Could one rise from a provincial town to a position of power and wealth in the capital without having a military career? How did Byzantine men of affairs in the eleventh century invest their new-found wealth and create networks of exchange internal to their estates? What was the role of the state in buttressing these "self-made" men? A conversation with Dimitris Krallis (Simon Fraser University), based on his book Serving Byzantium’s Emperors: The Courtly Life and Career of Michael Attaleiates (Palgrave MacMillan 2019).
A conversation with Paroma Chatterjee (University of Michigan) on Indian perspectives and approaches to Byzantium. What we might be taking for granted in a field whose appeal has been traditionally limited to Europe and its offshoots? What might a global (as opposed to "ecumenical") Byzantium look like? This is the first in what I hope will be a number of conversations.
A conversation with Bissera Pentcheva (Stanford University) about the sensory and spiritual experience of Hagia Sophia, where architecture, sound, and light met theology and prayer, based on her book Hagia Sophia: Sound, Space, and Spirit in Byzantium (Pennsylvania State University Press 2017). For the associated video, go to https://vimeo.com/365102931 (password: HS2018).
A conversation with Christian Raffensperger (Wittenberg University) about the kingdom (yes, the kingdom) of Rus' and our concept of "medieval Europe," its potential and current limitations, based on his book The Kingdom of Rus' (ARC Humanities Press 2017).
A conversation about western fantasies, orientalism, and the making of Byzantium, with Elena Boeck (DePaul University), based on her two articles: 'Fantasy, Supremacy, Domes, and Dames: Charlemagne goes to Constantinople (in the volume Byzantium in Dialogue with the Mediterranean: History and Heritage, 2019, 142-161), and 'Archaeology of Decadence: Uncovering Byzantium in Victorien Sardou's Theodora (in the volume Byzantium/Modernism: The Byzantine as Method in Modernity, 2015, 102-132).
A conversation about the new environmental history of late antiquity with Kristina Sessa (The Ohio State University), based on her article 'The New Environmental Fall of Rome: A Methodological Consideration,' Journal of Late Antiquity 12.1 (2019) 211-255.
A conversation about the Fourth Crusade and colonial / postcolonial theory with George Demacopoulos (Fordham University), based on his book Colonizing Christianity: Greek and Latin Religious Identity in the Era of the Fourth Crusade (Fordham University Press 2019).
A conversation about death and the imagination with Ellen Muehlberger (University of Michigan), based on her book Moment of Reckoning: Imagined Death and its Consequences in Late Antique Christianity (Oxford University Press 2019).