Call for Papers / Conference: “Reception, appropriation, and innovation: Byzantium between the Christian and Islamic worlds”, 2nd Annual International Graduate Edinburgh Byzantine Conference (30 November-1 December 2018) – LIMITE : 01/08/2018

Reception and appropriation (whether reuse, imitation, or variation) have long been recognised as necessary tools for the interpretation of Byzantine literature, art, architecture and archaeology, while research on innovations is still at a relatively early stage.

The key theme of this conference is dialogue – dialogue between Byzantium and its neighbouring cultures. The conference will explore all three of the fundamental modes of dialogue and discourse (reception, appropriation and innovation) between Byzantium and its neighbours during any time period from the 5th-15th c. Confirmed invited speakers include Professor Claudia Rapp (Vienna), Dr Andrew Marsham (Cambridge), and Father Justin Sinaites (Librarian of St. Catherine’s, Mt. Sinai), in addition to confirmed internal speakers, both Byzantinists and Islamicists.

We strongly encourage papers highlighting exchange in both directions, Byzantium receiving from other cultures and/or others receiving from Byzantium. Possible topics include, but are certainly not limited to:

  •  Before the Christian and Islamic Worlds: reception and appropriation of Classical Greek or Latin heritage within Byzantium – perspectives from culture, text, legislation, gender, symbolism, art, etc.
  •  Contemporary exchange and attempts at imitation (concepts of culture, text, gender, legislation, symbolism etc.) between Byzantium, the Islamic World, Latin Europe and imperial courts
  •  Artistic similarities (visual art, sculpture, painting, etc.), whether as a result of promotion or prohibition, as an expression or mode of cultural exchange or identification across East and West
  • Production, circulation and demand for luxury goods or household artefacts as evidence for dialogue and/or interaction between Byzantium and its neighbours
  • Urban layout and rural landscape: military, civil and religious architecture in cities and countryside – common links and peculiarities between Byzantium and neighbouring powers
  • Interdisciplinary approaches to interpretations of Byzantine (inter)action throughout the Mediterranean, taking into account multiple types of primary source evidence

The deadline for submission of abstracts is 1 August, and notification of acceptance will be communicated by mid-August. Please submit your abstract of no more than 300 words to with your name and affiliation. There will be a small registration fee of £10, and lunch will be provided on both days. We will aim to publish a selection of the papers in a peer-reviewed volume that will bring together the strongest contributions in each area in order to produce an edited volume of high-quality, deep coherence and rich variety.

The Organising Committee,

Mathew Barber, Alasdair Grant, Mark Huggins, Matteo Randazzo, Margherita Riso

Late Antique and Medieval Postgraduate Society


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