Sung, Written and Painted. The Akathistos Hymnos and Intermedial Compositional Processes in Later Byzantium

Goettingen, 2-3 June 2022

Painted cycles based on the Akathistos represent one of the great novelties of late Byzantine art, translating a by then already ancient piece of liturgical music into the world of visual art. However, even though the Akathistos Hymn to the Virgin Mary has been studied quite extensively, the relationship between its text, music, and illustrations has not yet been fully explored.

Building on the Akathistos Hymn, the planned conference will examine late Byzantine intermedial compositional processes. Painted cycles based on the Akathistos should be studied as a product of the interaction between hymnography, psalmody, and visual art – not just as a mere visualisation of a text. Illuminated and notated manuscript copies of the hymn ought to be examined as evidence for varied liturgical and devotional practices. Icons and murals that illustrate the Akathistos need to be seen as constituent elements of sacred space. At the same time, the broader social and religious context(s) for the hymn’s use during the late Byzantine period need to be considered.

Methodologically, the conference will have as its focus the concept of intermediality, that is, the interface between various media of cultural expression. The organisers hope that it will contribute towards bridging the methodological gaps that separates various scholarly approaches to the study of medieval culture.

We invite proposals in all disciplines related to Byzantine Studies, broadly construed, addressing the Akathistos – or other medieval evidence with a similar approach to intermediality and compositional processes. Contributions from graduate and early career researchers are particularly welcome. Abstracts of not more than 300 words should be sent to Jon C. Cubas Diaz at (jon.cubasdiaz@uni-goettingen.de) by 15 March 2022. Travel and accommodation expenses of accepted speakers will be reimbursed. The conference will be held in Goettingen as a hybrid event on 2-3 June 2022.

Call for Papers : International Conference of the Volos Academy on St. Symeon the New Theologian

« On the occasion of the millinery anniversary of the dormition of St. Symeon, the New Theologian (1022-2022), the Volos Academy for Theological Studies organizes an international conference to commemorate his personality, thought, and contribution to Orthodox theology and spirituality, which will take place in Volos, Greece, in a physical form, from 26 to 29 May 2022, in compliance with all the enforced by the European and state sanitary measures.

This conference aims to bring together scholars who have made important contributions to the study of the work of St. Symeon the New Theologian and its reception from the philosophical, historical, philological and theological points of view. The following statement offers some possible topics but does not intend to exclude alternative issues:

The renewed interest in the study of the work and the thought of St. Symeon during the last decades has highlighted a number of both timeless and topical issues concerning, one way or another, the entire Christian world. The relationship between institution and charisma or sacraments and asceticism; the understanding of faith and doctrinal teaching as the content of personal consciousness; the anthropology of deification and the emergence of the Christian subject, as well as St. Symeon’s commitment to the ecclesial body are only some of the aspects of the relevant and on-going discussion. To rearrange these issues based on the critical and prophetic character of theology demands a creative and fruitful reflection, with the self-evident inclusion of the particularities of our times, in the perspective of the authentic experience of the life in Christ in the context of our current post-modern reality.

Committed speakers include: Theophilos Ambatzidis (Volos Academy), Eirini Afentoulidou (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna), Paul Argárate (Universität Graz), Sabino Chialà (Community of Bose, Italy), Marie-Hélène Congourdeau (CNRS, Paris), Barbara Crostini-Lappin (Uppsala University), Paul Gavrilyuk (Founding President of IOTA, St. Thomas University, MN, USA), Athanasios Markopoulos (University of Athens), Dimitrios Moschos (University of Athens), Dimitrios Oulis (University of Athens), Symeon Paschalidis (University of Thessaloniki), István Perczel (Central European University, Budapest/Vienna), Basilio Petrà (Facoltà teologica dell’Italia centrale, Florence), Aikaterini Tsalampouni (University of Thessaloniki), Vasilios Tsigkos (University of Thessaloniki), Stavros Yagkazoglou (University of Athens), Panayiotis Yfantis (University of Thessaloniki)

Junior and early career scholars are, therefore, invited to submit proposals for short papers (15 min.) which preferably should be related to one of the thematic axes of the conference. Provisional title, abstract (max. 350 words) and a concise CV (max. 200 words) should be submitted to Dr. Nikos Kouremenos (nkouremenos@acadimia.org) by March 4, 2022. All proposals will be evaluated by a scientific committee. The working languages of the conference are English and Greek (with a simultaneous translation to be provided). The decision of acceptance will be communicated before the 1st of April 2022. Volos Academy will provide full accommodation to all accepted speakers – unfortunately, though, travel expenses will not be covered. After the conference, presenters will be invited to rework their presentations towards the publication of the conference proceedings, which will be assessed through a peer-review procedure. »

Worth Their Weight In Gold: The Significance of Lead Seals to Byzantine Studies

Worth Their Weight In Gold: The Significance of Lead Seals to Byzantine Studies

October 28, 2021 5:00-6:30pm EDT
Virtual Public Lecture with Alicia Walker

Register

Byzantine sigillography is a specialized subdivision of an already esoteric field. Yet this seeming obscurity belies the substantial interdisciplinary value of lead seals. The iconographic, inscriptional, and functional aspects of these objects offer unique perspectives on diverse areas of interest, both within the study of Byzantine society and with respect to medieval intercultural dynamics. In this lecture, Alicia Walker presents Byzantine sigillography as a rich domain for interdisciplinary investigation and collaboration, highlighting lead seals as a nexus for exchange among the various fields of Byzantine studies and a vital conduit for contributions to medieval studies more broadly.

Alicia Walker (PhD, Harvard University) is professor of medieval art and architecture at Bryn Mawr College. Her primary fields of research are cross-cultural artistic interaction in the medieval world from the ninth to the thirteenth century and gender issues in the art and material culture of Byzantium. Her first monograph, The Emperor and the World: Exotic Elements and the Imaging of Middle Byzantine Imperial Power, Ninth to Thirteenth Centuries CE, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2012. She is coeditor of the essay collection Negotiating Secular and Sacred in Medieval Art: Christian, Islamic, and Buddhist (Ashgate, 2009), and the special issue of the journal Medieval Encounters entitled Mechanisms of Exchange: Transmission in Medieval Art and Architecture of the Mediterranean, ca. 1000–1500 (Brill, 2012, vol. 18, no. 4­–5). She is an alumna of the Dumbarton Oaks Byzantine coins and seals summer program and her research on exotic motifs in Byzantine lead seals has appeared in The Medieval History Journal.

Image: Joseph imperial spatharios and kommerkiarios, tenth century, 25 mm diam. Dumbarton Oaks, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, bequest of Thomas Whittemore, 1951.31.5.1778

Le Psautier de Paris (BNF, Grec 139)

Colloque international, 2 et 3 juillet 2021:

LE PSAUTIER DE PARIS (BNF, GREC 139)

Pour télécharger le programme, Cliquer ici 

Inscription obligatoire avant le 30 juin 2021 :http://www.chartes.psl.eu/fr/psautier-paris-bnf-grec-139

Le lien pour la visioconférence sera envoyé la veille du colloque uniquement aux personnes inscrites.

En raison des limitations imposées par la situation sanitaire Covid-19, l’accès à la salle de conférence sera réservé aux seuls intervenantes et intervenants. Lieu : École nationale des chartes, 65 rue de Richelieu, 75002 Paris.

L’organisation de ce colloque a été rendue possible notamment par un financement du Fonds d’intervention pour la recherche de Sorbonne Université. Nous remercions également les autres institutions organisatrices pour leur soutien financier (UMR 8167 Orient et Méditerranée, Istituto Ellenico di Venezia, association THAT) et pour l’accueil dans leurs locaux associé à leur aide logistique (École nationale des chartes, Bibliothèque nationale de France).