Appel à contributions : Cultural exchanges in the Late Byzantine World (Haifa University, 16-17 mai 2012)

Cultural Exchanges between Byzantium, East and West in the Late Byzantine World  (12th-16th centuries)
University of Haifa – Israel ; Onassis Program of Byzantine and Modern Hellenic Studies
16-17 May 2012

The four hundred years that elapsed between the 12th and 16th centuries were politically turbulent for the Byzantine Empire.  Endless internal strives on the throne ended with disastrous consequences for the Empire, starting with the conquest of Constantinople in 1204 by the Crusaders and the splitting up of its former territories between Latin Western powers. The Reconquista of Constantinople in 1261 by the Byzantines left the Empire but with a shadow of its former territorial space. The constant domestic struggles that weakened its stability unwillingly eased the Serbian expansionism and induced in late 1372 or early 1373 the Byzantine Emperors into vassalage status under the Ottomans. Eventually the final blow, i.e. the conquest of Constantinople in 1453 saw the fall into Ottoman rule of a shrunken empire, already almost collapsed from within.
In sharp contrast to the long political crepuscule, despite the long felt distrust towards foreigners of all kinds, cross cultural exchanges continued to thrive between adversaries in such fields as literature, music, arts, architecture and technologies. These interactions galvanized the cultural melting pot which shaped the eternal heritage of the Christian West, of all the Eastern Mediterranean, Eastern Europe as well as the countries around the Black Sea, in both Christian and Moslem worlds. Furthermore, despite the Ottoman conquest of the Byzantine Empire, the Byzantine tradition impacted to a great extent urban, architectonic and technological facets of its conquerors’ own culture.
The aim of this conference is to highlight the various cross cultural aspects and the vehicles for their distribution according to the topics below.
•    Constantinople a hub of cross cultural exchanges
•    Cultural mobility within Eastern Mediterranean
•    Trade and transportation as vehicles for cultural and technological exchanges and knowledge
•    Art and Architecture in Byzantium and beyond
•    Dialogue between Byzantium the Islamic and Ottoman worlds
•    Byzantine cultural and political heritage in the West (Italy and Sicily)
•    Byzantium and Eastern Europe: cultural, religious and political inheritance
•    Byzantium and Georgia: Cultural and artistic ties
•    Christian communities in the former Byzantine territories in the Near East: synthesis of cultures
•    Cross-cultural, economic and political  exchanges between East and West in the former Byzantine territories in the Adriatic, Ionian, Levant and Egypt
•    Profane and religious literature in late Byzantium
•    Chronicles and the writing of history
•    Byzantine inheritance in music

Please submit abstracts  with a short C.V. to the organizing committee by 15 December 2011
Jeannine Horowitz,
Ruthy Gertwagen,
Emma Maayan-Fanar,


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