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2006 International Congress of Byzantine Studies
21-26 August 2006, Londra, İngiltere

The 2006 International Congress of Byzantine Studies will be held in the United Kingdom. Preparations are already underway. The organisation of the Congress will be coordinated by Professor Anthony Bryer of the University of Birmingham.

As requested at the Call to Arms by Convenor at SPBS Symposium in Oxford, and in BBBS, 27 (2001), pp.95-96 (see below), members are invited (no requested - nay required) to propose 8 major themes (and overall title) for BYZCONG2006 by 1 June which will be discussed by officers on 8 June as the basis of an outline scheme to be presented to AIEB at BYZCONG2001 in Paris. Kindly submit all ideas and suggestions to the convenor, Professor Bryer.

First Report of the Convenor

At an Inter-Congress Meeting in Athens in 1998, the Association International d'Etudes Byzantines accepted the bid of its British National Committee to hold the 21st International Byzantine Congress in 2006. At its meeting in Birmingham in April 2000, the British National Committee accordingly appointed a free-standing steering committee for the Congress, responsible to it and the AIEB, but with powers of co-option. Appointed and co-opted members of the Committee include Anthony Bryer (Convenor), Averil Cameron, Robin Cormack, James Crow, Judith Herrin, Liz James (Secretary), Elizabeth Jeffreys (Deputy Convenor), Ruth Macrides, Marlia Mango, Margaret Mullett and Rosemary Morris. The Committee met in Oxford in August 2000 and in London in December 2000. The principle decisions so far taken are that the Congress will be held on 21-26 August 2006 in London, with a mid-week excursion to Oxford. A major factor which influenced the decision for London was the expectation of major associated Byzantine Exhibitions there.

The first (and last) International Byzantine Congress to be held in Great Britain was the 13th, at Oxford in September 1966, which proved a memorable stimulus to, and formative influence on, the international development of our subject. Forty years on I am not concerned that our subject has, like others, inflated or disintegrated, because the evidence of International Congresses and national Symposia is that it remains remarkably cohesive - perhaps because our field belongs both to none and to all. Nor do we fancy that by 2006 an International Congress can be held on the internet. The evidence is that there is no substitute to meeting fellow-Byzantinists, arguments and objects face to face in the controlled environment of our own Dome - also that the practical number of Congressionists who can most conveniently hear, speak, see, or meet each other within one week is no more than 1,000: bigger is not better. On such a scale, we are not alarmed by the logistics of holding an International Congress, its funding, housing, publication, exhibitions and parties. Thanks to the accumulated experience of holding the Society's Spring Symposia (of which the 40th in 1996 will be subsumed in the Congress) there is probably more expertise available in this country than any other as to how best to run such a meeting - and do it in style. The great difference is that while British Byzantine Symposia are run by a local Byzantine centre for a national organisation, the Congress will be promoted by your national committee for the international Association, with which we share its own needs. Now we have found a site in Bloomsbury and a date in 2006, there is as much time as Justinian gave his architects to build his Dome and you must now think what it is for.

The most interesting, challenging and (dare one say it), educational, task is what to put in our Dome. As hosts of the Congress all members of the SPBS are not just invited to contribute their views and expertise, but will be badgered to do so, through reports in this Bulletin, the SPBS website, and at our annual Symposia, beginning at Oxford in March 2001. The SPBS is, with its overseas members, the most broadly-based, active and informative of all national Byzantine organisations through which members may make their views known.

Byzantine, like other international Congresses, have increasingly dispersed topics to those willing to take them on (and whose institutions sponsor them), with answers seeking a question. While such voluntary participation will remain an essential element, our thinking is that BYZCONG2006 will be distinguished, in the tradition which has developed in Britain since 1966, by being directed and didactic - after extensive discussion. You formulate and ask the questions: we will find means of answering them - well, that is the theory which in fact may work the other way round and the International Association will have its own agenda for this is an essentially international meeting to which we submit a table-d’hôte. But in principle, your Congress will have an IDENTITY and eight major THEMES, each introduced by three commissioned papers. The questions are to identify and define which Themes and Speakers will, but should, be important to our subject in 2006. This is an exercise not just in predicting, but promoting, in sequence, Themes and a new generation of Speakers to address them. By the 20th Congress in Paris in August 2001 (the example of which will be important), we must present a thematic scheme. Thereafter main Speakers, drawn from all countries and disciplines, must be commissioned before an inter-Congress meeting. At every stage we will seek your advice and opinion, which we may not take but will always accept your support.

To start the ball rolling, I propose ARCHAEOLOGY as a major theme - easy enough, because Byzantine archaeology is a discipline which always promises something new. But what are the questions? Where are the examples? Who is to speak for them? Keep thinking. All contributions are gratefully received by:

Detaylı bilgi için: 2006 Congress

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