Byzantium - Bridge between worlds

24th International Congress of Byzantine Studies



As an interdisciplinary and international worldwide group of 8 scholars, we would like to bring to your attention this new forum of research and share the results of our individual research in this session at the congress, in the perspective of turning this experience into a new possibility to enhance our collaborative research in the future.

The research group will address impermanent phenomena of spreading sensory territorialities (Byzantium and the West) of ineffable stimuli through ritual actions and visions within art history and outside it; at the crossing of both art history and visual culture, to promote new disciplinary forms, such as archaeologies of soundscape, scentscape, and other somato-scapes of ceremonial and power, sentience and enchantment.

We study ritual and meta-objects in paradoxical spaces defined by the metastability of the medium – both material and invisible – in transient motion. We explore the cluster of “scape-sentience-motion” within the emergent topologies (chorology & hierotopy) of radiant objects, fleeting visions, shimmering presences, dazzling visions, and acoustic sensations; of light and darkness, of matter, and proto-matter (chôra), of dancing light, and glowing words as effects/affects of premodern Byzantine and Western qualia.


Nicoletta Isar, Copenhagen University (Denmark), the leader of the group
White Chorology: The Diaphanous Dance

Dr Jasmina S. Ćirić, University of Kragujevac (Serbia)
Dancing Bricks: Late Byzantine performative facades

Maria Cristina Carile, University of Bologna (Italy)
Aesthetics of Light at Hagia Sophia Experiencing New Rome: visions of light and perceptions of imperial grandeur. 

Andrew Simsky, Research Center for Eastern Christian Culture (Leuven, Belgium)
Hierotopy of darkness: shimmering gold glasses in Roman catacombs

Kathryn Dickason, University of Southern California & New York University (Sept 2021) (US)
Western Medieval Dance: An Aesthetic of Enchantment

Nadine Schibille, CNRS, IRAMAT-Institut de Recherche sur les Archéomatériaux - Centre Ernest Babelon (Orléans) (France)
The Materiality of Light: the making of glass mosaics

Marie Emmanuelle Torres, CNRS, Aix-Marseille University and LA3M Aix-en-Provence (France)
To Feel Divine Authority: Sound, Space and Performance in Byzantine Imperial Coronations  

Julien Ferrando, Maître de conférence, Laboratoire  PRISM  (UMR 7061) Aix-Marseille University (France)
Sound and Papal Power: Heritage Acoustic Sensations at the Papal Chapel in Avignon (14th c.)