Popular descriptions of Byzantium often emphasize the mystical and immaterial while overlooking the mediating role of matter implied by the Christian belief in the incarnation. In the field of art history and across the humanities, a new interest in matter and materials constitutes what is now being referred to as the “material turn” or “new materialisms.”

Building on a workshop held on September 14-16, 2018, we welcome proposals for 20 minute papers for a conference to be held May 8-12, 2019, which aims to explore matter, materials, and materiality in Byzantine art and culture. We invite scholars and graduate students from a range of fields—including but not limited to history of art and architecture, archeology, liturgical studies, musicology/sound studies, theology, philosophy, and history—to submit paper proposals. We welcome papers on such topics as material strategies of objects, makers, and users; the agency and affective properties of materials and objects; Byzantine depictions and descriptions of matter in images and texts; and the senses and embodied experiences in Byzantium.

To submit a proposal for a 20 minute paper, please send an abstract (300 words maximum) and academic CV to Evan Freeman at byzantinemateriality@svots.edu by February 1, 2019. Limited financial aid is available for graduate students giving papers.

Conference Speakers

CHARLES BARBER, Professor, Department of Art and Archeology, Princeton University

ROLAND BETANCOURT, Associate Professor, Art History, University of California, Irvine

ANNEMARIE WEYL CARR, Professor Emerita of Art History, Southern Methodist University

BÉATRICE CASEAU, Professor of Byzantine History, Paris-Sorbonne University

HELEN EVANS, Mary and Michael Jaharis Curator of Byzantine Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art

HOLGER KLEIN, Professor, Department of Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University

SEAN LEATHERBURY, Assistant Professor, Art History, Bowling Green State University

VASILEIOS MARINIS, Associate Professor of Christian Art and Architecture, Yale University and Divinity School

LAURA VENESKEY, Assistant Professor of Ancient, Medieval, and Byzantine Art; Department of Art, Wake Forest College

GARY VIKAN, Director of the Walters Art Museum (retired)

ALICIA WILCOX WALKER, Associate Professor, History of Art, Bryn Mawr College

call for short paperS