Imperialism, Colonialism and Postcolonialism in the Byzantine World

Date / time: 17 May, 9:00 am - 6:30 pm

Imperialism, Colonialism and Postcolonialism in the Byzantine World

The role or usefulness of imperialism, colonialism and postcolonialism, as terms with a modernist historical baggage, to the understanding of pre-modern societies has been the source productive discussion. On these matters, however, the Byzantine world, broadly conceived has lagged somewhat behind.

This event will seek to critically asses the usefulness of the frameworks of imperialism, colonialism and postcolonialism to the study of the Byzantine world. It will do so from a range of perspectives, historical, archaeological, literary, historiographical, and through a discussion-led approach.

Location: St Luke’s Chapel, Radcliffe Humanities Quarter, Oxford


  • 09.00 – 09.30 Arrival & Coffee
  • 09.30 – 10.00 Welcome & Introduction Mirela Ivanova – Balliol College, Oxford , Matthew Kinloch – Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna
  • 10.00 – 11.30 Session 1: Imperialism and Colonialism in Byzantium Chair: Catherine Holmes
  • Beyond Methodological Imperialism: Medieval New Rome from a Subaltern Perspective Nicholas Matheou – Institute of Historical Research, London
  • Byzantine Subalterns from an Archaeological Perspective Sophie Moore – Cardiff University
  • 11.30 – 12.00 Coffee Break
  • 12.00 – 13.30 Session 2: Imperialism and Colonialism in Byzantine Studies Chair: Averil Cameron
  • Byzantium and OrientalismJules Gleeson – University of Vienna
  • The Postcolonial Turn in Medieval Studies, False Starts and New Horizons Alexandra Vukovich – St Edmund’s College, Oxford
  • 13:30 – 14:30 Lunch
  • 14:30 – 16:30 Session 3: Can the Byzantine World be Postcolonial? Discussion with Robert J.C. Young
  • Discussion readings:
  • General R.J.C. Young, ‘Introduction’, Empire, Colony, Postcolony (Chichester, 2015) pp.1-6.
  • E. Said, Orientalism (London, 1978), pp. 1-73.Medieval HistoryJ.
  • J. Cohen ‘Introduction. Midcolonial’ in ed. The Postcolonial Middle Ages (Basignstoke, 2000), pp. 1-18.S.
  • Gaunt, ‘Can the Middle Ages be Post-Colonial?’ Comparative Literature 61 (2009), pp. 160-76.


Links to all set reading in PDF will be available on our network website.

16:30 – 16:45 Closing Remarks

17.00 – 18:30 Drinks Reception (Seminar Room, TORCH)