GKA HUMAN 2021 VIRTUAL | APRIL 19-24, 2021

10th International Conference on Humanities in collaboration with the National Hellenic Research Foundation

Highlighted Speakers
Key Dates
Proposal submission
Virtual Platform


Performance in Late Antiquity and Bizancio

The international conference aims to bring together scholars from various fields related to performance in Late Antiquity and Byzantium. Performance and performativity represent an aspect of pre-modern Greek literature and culture that has not yet received sufficient attention. We are looking at performativity in its broadest sense across genres in an attempt to trace its function in various contexts. Our interdisciplinary approach is informed by the methodological lens of performance studies.

We hope that the conference will contribute to the growing field of performance studies and their application in the fields of Late Antiquity and Byzantium with new material and perspectives and that it will offer scholars working on performance and performativity the possibility for a lively dialogue on aspects related to this exciting topic.

The conference comes as a conclusion to the research project hosted by the Institute of Historical Research of the National Hellenic Research Foundation and we are particularly grateful to the Center for Hellenic Studies of Harvard University (Washington, D.C.), of the American College of Greece and the Global Knowledge Academics for their support and participation in this endeavor. We are also indebted to the Center for Hellenic Studies-Harvard, Greece for its support.

Highlighted Sessions








Other conference themes
National Hellenic Research Foundation
The Center for Hellenic Studies
Global Knowledge Academics

With the support of

Honorary Committee

Maria Christina Chatziioannou
Director of the Institute of Historical Research, National Hellenic Research Foundation

Gregory Nagy
Francis Jones Professor of Classical Greek Literature and Professor of Comparative Literature, Director of CHS Harvard, Washington, D.C.

Richard Martin
Antony and Isabelle Raubitschek Professor in Classics at Stanford, Chair of the Senior Fellows and Chair for Academic Affairs, CHS Harvard, Washington, D.C.

Anna Stavrakopoulou
Associate Professor of Theatre Studies, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and Program Director for Byzantine Studies, Dumbarton Oaks, Member of CHS Greece Board of Directors

Helena Maragou
Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, American College of Greece

Loren Jay Samons
Professor of Classical Studies at Boston University, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives & Executive Director, The Institute for Hellenic Culture and Liberal Arts Integration of ACG

Karim Gherab
Professor in the Faculty of Humanities at Rey Juan Carlos University, Permanent Scientific Director, GKAcademics

Organizing Committee

Niki Tsironis
Institute of Historical Research – National Hellenic Research Foundation, Associate in Byzantine Studies, CHS-Harvard

Yiannis Petropoulos
Professor of Ancient Greek Literature, Democritus University of Thrace, Director Emeritus of CHS Harvard, Greece

Maria Leontsini
Senior Researcher, Institute of Historical Research – National Hellenic Research Foundation

George T. Calofonos
Byzantine Historian, Research Associate of the Performance in Late Antiquity and Byzantium Project, Institute of Historical Research – National Hellenic Research Foundation

Maria Sardi
Historian of Islamic Art, Research Associate of the Performance in Late Antiquity and Byzantium Project, Institute of Historical Research – National Hellenic Research Foundation

Katia Savrami
Associate Professor in Choreology, Theatre Studies Department, University of Patras

Academic Secretary: Natalia Gkolfinopoulou, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Project Management: Maria Sardi – Ainos Cultural Society

Highlighted Speakers

Maria Athanasopoulou is Associate Professor of Modern Greek Literature and Literary Theory at the School of Drama, Faculty of Fine Arts, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. She obtained her BA in Byzantine and Modern Greek Philology from the University of Crete in 1989. She holds two MAs from King’s College, University of London (European Romanticism: 1990, Modern Greek Studies: 1991) and a PhD from the Department of Other Languages, Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages, University of Cambridge (1999).

Gordana Blagojević is a Principal Research Fellow at the Institute of Ethnography of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SASA), Belgrade, Serbia. She holds one PhD in Ethnology and Anthropology from the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Belgrade and a second one in the Musicology from the Music Studies Department of the Faculty of Philosophy of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. She is a performer of Byzantine music (the Orthodox Church chanting), holding the diploma of the music School of Athens Archbishopric. Her main interests include multiculturalism, ethnic identity, ceremonial and religious practices, cultural contacts relations, ethnic minorities, anthropology of dance and anthropology of music.

Jelena Bogdanović is Associate Professor of Architectural History and Theory at Iowa State University. She has studied both Architecture (University of Belgrade) and History of Art (Vanderbilt and Princeton University). She is currently on the editorial board of the journal for historic preservation Konzervatorske sveske, the Akropolis: Journal of Hellenic Studies, and the journals for medieval studies De Medio Aevo and Balkanoslavica. Her specialties include Byzantine, Hellenic, Slavic (with a focus on Serbian and Russian), Western European, and Islamic (especially Umayyad and Ottoman) architectural history, canopies (ciboria), concepts of sacred space, human body, and memory, cross-cultural and religious themes of architecture in the Mediterranean.

George Τ. Calofonos is a Byzantine historian, educated in Birmingham (UK), specializing in Late Antique and Byzantine cultural history and, particularly, in the study of dreams. A Research Associate of the Institute of Historical Research of the National Hellenic Research Foundation, he has published on a variety of related subjects including dream theory, oneirocriticism, incubation, dreams in historiography and hagiography, magic. He has co-edited, along with Christine Angelidi, the collective Dreaming in Byzantium and Beyond (Farnham: Ashgate, 2014).

Marios Chatziprokopiou is currently a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Thessaly. He earned an MA in social anthropology (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales de Paris), and a PhD in performance studies (Aberystwyth University, Wales, UK). He has been a fellow at the Research Centre for the Humanities in Greece. He has taught courses of anthropology, theatre and performance (University of Patras, Panteion University, Aberystwyth University and Federal University of Bahia). His articles appear in international edited volumes and peer-reviewed journals. His research interests focus on performances of migration and refugeeness, contemporary re-readings of ancient drama, performances of gender and sexuality, and ritual performances of lament.

Eleni Chrysafi, Archaeologist and Art Historian, has been working in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH) since 2006. She holds a BA in History and Archaeology, an MA and PhD in Byzantine Archaeology from AUTH, as well as a BA in Italian Studies and an MA in Translation, Interpretation and Communication. From 2006 until 2013 she has served in the Centre for Byzantine Research, AUTH, where she specialized in Late Antique and Early Byzantine Floor Mosaics. Since 2014 she is a member of the Laboratory Teaching Staff of the School of Social Theology and Christian Culture, Faculty of Theology, AUTH, in the scientific field “Byzantine Archaeology, History of Art, of the Byzantine Civilization and Aesthetics”. Her research interests and teaching focus on Christian Iconography, Aesthetics of Byzantine Art, Byzantine Material Culture, as well as the cultural and artistic relations and interchanges between Byzantium and Italy. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the field of Byzantine Textile Studies in AUTH.

Fr Maximos Constas is Senior Research Scholar at Holy Cross with expertise in the theology of the Church Fathers since 2011. Before joining the Holy Cross, he was a monk at the Monastery of Simonopetra on Mount Athos, and prior to that he was an Associate Professor of Theology at Harvard University. Fr Maximos’ work focuses on the patristic and Byzantine theological tradition, the patristic interpretation of Scripture, the Philokalia and Orthodox spirituality, the study of Byzantine manuscripts, and the theological study of Byzantine art, icons, and iconography.

Galina Fingarova earned her PhD from the Department of Art History at the University of Vienna, where she served as Assistant Professor for Byzantine Art and Architecture from 2008 until 2014. She has been awarded with the Elise Richter fellowship of the Austrian Science Fund and she received the ATHENS Fellowships (Postdoc.) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences for a research stay in Athens in 2020. Her research and teaching interests include Late Antique and Byzantine archaeology, architecture and iconography in their social context, Historical geography of the Balkan and of Asia Minor, Gender studies in Byzantium, Emotions in Antiquity and Byzantium as well as Digital Humanities.

Sarah Gador-Whyte is a Research Fellow on Biblical and Early Christian Studies at the Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry of Australian Catholic University. After studying classics and applied mathematics at the University of Melbourne, she completed a PhD on late-antique hymnographer, Romanos the Melodist. She continues to work on Romanos and Byzantine homiletics and hymnography with her areas of expertise including also late-antique cultural interactions, late-antique history and historiography, religious conflict and the history of emotions.

Niels Gaul is A. G. Leventis Professor of Byzantine Studies in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh. He presently co-directs a comparative Byzantinist-Sinologist project funded by the European Research Council, ‘PAIXUE: Classicising learning in medieval imperial systems: cross-cultural approaches to Byzantine paideia and Tang/Song xue’. His research focuses on the Middle and Late Byzantine Empire, often from a comparative vantage point, while his recent work has looked at classicising learning and the classical tradition in Byzantium, various types of social performances – be it in the form of rhetorical ‘theatre’, processions or (staged) miracles – and at the scholarly networks permeating late Byzantine society.

Ilias Giarenis is Associate Professor of Byzantine Education and Literacy, and Vice-Rector at Ionian University, Greece. He has published on the empire of Nicaea, Nikolaos Mesarites, Byzantine Education, Bessarion, the Holy Face in Middle-Byzantine Constantinople, and Receptions of Byzantium in the 19th and 20th centuries. He has co-edited volumes on Bessarion (2017), Scholars in Byzantium (2019), and Books and Learning in the Byzantine World (2021). He is the author of Establishment and Consolidation of the Empire of Nicaea. The Emperor Theodoros I Komnenos Laskaris (Athens, 2008 [2nd edition, Athens, 2010]) and Nikolaos Mesarites: A Byzantine Scholar Before and After 1204 (Turnhout, 2021).

Michael Grünbart studied at the universities of Vienna and Munich. He is Professor of Byzantine studies at the University of Münster. His research areas include epistolography, transmission of texts, cultural history and prognostication. He is both a member of the cluster of excellence ‘Religion and politics’ at Münster (project on deathscapes) and of the Collaborative Research Centre 1150 (project on the supernatural and its impact on imperial decision making). Recently he published Verflechtungen zwischen Byzanz und dem Orient (2019) and Epistularum Graecarum Initia (2020), a volume on advising and supporting rulers’ decisions is in the press. In 2019 he initiated The Byzantine Review.

Vassiliki Koutsobina is Assistant Professor of Historical Musicology at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece. Her dissertation received the Distinguished Dissertation Fellowship award from the University of Cincinnati (2008). She has presented her work at national meetings of the American Musicological Society, the International Musicological Society, and the Renaissance Society of America. Her research focuses on secular renaissance repertories as well as on the musical interactions between Latin West and Greek East and has appeared in international journals, such as the Early Music and the Journal of the Alamire Foundation, in conference proceedings, and in collected volumes.

Stylianos Lampakis has been a Researcher at the Institute of Historical Research of the National Hellenic Research Foundation since 1985, and a Research Director at the Section of Byzantine Research, IHR/NHRF, since 2007. His main research area is Byzantine and post-Byzantine Literature and civilization, as well as Byzantine heritage: influence, use (and abuse). He is the author of seven books (five of them in collaboration), more than fifty scientific articles in periodicals, acts of congresses, commemorative volumes and a considerable number of book reviews, entries in encyclopaedic prosopographical lexica and other works of reference. Lampakis is also a member of the Administrative Council of the Greek Society for Byzantine Studies (Ἐπετηρὶς Ἑταιρείας Bυζαντινῶν Σπουδῶν) and of the Greek Committee for Byzantine Studies.

Korinna Latelis is a classically trained musician, an academic researcher and a performer. She holds a PhD in History and Music Anthropology and she currently collaborates as a researcher with the Ethnomusicology and Cultural Anthropology Laboratory (EthnoLab), at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Her research focuses on the use of interactive site-specific public performance as a means of studying the correlation among public space, public life and public art, aiming at a deeper insight into contemporary society. In 2011 she founded AérEchO (from the Greek words “aér (air)” and “echo”), a platform that encourages the collaboration between performing arts and other creative disciplines, such as research and innovative technology.

Maria Leontsini works as a Researcher at the Institute of Historical Research of the National Hellenic Research Foundation in Athens. She has completed her master’s degree in the field of ‘Historical Geography of the Byzantine World’ at the University of Paris-I and obtained her PhD at the University of Athens, specializing in Byzantine History. She is a member of the Program ‘Every day and social life in Byzantium’, run by the Department of Byzantine Research. She currently works on aspects related to Byzantine institutions, geography and the environment, while also studying issues related to Byzantine daily life and material culture.

Przemyslaw Marciniak is Professor of Byzantine Literature, He held fellowships in Dumbarton Oaks, Princeton, Berlin, Paris and Uppsala. He has published on Byzantine performativity, humour and satire. His publications include papers in periodicals such as the Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies and the Dumbarton Oaks Papers (‘Reinventing Lucian in Byzantium’) and recently edited the volume Satire in the Middle Byzantine Period. The Golden Age of Laughter?.

Katherine Marsengill received her PhD from Princeton University with a specialty in Byzantine Art. She published the monograph: Portraits and Icons: Between Reality and Spirituality in Byzantine Art (Brepols, 2013) and has contributed many articles on subjects pertaining to icons in late antiquity, the imperial cult, early Christian sculpture, the perception of images of holy men, and the influence of icons on the perception of holy men. She has also participated in three exhibitions on Late Antique, Late Antique Egyptian and Byzantine Art as well as contributed numerous art historical and archaeological entries for the Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception, for which she also served as the area editor in visual arts.  She has taught at Princeton and Rutgers University, and currently teaches at Fordham University in New York.

Eugenia Mavrommati studied Medieval and Byzantine Archeology at the University of Paris 1-Panthéon-Sorbonne, where she obtained both Licence and Maitrise degrees, and she holds an MA in Folklore Studies from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. In addition, she holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies from Coventry University. She has won awards in writing and works professionally as a translator for scholarly books and articles. Since 2018 she has been working as an interpreter for the Asylum Service Office and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) deployed at different camps across Greece.

Peter Meineck PhD is Professor of Classics in the Modern World at New York University, Honorary Professor in the Humanities at the University of Nottingham and the Founder of Aquila Theatre in New York. He has published widely on the ancient theatre, cognitive theory and health humanities. He has worked extensively in the theatre in New York and London and directed several notable arts and humanities public programs in the US. His most recent publications include The Routledge Handbook of Classics and Cognitive Theory and Theatrocracy: Greek Drama, Cognition and the Imperative for Theatre. His new English translation of Aristophanes’ Frogs will be published in September 2021 by Hackett.

Charis Messis holds a PhD in Byzantine Studies from Écoles des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris and a habilitation from the Sorbonne University. He currently teaches Byzantine literature at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. His research interests concern Byzantine history and literature, especially the history of gender, along with other social and anthropological aspects of the Byzantine world. He is the author and co-editor of several books and articles on such topics. More specifically, he wrote a monograph on Byzantium eunuchs (Les eunuques à Byzance, entre réalité et imaginaire, Paris 2014) and several articles on gender issues.

Mihail Mitrea is researcher in Byzantine philology at the Institute for South-East European Studies of the Romanian Academy and lecturer in Byzantine studies at the Babeș-Bolyai University. Prior to this, he was a Marie Skłodowska Curie Research Fellow in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at Newcastle University with a project titled “Sacred Landscapes in Late Byzantium”. His research interests include late-Byzantine literature, hagiography, epistolography, Byzantine manuscript studies and textual criticism.

Margaret Mullett is a former Director of Byzantine Studies at the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection at Harvard University. She has written on literacy, patronage, genre, gender and friendship in Byzantine society. As Professor of Byzantine Studies at Queen’s University Belfast she was Director of the Institute of Byzantine Studies, the AHRC Centre for Byzantine Cultural History and the British Academy’s ‘Evergetis Project’ (an international and interdisciplinary project on middle Byzantine monasticism). Since retiring from Dumbarton Oaks she has been Visiting Professor of Byzantine History at Vienna and Visiting Professor of Byzantine Greek at Uppsala. She is now Honorary Professor at Edinburgh and is co-editor of the Routledge series Studies in Byzantine Cultural History. She is working on tents, narrative and emotion as well as on the Christos Paschon.

Fr Damaskinos Olkinuora is a University Teacher of Systematic Theology and Patristics at the University of Eastern Finland and belongs to the monastic community of the Holy Monastery of Xenophontos (Mt. Athos, Greece). He received his PhD in Systematic Theology and Patristics at the University of Eastern Finland in 2015; his doctoral dissertation, titled Byzantine Hymnography for the Feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos: An Intermedial Approach, was awarded the best doctoral dissertation of the Philosophical Faculty of the same university. Fr Damaskinos’ interests include Byzantine hymnography and homiletics and Mariology. He is particularly known for the use of interdisciplinary methodology.

Eirini Panou is an Adjunct Faculty Member at the Open University of Cyprus teaching Byzantine art. She studied Art and Archaeology at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and earned her PhD in Byzantine Studies from the University of Birmingham (2012). She completed her post-doctoral research at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel) in 2015. She has produced articles on the cult of saints in Byzantium, on art, on female patronage, on the Protevagelion of James, on Byzantine history, and has written the book The Cult of St Anne in Byzantium. She is currently preparing her monograph: The Process of Dying in Byzantium (Routledge)

Lutz Rickelt has been the Curator of the Museum of Icons in Recklinghausen (Germany) since 2018. He studied Byzantine Studies, Christian Archaeology and Ancient History at the Westfälische Wilhelms-University of Münster/Germany where he completed his PhD in December 2016 (Ruler’s Repentance. Crime and punishment of Byzantine Emperors). His recent field of research interest is the place of orthodox Icons in Cultural History, especially Donor Icons.

Maria Sardi holds a BA in History of Art and Archaeology from the University of Athens and an MA and PhD in History of Art and Archaeology from SOAS, University of London. She has worked as curatorial team member and guidebook contributor for the Benaki Museum of Islamic Art and has also contributed to the electronic database of the museum’s Byzantine, Coptic, Islamic and Chinese collection. She has taught History of Islamic Art at the Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art at SOAS, London and in the Athens School of Fine Arts (2016-2020). She has organised the interdisciplinary colloquium ‘Lux in Tenebris. Artificial Lighting from Antiquity to the Present’ at the Benaki Museum (2012). She is currently a Research Associate of the project ‘Performance in Late Antiquity and Byzantium’, Institute of Historical Research of the National Hellenic Research Foundation, in collaboration with CHS-Harvard, Washington, D.C.

Katia Savrami, choreologist and choreographer, holds an MA and PhD from the Laban Centre, City University London. She is Associate Professor at the Department of Theatre Studies, University of Patras, Greece, and Director of the department’s laboratory ‘Theatre Laboratory of Drama and Speech’ since 2020. She has worked at the State School of Dance and the Professional Ballet School of National Opera in Athens, Greece, and as visiting professor at the University of Surrey and Michigan State University, USA. She is an editor and author of numerous books and articles, in Greek and English, and a member of the International Editorial Board of Research in Dance Education Journal, published by Taylor and Francis Group, UK. She is also the editor in chief of Choros International Dance Journal, published with the support of the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation.

Dionisios Skliris holds a PhD from the University of Paris IV- Sorbonne. His thesis is entitled ‘The term tropos (mode) in the thought of Maximus the Confessor’. He is currently a Teaching Fellow at the Theological Department of the Theological Faculty of the University of Athens. His works include: On the Road to Being: Saint Maximus the Confessor’s Syn-odical Ontology, (Alhambra, California: Sebastian Press, 2018) and Logos- Mode-Telos: A study in the thought of Saint Maximus the Confessor (Athens: Indiktos & Alhambra, California: Sebastian Press, 2018, in Greek). He is also the editor of the volume Slavoj Žižek and Christianity (Abingdon, Oxon & New York: Routledge, 2018).

Stavroula Solomou is a Byzantinist. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Byzantine Philology in 2009 and completed her PhD in 2016 (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens); her dissertation entitled: The political role of the great families in the Palaiologan period: The persons and the texts (1258-1453). Since 2018 she has joined the research project ‘Performance in Late Antiquity and Byzantium’, Institute of Historical Research of the National Hellenic Research Foundation. She also collaborates on the research project ‘Byzantine literary sources for the history and civilization of Arabs and Arabia’, IHR/NHRF. She has participated in Greek and international conferences and has published several articles in academic journals.

Foteini Spingou is a Research Fellow in Byzantine Intellectual/Cultural History at the University of Edinburgh. Before joining Edinburgh University, Dr Spingou conducted research for the Department of Art and Archaeology of Princeton University, the Classics Faculty of Oxford University, the Pontifical Institute for Mediaeval Studies (University of Toronto), and the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection (Harvard University). She specializes in the cultural and intellectual history of Byzantium. Her areas of research include the history of collections and collecting, visual and textual aesthetics, manuscript culture from the late antiquity to the early modern times, and the construction of identity in imperial societies.

Kostas Theologou is Associate Professor in History and Philosophy of Culture at the National Technical University of Athens and Head of the Humanities Department of this Faculty. He is teaching undergraduate and postgraduate courses in History, Philosophy and Sociology focusing on Urban Culture and Technology. He has also been teaching Social Geography at the Hellenic Open University since 2009 and is moderator of the module on Social Theory and Modernity since 2020. He has professional experience in Print Media, Theatre, Cinematography, Radio and Television. He collaborates with the National University of Athens in post-graduate course programs (Department of Philosophy and History of Science and Department of Philosophy) and the School of Architects of the NTUA (‘Space and Culture’). He has published on various aspects of his wide research field and his most recent publications in Greek include the novella Vidal’s Crypt (Kedros, 2020).

Marka Tomić is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Byzantine Studies of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (Belgrade). Before joining the Institute for Byzantine Studies, Tomić was a Research Fellow at the Institute for Balkan Studies of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (2011-2019). She received her PhD from the University of Belgrade (Serbia, 2017) with a specialization in Byzantine and Serbian Medieval Art. Marka Tomić wrote a monograph about the painted decoration of the Church of St Demetrios at Marko’s Monastery near Skopje (The Frescoes of Marko’s Monastery, Belgrade 2019).

Nicolette Trahoulia is an art historian educated at the University of California, Los Angeles (BA) and Harvard (PhD). She has published on Byzantine painted panels, illustrated manuscripts, and metalwork from the tenth to fourteenth centuries. Some of her interests include the interface between oral performance and illustrated books, the culture of the Byzantine palace, the role of art as religious and political commentary, and gender studies. A major focus of her work has been the Byzantine Alexander Romance and its illustrations. She is a former Fulbright research scholar, and currently a professor of Art History at Deree College – The American College of Greece.

Niki Tsironis works as a Byzantinist at the Institute of Historical Research of the National Hellenic Research Foundation since 2000. She is an associate in Byzantine Studies at the Centre for Hellenic Studies of Harvard University (Washington, D.C.) and an adjunct professor of Byzantine Studies at the Stavros Niarchos Centre for Hellenic Studies of Simon Fraser University, Vancouver CA. She has received her BA, MA and PhD from King’s College London and her thesis focused on the Lament of the Virgin from Romanos the Melode to George of Nicomedia. She has initiated and is responsible for the research projects: “The Book in Byzantium. Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Bookbinding”, (IHR-NHRF 2002-present and, in collaboration with the Byzantine Museum, Athens, 2005-2010), “The Virgin beyond Borders” (in collaboration with SNF-CHS, SFU and the Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research for a forthcoming conference) and “Performance in Late Antiquity and Byzantium” (IHR-NHRF in collaboration with CHS-Harvard, Washington, D.C.). She has published extensively on the Mother of God and the Book in Byzantium (The Book in Byzantium. Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Bookbinding, Athens 2008; Actes du VIe Colloque International de Paléographie Grecque, 3 vols, Athens 2008; From Codex to Digital Documentation, Athens 2020; Le livre: Texte, Image, Objet, Paris 2021). She is currently working on the project “Psychological Perspectives of Emotion and the Senses in Byzantium”. She is a founding member of the Patristic and Byzantine Society of the University of Oxford (1993-1998) and Ainos Cultural Society (1999-present) and also active in the dissemination of historical knowledge.

Joanita Vroom is Professor in Archaeology of Medieval and Early Modern Eurasia at the University of Leiden, specializing in the material culture of the 7th to 19th centuries. She takes a special interest in the social-economic (production and distribution) and cultural aspects (consumption, cuisine and dining habits) of ceramics. Using an interdisciplinary approach and a long term perspective on intra-regional and inter-regional networks, she studies many key collections of Medieval and Post-Medieval pottery from urban and rural sites in the Adriatic Sea, the Aegean, the Near East and the Persian Gulf.

Andrew Walker White is a theater artist and cultural historian, currently based in the Washington, D.C. area.  His research focuses on the Greek Performing Arts between Antiquity and the Renaissance, particularly the arts of the Byzantine Empire. His recently-published book, Performing Orthodox Ritual in Byzantium with Cambridge University Press marks the beginning of a longer project, reuniting post-Classical Hellenic culture with the history of Western Civilization. As a theatre artist his repertoire ranges from the Classics to the Avant-Garde, and he currently serves as theater critic for Broadway World, Maryland Theater Guide, and D.C. Metro Theatre Arts online.

Jeffrey Wickes is Associate Professor of early Christianity in the Department of Theological Studies at Saint Louis University. He obtained his PhD in Theology from the University of Notre Dame, specializing in the history of Christianity. His research interests include late antique Christian literature, Syriac Christianity, religion and literature. His most recent book entitled Bible and Poetry in Late Antique Mesopotamia: Ephrem’s Hymns on Faith was published in 2019 by the University of California Press (Christianity in Late Antiquity Series). He is also a member of several organizations, such as the North American Patristics Society and the American Academy of Religion.

Nectarios Zarras has been Senior Visiting Lecturer at the Universities of Patras and of the Aegean, Greece. He was an Alexander von Humboldt Senior Research Fellow (2016-2018) at the University of Münster working on the Identity and Patronage in Byzantium and currently holds a position as Assistant Professor at the University of the Aegean. In 2013 he was awarded the ‘Maria Theochari’ Grant by the Christian Archaeological Society (Greece) for the publication of his Doctoral Thesis, The Iconographic Cycle of the Eothina Gospel Lections in Palaiologan Monumental Painting of the Balkan Peninsula (Thessaloniki, 2011) and he was Fellow at Dumbarton Oaks in the summer of the same year. His research focuses on epigraphic material (dedicatory inscriptions) and patronage from Macedonia and the islands, on excavation finds, on the Middle and Late Byzantine painting and texts in Constantinople, Greece, Cyprus and Serbia.



The program is provisional and will be updated shortly. Last update: April 5, 2021.

Monday, April 19


17:00-18:00 Greece / 10:00-11:00 EDT

Charalambos Gasparis
Research Director at the Section of Byzantine Research of the Institute of Historical Research, National Hellenic Research Foundation

Gregory Nagy
Francis Jones Professor of Classical Greek Literature and Professor of Comparative Literature, Director of CHS Harvard, Washington, D.C.

Richard Martin
Antony and Isabelle Raubitschek Professor in Classics at Stanford, Chair of the Senior Fellows and Chair for Academic Affairs, CHS Harvard, Washington, D.C.

Helena Maragou
Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, American College of Greece

Loren Jay Samons
Professor of Classical Studies at Boston University, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives & Executive Director at The Institute for Hellenic Culture and Liberal Arts Integration of ACG

Anna Stavrakopoulou
Member of CHS Greece Board of Directors, Program Director of Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C.

Karim Gherab
Professor in the Faculty of Humanities at Rey Juan Carlos University, Permanent Scientific Director, GKAcademics

Niki Tsironis
Institute of Historical Research, National Hellenic Research Foundation, Associate in Byzantine Studies, CHS-Harvard, Director of the ‘Performance in Late Antiquity and Byzantium’ Research Project.

KEYNOTE ADDRESS – “Performance: True or False?”

18:00 – 18:30 Greece / 11:00 -11:30 EDT

Peter Meineck 
Associate Professor of Classics in the Modern World, New York University

The 9th-century patriarch of Constantinople, Photios I, wrote that the world around us is interpreted by the senses and that it is our imagination (phantastikon) that communicates to the seat of thought and reason. These echo similar ideas found in the 7th century works of John of Damascus and are remarkably similar to contemporary theories of predictive processing, action inference and embodied perception. In this illustrated talk, I will examine the place of performance in Late Antiquity from a cognitive perspective. I suggest that this approach offers us another set of tools with which to look at ancient enactments from a more pluriversal perspective and not as a step in an evolutionary model of performance. Like Photios, John of Damascus, and other Late Antique and Byzantine scholars I hope to show how mimesis is fundamental to human perception and how evidence of past performative events are the remains of the mimetic minds of those who experienced them.

PAUSE – 18:30 – 19:00 Greece / 11:30 -12:00 EDT

Highlighted Session 1 – SOUND AS PERFORMANCE

19:00 – 21:00 Greece / 12:00 -14:00 EDT

Chair: Nikolaos Malliaras, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

Stavroula Solomou: Literary Soundscapes in the Palaeologan Period:  Preliminary Remarks

Vassiliki Koutsobina: Rhetorical Aspects of Renaissance Polyphony: From Notation to Delivery

Gordana Blagojevic: From the Oral Tradition to Music Text and Vice Versa:  How the Performance of the Byzantine Church Music Gives Rise to Different  Identity Practices

* Presentations last 12 minutes allowing 8 minutes for discussion

Poetry and Music in Performance

In this celebratory event, which will conclude the opening day of the conference, we present the poetry of Giorgos Gotis as translated by Andrew Watson, who will be reciting his translations of the poems “Easter at Olympia” and “All Souls’ Day”. Musician and performer Michalis Cholevas sets the poetry of Gotis within the musical language of the Eastern Mediterranean, reflecting the tradition of Late Antiquity and Byzantium. In Gotis’ poetry we capture glimpses of ancient sculptures and monuments, as well as symbolic landmarks of Byzantine piety around death rituals. In this conjunction of words and music, we attempt to illustrate the underlying performative qualities of poetry and musical composition arising from the long unbroken tradition of lands where the civilization of the ancient world was transformed into the distinct cultural idiom of Byzantium.

Tuesday, April 20

Highlighted Session 2 – TEXT AND PERFORMANCE

17:00 – 19:00 Greece / 10:00 – 12:00 EDT

Chair: Niki Tsironis, IHR/NHRF

Andrew Walker White: Notes towards a Typology of Poetic Scholia

Jeffrey Wickes: The Performance of Presence in Syriac Hagiographical Poetry

Sarah Gador-Whyte: Performing Orthodoxy in Byzantine Hymnography: Romanos’ On the Three Children

Dionisios Skliris: Is There a “Speech-Act” Theory of Performativity in Byzantine Thought?

Foteini Spingou: Ritual in Demand: The Ritual Function of the Byzantine Dedicatory Epigram on Works of Art

Margaret Mullett: Performance Issues in the Christos Paschon

* Presentations last 12 minutes allowing 8 minutes for discussion

PAUSE –  19:00-19:30 Greece / 13:00 – 13:30 EDT


19:30-21:00 Greece / 13:30 – 15:00 EDT

Arte y política: catalizadores de un entendimiento profundo del Ser – Susana Ochoa Restrepo, Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana (Colombia).

El concepto platónico del alma en la “República” – Aniol Hernández, Universidad de La Laguna (Spain).

El umbral y sus ritos: los espacios liminales en redes sociales – Miguel Arredondo Uribe, Universidad de Antioquia (Colombia).

A verdade como recurso retórico: Procópio de Cesareia e a construção de uma história política e militar do imperador Justiniano – Renato Viana Boy, Universidade Federal da Fronteira Sul (Brazil).

Wednesday, April 21


17:00 – 19:00 Greece / 10:00 – 12:00 EDT

Chair: Evangelos Chrysos, University of Ioannina & National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

Niels Gaul: Theatrical” Performances of Epideictic Rhetoric at the (Early)  Middle Byzantine Court

Maria Leontsini: Performance, Power and Piety: Distorting Imperial Rituals (7th-8th c.)

Lutz Rickelt: How to Rule with Undefiled Hands: The Performance of  Imperial Repentance in Byzantium

Michael Grünbart: Staging Imperial Decision-Making in Byzantium

Ilias Giarenis: A Learned Clergyman and his Audience: Performative Techniques  by Nikolaos Mesarites in Constantinople before 1204

Stylianos Lampakis: Michael VIII “Haranguing

* Presentations last 12 minutes allowing 8 minutes for discussion

PAUSE –  19:00-19:30 Greece / 13:00 – 13:30 EDT


19:30-21:00 Greece / 13:30 – 15:00 EDT

La invasión de los pueblos bárbaros en la Hispania Romana. Luces y sombras del Reino Visigodo entre 418 y 711 – Maria Bernal Sanz, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) (Spain).\

El sello literario de Renoir, a la luz del análisis de la voz poética de Coquiot, Debussy, Mallarmé y Edmond Renoir – Marta Mitjans Puebla, Universitat Abat Oliba CEU (Spain)

La categoría de “performance” en Hannah Arendt – Elisa Susana Goyenechea, UCA (Argentina).

Thursday, April 22

Highlighted Session 4 – VISUALITY AS PERFORMANCE

17:00 – 19:00 Greece / 10:00 – 12:00 EDT

Chair: Ioli Kalavrezou, Harvard University

Katherine Marsengill: The Performativity of Colour in Late Antique Eikones

Galina Fingarova: The Hand is Word: The Gesture of the Sign of the Cross in  Byzantine Iconography

Eirini Panou: The Function of Dialogues in Byzantine Religious Imagery

Nicolette Trahoulia: Vatican gr. 1927: A Case of Performative Manuscript Illustration

Nectarios Zarras: Performativity and Theatricality in the Palaeologan Iconography:  The Composition of the Temptations of Christ in the Chora Monastery

Marka Tomić: Performativity of Old Testament Verses: Proverbs (9:1-16) in  the Liturgy and Church Decoration in the Late Medieval Balkans

* Presentations last 12 minutes allowing 8 minutes for discussion

Friday, April 23

Highlighted Session 5 – BODY AND PERFORMANCE

17:00 – 18:40 Greece / 10:00 – 11:40 EDT

Chair: Andrew Walker White, American University, Washington D.C.

George T. Calofonos: Performances of Healing: Dreaming in the Miracles of St Artemios (7th c.)

Jelena Bogdanović: Performative Spaces of St Theodora of Thessaloniki

Niki Tsironis: Performativity in the Poetry of Cassia the Hymnographer

Katia Savrami: Cassia’s Woman of Many Sins: From the Two-Dimensional to the Three- Dimensional Interpretation of Byzantine Poetry

Mihail Mitrea: Performing Holiness in Late Byzantium: Philotheos Kokkinos’ s Life of Sabas the Younger

* Presentations last 12 minutes allowing 8 minutes for discussion

Saturday, April 24


15:00 – 17:00 Greece / 08:00 – 10:00 EDT

Chair: George T. Calofonos, Research Associate, IHR/NHRF

Przemyslaw Marciniak: Teaching as Performance in the Middle and Late Byzantine Period

Charis Messis: Literary Performances of Madness and Demonic Possession in Byzantium

Korinna Latelis: Performers, Performance and Community in the Middle and Late Byzantine Era

Maria Sardi: Aspects of Performance in Victory Celebrations in Byzantium and Medieval Islam

Joanita Vroom: The Unbearable Brokenness of Artefacts: Dining Utensils as Social  Markers of Performance in the Byzantine World (ca 10th – 15th c.)

* Presentations last 12 minutes allowing 8 minutes for discussion

PAUSE –  17:00-17:30 Greece / 11:00 – 11:30 EDT

Highlighted Session 7 – RITUAL AND PERFORMANCE

17:30 – 20:30 Greece / 10:30 – 13:30 EDT

Chair: Maria Leontsini, IHR/NHRF

Eleni Chrysafi: Veiled Spaces and Bodies in the Byzantine Court: Textiles in Ritual  Performances and Imperial Performativity

Fr Maximos Constas: The Mystical Liturgy of the Heart: The Mystagogy of Maximus the Confessor

Fr Damaskinos Olkinuora: The Notion of Performance in the Works of Symeon of Thessalonica

Eugenia Mavrommati: The Visual and Theatrical Aspects in the Ritual of the Burial Customs during Byzantine Era

Maria Athanasopoulou: That Willing Suspension of Disbelief: Narratives on Theatre  and Faith in the Work of C.P. Cavafy

Marios Chatziprokopiou: ‘Holy Fools’ as Performers: from Symeon of Emesa to Performance Art

Kostas Theologou: The Folk Dances of Sacrifice: Collective Memory, Rituals and Performance in Modern Greece

Conclusions: Professor Margaret Mullett, University of Edinburgh

Closing Remarks: Dr George Manginis, Academic Director, The Benaki Museum, Athens

* Presentations last 12 minutes allowing 8 minutes for discussion

Key Dates

  • 1st Call for papers: until March 2, 2021

  • FINAL Call for papers: until April 2, 2021

  • Registration with super discount: until March 9, 2021

  • Early Registration: until April 11, 2021

  • Final Registration: from April 12 to 18, 2021

  • Submission of articles for publication: until May 24, 2021

  • Delivery of certificates: May 24, 2021

  • Publication of the Conference Proceedings: June 24, 2021

Follow these steps

Choose between Webinar (Live Presentation) and Video (Prerecorded Presentation). You can check the characteristics of each one in the next section.

Title of the presentation, short abstract (max. 300 words), long abstract (for the Book of Proceedings), keywords, the language of the presentation, data of the main author, and data of the co-authors. The scientific committee will review your proposal within 2-3 weeks and notify you by email (please check your SPAM folder).

Once your proposal has been accepted, you must pay for your registration at the conference according to the type of presentation chosen.

Consult the conference program to check the day, time, and virtual room where your presentation has been scheduled. If you are presenting a webinar, check out our quick guide to learn about the controls of the ZOOM platform and the technical requirements that your computer and internet connection must meet. You can also participate in a test session a few days before the conference, to test your audio, video, and slide presentations.

  1. Log in with your username and password on the GKA virtual congress platform: https://virtual.gkacademics.com/
  2. Go to the conference main page and click on the green button “Start Conference”.
  3. In the list of panels on the left side, find the virtual room you wish to access and click on it.
  4. Click on the “Join via Web Client” button to access directly from your browser.

Speakers may submit an article for publication (at a discount) in a GKA indexed book or journal, as assessed by the scientific committee. Download the template and see the guidelines at this link.

Proposal submission

(Live Presentation)

The speaker will enter live in a virtual room of ZOOM platform – along with other speakers on the same topic – and present his or her paper for a maximum of 15 minutes, supported with slides (e.g., PowerPoint)or speaking directly to the camera on their device. Each room will have a moderator who will introduce the speakers, keep time, and moderate questions from attendees for 20 minutes at the end of the session.

Final deadline:
extended until April 12, 2021.

Submit proposal

Before submitting your proposal, read our Quick Guide and check our Frequently Asked Questions.

(Prerecorded Presentation)

This option is ideal for those who cannot participate in the live conference. This option allows the author to record their presentation in the format of a 5-minute video and send the link (Youtube or Vimeo) through the proposal submission platform. The video will be published in a virtual conference room related to its theme and will be available to all attendees of the event. Important: the video must contain an oral presentation.


Before registering, check the frequently asked questions and our cancellation policy.

The registration fee is payable to GKA for the technical support of the conference.