10 Jun 2016


Institute of Art Studies,
Bulgarian Academy of Sciences,
Byzantine & Post-Byzantine Art
Crossing Borders
March 31 – April 2, 2017
Keynote Speakers:
Professor Edhem Eldem (Boğaziçi University)
Dozent Andreas Rhoby (Austrian Academy of Sciences)
The conference would like to temper traditional approaches taken up in art history which have been reading Byzantine and post-Byzantine/Pre-modern cultural phenomena in the light of national or epistemological controversies. Since artists and artefacts have been circulating across geographic borders and chronological boundaries, this event seeks to leave the beaten research tracks in order to focus on such movements, exchanges, and overlaps.
We aspire to contribute to the growing discourse on these matters by bringing together an international group of about 25 scholars to renew the state of art by exploring the connection between religious art and the construction of visual history throughout Europe, the Mediterranean world and beyond. The central question the conference will address is how social, political, sensory/perceptive and economic borders and their sacred visualizations and crossovers have influenced the construction of history in Christian centres throughout Europe and the Mediterranean world, or vice versa: how contemporary researchers contextualize them, using methods of historiography, philology, cultural anthropology, etc. Do these methodological tools work when dealing with artefacts and artists, with religion and magical thinking, with the Balkans, with Byzantine art within non-Byzantine world?
Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • the relationship between church art and political history;
  • terminology and the making of a past;
  • periodization and cultural memory;
  • national art histories and mythmaking;
  • politics and art history;
  • art history without general history;
  • the concept of otherness;
  • topography of artistic activity of icon workshops as a historical source;
  • borders in art/art history, etc.

Scholars working on similar themes in non-art historical traditions are also encouraged to apply. 10 % of the participants will be young researchers, post-docs and PhD students. The working language of the conference will be English, but texts will be published in a separate volume in Bulgarian, French and German as well.
Funding for the conference has not been yet provided, but the organizers will apply for financial support in 2016. Perhaps limited hotel accommodations and some meals will be provided. Limited travel funds may also be available for distinguished scholars.
Please send abstracts of 300-500 words, including a brief CV, to moutafov1@gmail.com  
International Organizing Committee (in alphabetical order)
Andrea Babuin
Emmanuel Moutafov
Konstantinos Giakoumis
Nenad Makulijevic
Vincent Debiais
Important Dates

  • 1 September 2016: Deadline for abstract submissions;
  • 15 October 2016: Notification of applicants on the outcome of their proposals;
  • 1 March 2017: Deadline for finalizing the conference programme.