The International Association of Byzantine Studies will be holding its annual congress in Sofia, Bulgaria next year. The congress, which will take place from August 22-27, 2011, is one of the largest gatherings of Byzantine scholars in the world.
Seven plenary sessions have already been planned, and will feature speakers such as John Haldon (“State, Belief and Individual: a Byzantine Paradox”) and Silvia Ronchey (“Nostalgia and Post-Byzantine “Use” of Byzantium : How and Why we Remember Byzantium ?”). Thirty round tables are also being organized on a wide range of topics including Byzantium and Viking world, Constantinople and its Inhabitants, and The Contribution of Eurasian World in the Development of Byzantium. Congress organizers are also looking to include about 30 more sessions and invite scholars to submit abstracts of their papers.
Congress organizer Dr. Sylvia Arizanova finds that Bulgaria is an excellent choice for a location because of its connection with Byzantium. “Bulgarian and Byzantine history are related since old Bulgarians came to the Balkans and when in 681 Byzantium recognize the authority of the Bulgarian ruler,” she said. “Their history to 14th century is a struggle for supremacy on the Balkans in which the defeated some one of both. It’s a long story… After the adoption of Christianity The Bulgarian culture is very influenced by Byzantine without to losing its originality.”
The congress will also be including several exhibitions in Sofia and trips to some of the important medieval and Byzantine sites throughout Bulgaria.
The International Association of Byzantine Studies is offering to undergraduate and postgraduate students to assist with the cost of attending the congress. Applications for the grant, which is 350 euros, must be submitted to the Congress Organizing Committee by October 31st.