38th Annual Byzantine Studies Conference at Hellenic College Holy Cross

As part of Hellenic College Holy Cross School of Theology’s ongoing 75th anniversary celebrations, the campus hosted the 38th Annual Byzantine Studies Conference (BSC) from November 1-4, 2012. This was the largest event to take place among the various celebratory anniversary festivities. The hosting of the conference was made possible by the generous support of the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture, based at the School, The Michael G. and Anastasia Cantonis Chair of Byzantine Studies, The Tousimis Fund and Hellenic College Holy Cross. The School had not hosted the BSC since 1991, and the institution was honored to provide a venue for the conference again after 21 years.

The BSC is a forum for the presentation and discussion of scholarly papers embodying current research on all aspects of Byzantine history and culture by both established scholars and graduate students in the field. This year’s conference included 75 presentations of papers over the course of the three days and was held in both the Maliotis Cultural Center and in the Reading Room of the Archbishop Iakovos Library. Over 250 individuals were registered.

In addition to the usual presentation of papers and book exhibitions, this year’s conference included the Second Annual Tousimis Lecture given by Professor Annemarie Weyl Carr, University Distinguished Professor of Art History Emerita, Southern Methodist University, whose talk is entitled: “Looking Back on Byzantium: An Icon’s Journey.” A special concert of Byzantine music performed by the School’s Romanos the Melodist Choir, under the direction of Prof. Grammenos Karanos, was also performed. We were honored to have as guest conductor the famed Archon Protopsaltis, Prof. Photios Ketsetzis, who taught Byzantine music at Hellenic College Holy Cross from 1992 to 2010.

The conference also included the opening of the exhibition, Greek, Roman & Byzantine Objects from the Archbishop Iakovos Collection, curated by the Very Rev. Dr. Joachim (John) Cotsonis, Director of the Archbishop Iakovos Library, and Dr. Maria Kouroumali, Director of the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture. The exhibit was accompanied by a catalogue, which can be downloaded here. The opening of the show marked the first time that these historic objects have been studied and displayed, and the exhibition will remain on permanent view as part of the Archbishop Iakovos Collection.  Finally, this year’s BSC observed the first joint gathering of the International Center for Medieval Art (ICMA) and the annual Byzantine Studies Conference. The ICMA sponsored a session during the conference and also hosted a reception.

For further information concerning the various organizations that participated, please consult the following websites:

Annual Byzantine Studies Conference
The Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture
International Center for Medieval Art

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