated in the Guidelines for Submission: “preference is ordinarily given to articles of interest to readers in more than one discipline and beyond the specialty in question. Articles taking a more global approach to medieval studies are also welcomed, particularly when the topic engages with one or more of the core areas of study outlined above. Submissions with appeal to a broad cross-section of medievalists are highly encouraged.”

Proposals should be no more than 500 words in length and should be submitted by email to cord.whitaker@wellesley.edu with SPECULUM PROPOSAL in the subject line by 31 January 2022. The authors of selected proposals will be notified by 28 February 2022. Completed essays will be expected by 1 December 2022.

Medieval Art, Modern Politics (CFP)

Medieval Art, Modern Politics
Volume editors: Brigitte Buettner and William Diebold
Deadline for submitting proposals (500-word abstract and a CV):  December 15, 2021
Anticipated submission of final texts: End of 2022
Historians of medieval art know that the buildings, objects, and images they study were often created for purposes that were overtly political. They have devoted less scholarly attention to a corollary: the political uses and misuses of medieval art after the Middle Ages. In some cases,  the same objects and sites that accrued ideological meanings during the Middle Ages did so again, if differently, in modern times (better known examples include the Bayeux Embroidery, the Horses of San Marco, the Bamberg Rider, the insignia of the Holy Roman Empire, the Crown of St. Stephen, and  Dome of the Rock).
This is a call for papers for a volume of essays that seeks to complicate our understanding of the afterlives of medieval art by concentrating on the politics of its reception. While the ideological instrumentalization of the Greco-Roman artistic legacy has been recounted many times and stories of the rediscovery of national antiquities in eighteenth-century Europe and the revival of Gothic art in the subsequent century are familiar, the use of the medieval legacy has tended to be framed as either an affair of taste or of intellectual and cultural histories. The way in which post-medieval regimes (whether monarchic, imperial, totalitarian, or progressive) or individuals have reframed specific medieval sites, artefacts, and iconographies still await detailed examination.
We invite papers that unpack instances of the uses and misuses of medieval art in various post-medieval contexts and directed towards different political goals. We encourage submissions that represent the full geographic and temporal scope of the medieval period. Possible questions to be addressed include: What messages were extracted from “Gothic” and “barbarian” antiquities that differed from the discourses retrojected into ancient or early modern art?  How were medieval visual creations literally and figuratively repositioned to serve modern political ends? What were  the impulses—aesthetic and ideological—that explain why modern regimes have found it useful, even necessary, to reinvest in the visual legacy of the Middle Ages?
Please direct all inquiries and submissions to Brigitte Buettner (bbuettne@smith.edu) and William Diebold (wdiebold@reed.edu). We will notify authors of the status of their proposal by January 15, 2022. We anticipate c. 8000-word essays and peer review. We are also planning a workshop-type gathering to comment on the papers before publication.

18th Rydén lecture – From Byzantium to ‘Byzantine’: how to approach medieval Greek literature today

You are cordially invited to the 18th lecture in the memory of Lennart Rydén (1931–2002), professor of Byzantine Studies at Uppsala University 1980–1996.
Thursday, 14 October 2021, 18.00 (6 pm), local time, presented in Zoom by the Newman Institute in Uppsala:
https://stockholmuniversity.zoom.us/j/64410211736
Meeting ID: 644 1021 1736
(host: Helena Bodin, <helena.bodin@littvet.su.se>)
From Byzantium to ‘Byzantine’: how to approach medieval Greek literature today
Ingela Nilsson, professor in Greek and Byzantine Studies, Uppsala University, and Director of the Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul, will look at the development of the study of Byzantine philology over the past couple of decades: the turn from texts as sources to texts as literature, the implementation of critical theory and the introduction of cross-cultural perspectives.
The event includes a book launch, starting at 19.00 (7 pm):
Reinhart Ceulemans and Barbara Crostini present their edited volume Receptions of the Bible in Byzantium: Texts, Manuscripts, and their Readers (Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2021), available in open access: http://uu.diva-portal.org/smash/record.jsf?pid=diva2%3A1472780&dswid=1454

CFP: “Representations and Interpretations of the Passion and Death of Christ: Global Perspectives”

This Special Issue aims to bring a wide range of scholars who work on passion subjects in different time periods and geographical regions together to examine representations and interpretations of Christ’s passion and death from a global perspective, and across all Christian denominations, on a large canvas. Possible topics for articles include: patristic imagery for Christ’s passion; relics of Christ’s passion and their legends; artistic representations of Christ’s passion; the influence of apocryphal writings on Christ’s passion on vernacular religious literature; pilgrimages, shrines and devotional practices associated with Christ’s passion; the passion of Christ in medieval preaching exempla; the passion of Christ in hymnody; the passion of Christ in sermons; the passion of Christ in devotional treatises; the passion of Christ in prayer books; the material culture of Christ’s passion—relics, paintings, crucifixes, medals, religious prints, holy cards, etc; the passion of Christ in mystical literature; the passion of Christ in religious folklore; passion plays, medieval to modern; the passion of Christ in warfare; the passion of Christ in world literature and film, and its reception, and so on.

Given that a vast body of literature exists relating to the study of representations of Christ’s passion and death, this Special Issue particularly welcomes articles which highlight lesser-known or localized manifestations of passion devotion, especially those which have not yet appeared in scholarly literature in English.

In order to facilitate the gathering of the richest collection of material, this issue welcomes articles of various lengths, from c. 5,000 words to c. 15,000 words.

Please send all expressions of interest to Prof. Dr. Salvador Ryan, Faculty of Theology, St Patrick’s College Maynooth, Salvador.ryan@spcm.ie.

Book Announcement: The Rich and the Pure Philanthropy and the Making of Christian Society in Early Byzantium by Daniel Caner

A portrait of history’s first complex Christian society as seen through the lens of Christian philanthropy and gift giving

As the Roman Empire broke down in western Europe, its prosperity moved decisively eastward, to what is now known as the Byzantine Empire. Here was born history’s first truly affluent, multifaceted Christian society. One of the ideals used to unite the diverse millions of people living in this vast realm was the Christianized ideal of philanthrōpia. In this sweeping cultural and social history, Daniel Caner shows how philanthropy required living up to Jesus’s injunction to “Give to all who ask of you,” by offering mercy and/or material aid to every human being, regardless of their origin or status.

Caner shows how Christian philanthropy became articulated through distinct religious ideals of giving that helped define proper social relations among the rich, the poor, and “the pure” (Christian holy people), resulting in new and enduring social expectations. In tracking the evolution of Christian giving over three centuries, he brings to the fore the concerns of the peoples of Early Byzantium, from the countryside to the lower levels of urban society to the imperial elites, as well as the hierarchical relationships that arose among them. The Rich and the Pure offers nothing less than a portrait of the whole of early Byzantine society.

A Brief Guide to Disability Terminology and Theory in Ancient World Studies

Alexandra Morris (Teesside University) and Debby Sneed (CSU Long Beach) have prepared “A Brief Guide to Disability Terminology and Theory in Ancient World Studies,” which is available on the blog for the SCS (https://bit.ly/3mLGBVv). One of our aims is to demystify language around disability and begin what we hope will be a continued dialogue. Any reasonable questions can be directed to Alexandra at A.Morris@tees.ac.uk or on Twitter @DisabledArchaeo.

Book Announcement, Antioch: A History

We are excited to announce the publication of our book, Antioch: A History. This book tells the complete story of the “lost city” of Antioch-on-the-Orontes, from its foundation by the Seleucids in the 4th century BC to the 20th century. Of particular interest to you, our esteemed Byzantinists, is a more extensive and holistic view of the late antique and medieval periods and their transition. The early Byzantine period is in two chapters, and there is a chapter on the Middle Byzantine period, all contextualized with histories from the Early Islamic, Saljuq, and Crusader periods. This history of Antioch is grounded in a discussion of the urban transformations that took place and incorporates recent studies on the archaeology of the city, reevaluations of some of Princeton’s excavations, numismatic evidence, and inclusion of the hinterland of Antioch. Best, Asa Eger and Andrea de Giorgi.

New book series: CARMEN Visual and Material Cultures

The CARMEN Visual and Material Cultures series provides a platform for interdisciplinary medieval scholarship centred on visual and material cultures, through which it seeks to gain new perspectives and bring greater depth to existing historical narratives of the medieval world. Drawing on methodologies from a variety of disciplines—archaeology, art history, and anthropology—it can provide an understanding that is otherwise hindered by a focus solely on written sources. The series is a venue for established scholars as well as early career researchers from partners and countries within the CARMEN Medieval Network. Under its earlier name “CARMEN Monographs and Studies” we showed our commitment to publishing research from scholars outside Western Europe and North America. The renamed series retains its global commitment.

New publication: Art and Material Culture in the Byzantine and Islamic Worlds, edited by Evanthia Baboula and Lesley Jessop (Brill)

From her interests in late antique silver stamps to the abandoned churches of medieval Lebanon, the relationship of image and word in Islamic art, and the decoration of contemporary buses and trucks in Pakistan, Erica Cruikshank Dodd’s interests have been multi-faceted. Dedicated to Dr. Cruikshank Dodd, Art and Material Culture in the Byzantine and Islamic Worlds offers new perspectives on the Christian and Muslim communities of the east Mediterranean from medieval to contemporary times. The contributors examine how people from diverse religious backgrounds adapted to their changing political landscapes and show that artistic patronage, consumption, and practices are interwoven with constructed narratives. The essays consider material and textual evidence for painted media, architecture, and the creative process in Byzantium, Crusader-era polities, the Ottoman empire, and the modern Middle East, thus demonstrating the importance of the past in understanding the present.

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