History of Art


Demarginalizing Medieval Africa News

An Introduction to the Earliest Ethiopic Antiphonary Manuscripts

Jonas Karlsson to give paper at 2023 SBL Annual Meeting.

Current ITIESE Research into the Ethiopic Psalter

Jonas Karlsson and Sophia Dege-Müller present some of their current research to the HLCES seminar series.

Aksum and ist neighbours in Antiquity (14-15 October, 2022) 

Sophia Dege-Müller will present the paper "Tracing the Beta Israel … investigating the earliest known sources“ (in German) at the annual meeting of Orbis Aethiopicus, Society for the Preservation and Promotion of Ethiopian Culture in Weimar. 

History of Art research seminar series

On 4 October 2022, Jacopo Gnisci presents a paper at the History of Art Resarch Seminar at the University of Bristol

Imperial Imagery and Sacred Space in Early Solomonic Ethiopia

On 23 September 2022, Jacopo Gnisci gives a lecture at the NYU Medieval and Renaissance Center.

The Beta Israel Manuscript Corpus

On 9 August 2022, Sophia Dege-Müller speaks on "The Beta Israel Manuscript Corpus: Classification and Textual Analysis" at the 18th World Congress of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem.

On Culture and Conflict (August 18, 2022)

Stephen Rickerby and Lisa Shekede to talk about their work with the Ethiopian Heritage Fund.

Illuminating the Eastern Christian World: Manuscripts, Illuminators and Scribes (June 30 - July 1, 2022)

The ITIESE team have organised a workshop in partnership with the CSMC in Hamburg that will focus on book making, inscribing, and illustrating in the Mediterranean world. Participants to the workshop will present their ongoing work on Coptic, Byzantine, Islamic, Latin, Ethiopic, Armenian, Nubian and Syriac manuscripts that will be lated collected in a volume published by de Gruyter.

La musique en Afrique et sa diffusion dans le monde à l’époque moderne (1300-1650)

Jonas Karlsonn to give paper at conference on music in Africa on "Reorganisation and Recodification: The Developments of Ethiopian Orthodox Antiphonaries during the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries."

New Partnership with Manar al-Athar 

The Manar al-Athar digital archive, based at the University of Oxford, provides high resolution, searchable images for teaching, research, and publication. Student assistants working for ITIESE will be adding images of Ethiopian sites to the database.

Jonas Karlsonn joins ITIESE

He joins the project after defending his thesis on the Dəggʷā, the main antiphonary of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

Three BA HoA UCL Students join ITIESE as assistants

Mathilde Mioche, Flavia Dal Brollo and Katrina Khvesenya will help out with the daily running of the project and improve their understanding of what is involved in academic research.

Marco Pozzi is awarded a Laidlaw Scholarship to work with ITIESE

Marco (BA in history) gained his places on the programme against fierce competition: 270 applications were made for 24 Laidlaw scholarships.

CFP: Indian Ocean World Archaeology Conference

Papers are welcome on all aspects of the archaeology, material culture and heritage of the Indian Ocean (defined as from East Africa to Japan, including Australasia) from the first millennium BC to the contemporary era, and may include reports on research in progress. P

New DFG-funded projects at HLCEES!

Many congratulations to Vitagrazia Pisani, who will be leaving the ITIESE project in March to work on her own project entitled: The Gǝʿǝz Version of the Passio of St Cyricus (Gadla Qirqos): A Critical Edition, Translation, and Commentary. We thank Vita for her time with us and look forward to our continued collaboration!

Opening the Sacred Text Conference: Meaning, Materiality, Historiography

Bringing together scholars from around the world, the conference will explore the decorative frontispieces and so-called carpet pages that are a remarkable feature of manuscripts from diverse cultures, including Islam, Judaism and Christianity. A paper by Jacopo Gnisci will be devoted to Ethiopic manuscripts.

All that glitters is not gold: Metalwork in Early Solomonic Manuscripts

The Text and Transmission Joint Research Seminar is hosted by Giorgia Nicosia (UGent), Valentina Duca (KU Leuven), Andy Hilkens (UGent) and Dan Batovici (UCLouvain and KU Leuven) in an effort to put together in the same room on-going projects—in Belgium and beyond—on various traditions and historical contexts. Paper by Jacopo Gnisci.

Wall paintings of Ethiopia: preserving a fragile heritage

A talk by on preservation of the rock-cut and constructed churches in Ethiopia by Lisa Shekede and Stephen Rickerby on Thu, 17 February 2022. All proceeds from the ticket sales will be donated to the Desta Ethiopia [UK charity number 1194896].

Holy Men and Holy books

A talk by Jacopo Gnisci within the framework of the Spineless Wonders research initiatives organized by the Slade School of Art for celebrating 150 years of fine art teaching and research.

Lecture: Staging Late Antiquity: an 11th Century Revolution in Ethiopian Architecture

Lecture by Mikael Muehlbauer (Columbia University) for the webinar series “Yale Lectures in Late Antique and Byzantine Art and Architecture,” cosponsored with Yale Department of the History of Art and Yale Department of Classics. Respondent: Jacopo Gnisci, University College London.

ITIESE Seeking 2x Research Assistants

The Demarginalizing medieval Africa: Images, texts, and identity in early Solomonic Ethiopia (1270-1527) project is seeking to recruit two students who will work as Research Assistants with the project members starting on or before May 1 2022.

ITIESE Project Seeking a Laidlaw Scholar

The prestigious Laidlaw Research and Leadership Programme is for full time first year undergraduates at UCL. It aims to create the Leaders of the Future through leadership training and two funded summer projects. Opens for applications on Wednesday 1 December 2021 until Tuesday 1 February 2022.

CMTC MT lecture by Alessandro Bausi 

The online talk on “Christian Ethiopian and Eritrean manuscript culture” will be hosted by the Centre for Manuscript and Text Cultures at The Queen’s College in the University of Oxford. The centre promotes inter-disciplinary discussion among scholars and students interested in manuscripts and material culture in the premodern world. Participation is most welcome regardless of your field of specialty. 

New Cooperative Project on Ethiopian Traditional Education between AAU and UHH

As of 1 October 2021, for two years, the two Principal Investigators, Prof. Alessandro Bausi (Universität Hamburg) and Assoc. Prof. Mersha Alehegne Mengistie (Addis Ababa University), supported by PhD students Addisie Yalew (based in Hamburg) and Senkoris Ayalew and Tsehay Ademe (based in Addis Ababa) will work on the project the project "Documenting an Ancient Education System in Africa: ʾAbənnät Təmhərt in Ethiopia."

CFP: Rethinking Royal Manuscripts in a Global Middle Ages (ICMA Sponsored Session)

This panel at the AAH 2022 conference in London sets out to examine and compare the impact of royal patronage on the visual, material, and textual features of manuscripts produced across Africa, Asia, Mesoamerica and Europe during the ‘Global Middle Ages.’ Deadline for submission: 1 November. Presenters in International Centre of Medieval Art-sponsored sessions will be eligible for conference fee reimbursement (if virtual) OR travel reimbursement (if in person) via the ICMA-Kress Travel Grant.

Sophia Dege-Müller and Jacopo Gnisci to give lecture on Ethiopic Psalters

14 December 2021, 5:30PM - 7:00PM. London Society for Medieval Studies, Institute of Historical Research. Founded in 1970/1, the London Society for Medieval Studies seeks to foster knowledge of, and dialogue about, the Middle Ages (c.500–c.1500 CE).

Yasmin Faghihi awarded grant to investigate the origins of Islamicate manuscripts

Together with Cambridge Digital Humanities colleagues she has secured a grant from CHRG to use computational methods on the dataset to investigate questions around the provenance of Islamicate manuscripts in FIHRIST.

ITIESE Mentioned in ICMA Newsletter

Short mention of the project to be followed up by a more detailed report in next newsletter.

PEMM Project awarded NEH Funding

The Princeton Ethiopian, Eritrean and Egyptian Miracles of Mary (PEMM) project has received two National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grants.

ITIESE Launches new blog on Global Middle Ages!

The blog will feature contributions by scholars and students at various stages of their careers with an interest in the history of book making and decorating. The first article, written by project-member Sophia Dege-Müller, is now available at this link.

18th Annual Conference of the European Association for the Study of Religions

Sophia Dege-Müller with Bar Kribus gives paper on "The Veneration of St. Yared: A Multireligious Landscape Shared by Ethiopian Orthodox Christians and the Betä Ǝsraʾel (Ethiopian Jews)" at the 18th Annual Conference of the European Association for the Study of Religions.

Hiob Ludolf Centre Summer School in Ethiopian and Eritrean Manuscript Studies

The 5th Summer School will feature lectures by several colleagues from Ethiopian, American and European universities, including ITIESE members Prof. Alessandro Bausi, Sophia Dege-Müller, MA, Dr Jacopo Gnisci, and Dr Vitagrazia Pisani and will take place on 21-25 September 2020.

Armenia & Byzantium Without Borders III: International Workshop

Professor Theo M. van Lint and Dr Emilio Bonfiglio, together with  Prof. Dr. Claudia Rapp (University of Vienna / Austrian Academy of Sciences), and Dr. David Zakarian (University of Oxford), have organized a workshop on Armenia & Byzantium on 10-11 September 2021.

CFC: The Red Sea as a Space In-Between the Wider Afro-Eurasian World

Professor Verena Krebs has released a Call for Contributions for a special issue of The Medieval Globe to be published 2023 that will be edited with Dr Andrea Achi and Dr Vera-Simone Schulz.

Medieval Archaeology in the Horn of Africa seminar series

Professor Timothy Insoll and Awet Teklehimanot Araya launch a series on the "Medieval Archaeology in the Horn of Africa." The seminars aim to bring recent research on the medieval archaeology of the Horn of Africa to a wide audience. All are welcome. A second series focusing on different regions of the Horn of Africa will run in Spring 2022. All lectures will be online via Zoom. Please have a look at the poster for details on speakers and seminar titles.

The Past, Present, and Future of Digital Medieval Studies ( 21 June 2021)

The project Beta maṣāḥǝft is represented in the Digital Medievalist conference The Past, Present, and Future of Digital Medieval Studies – A Global Digital Medievalist Symposium - the panel "Africa & Europe: Diving Into Sources" on 21 June 2021.

Medieval and Early Modern Spaces and Places: Courtly Encounters (10-11 June 2021)

Project member Jacopo Gnisci to give paper at the 2021 the Open University’s interdisciplinary Spaces and Places conference that will address the theme of ‘Courtly Encounters’ by exploring instances of cultural exchange that shaped the day-to-day and extraordinary sensory experiences of court life.

Textiles in Manuscripts: Cross-cultural Trade

Workshop organized by the The Book and the Silk Roads seeks to map connections between parts of the premodern world by describing the technology of the book also focusing on the Ethiopian tradition.

TORCH congratulates ITIESE

The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH), which contributed to kickstarting ITIESE with a Seed Fund, has published a short note on the project.

Alessandro Bausi co-organizes conference on bindings at the Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures 

"Tied and Bound”: How to Keep Things Together (or Not?).' Thu, 20.05.2021 3:30 PM until Sat, 22.05.2021 11:30 AM at the Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures (CSMC), Hamburg.

April 15, 2021, Jacopo Gnisci to give paper at the 2021 Annual Conference of the Association for Art History

The session entitled "Connectivity, Transcultural Entanglements and the Power of Aesthetic Choices in Africa" with the Association of Art History Conference" and organized by Dr Abidemi Babatunde Babalola & Dr Vera-Simone Schulz will take place on April 15 and will include papers by Shadreck Chirikure (Oxford University); Valentine Nyamndon (De Montfort University); Clare Patrick and Stephani Müller (University of Cape Town); Jeffrey Fleisher (Rice University); Emma Wingfield (Goldsmiths University); Emmanuel Bola Akinpelu (Federal College of Education, Oyo, Nigeria); Jonathan Adeyemi (Queen’s University Belfast).

Jacopo Gnisci awarded AHRC-DFG grant for new research project

The project sets out to look at the history of illustrated Ethiopic manuscripts. Further information at this link.