What Byzantinism Is This in Istanbul!

Inspired by Istanbul Research Institute’s exhibition at Pera Museum titled “What Byzantinism Is This in Istanbul!”: Byzantium in Popular Culture, we invited artists, authors and musicians to converse with researchers of Byzantine history on how they have engaged with Byzantine history in their works. We explore the unearthly ways of appropriating Byzantine culture in unlikely mediums and genres, showing novel ways of engagement with Byzantine heritage in popular culture.

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Episodes

Thursday Aug 11, 2022

Bu bölümde, 1980’lerden günümüze İstanbul’da Bizans tarihine yönelik kurumsallaşan ve artan ilgi sonucu üretilen sergiler, konferanslar ve yayınlara kısa bir bakış atıyoruz. Gülru Tanman lisans eğitimini Bilkent Üniversitesi’nde tamamlamasının ardından University of Birmingham, Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies’de yüksek lisans eğitimini tamamladı. İstanbul Araştırmaları Enstitüsü’nün kuruluşunda ve gelenekselleşen Uluslararası Sevgi Gönül Bizans Araştırmalar Sempozyumu’nun oluşumunda görev aldı. Halen İstanbul Araştırmaları Enstitüsü yöneticiliği görevindedir. Emir Alışık Yüksek Lisans eğitimini Central European University Karşılaştırmalı Tarih: Disiplinlerarası Orta Çağ Tarihi bölümünde tamamladı. Hâlen doktora çalışmalarını İstanbul Üniversitesi Sanat Tarihi Bölümü’nde sürdürmekte ve İstanbul Araştırmaları Enstitüsü Bizans Araştırmaları bölümünde çalışmaktadır. “İstanbul’da Bu Ne Bizantinizm!”: Popüler Kültürde Bizans sergisinin küratörüdür. ------------------------------------------------------------------ Inspired by Istanbul Research Institute’s exhibition at Pera Museum titled “What Byzantinism Is This in Istanbul!”: Byzantium in Popular Culture, we invited artists, authors, and musicians to converse with researchers of Byzantine history on how they have engaged with Byzantine history in their works. We explore the unearthly ways of appropriating Byzantine culture in unlikely mediums and genres, showing novel ways of engagement with Byzantine heritage in popular culture.  Episode 7 Current Interest in Byzantium: Gülru Tanman and Emir Alışık consider recent Byzantine events and institutionalization in Istanbul. In the current episode, we revisit the exhibitions, conferences and publications produced thanks to the institutionalized and increased interest in Byzantine history in Istanbul from the 1980s to the present. Gülru Tanman, having had a BA degree from Bilkent University, completed her MA at the University of Birmingham Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman, and Modern Greek Studies. She has actively worked in the establishment of Istanbul Research Institute, and in the conceiving of International Sevgi Gönül Byzantine Studies Symposium. She is currently the head of the institute.  Emir Alışık completed his MA at the Department of Comparative History: Interdisciplinary Medieval History at Central European University, and is a PhD candidate at Istanbul University, Department of Art History. Currently, he is working as the project manager at the Byzantine Studies Department of Istanbul Research Institute, and curated “What Byzantinism Is This in Istanbul!”: Byzantium in Popular Culture.

Thursday Jun 23, 2022

İstanbul’dan Bizans’a: Yeniden Keşfin Yolları, 1800–1955 ve “İstanbul’da Bu Ne Bizantinizm!”: Popüler Kültürde Bizans sergilerinin yaratıcı ekibi Brigitte Pitarakis, Gülru Tanman ve Emir Alışık sergilerin hazırlık sürecini ve Pera Müzesi’nin geçmiş Bizans sergilerini ele alıyor. Gülru Tanman lisans eğitimini Bilkent Üniversitesi’nde tamamlamasının ardından University of Birmingham, Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies’de yüksek lisans eğitimini tamamladı. İstanbul Araştırmaları Enstitüsü’nün kuruluşunda görev alarak, enstitünün Bizans Araştırmaları Bölümünün bel kemiğini oluşturan Semavi Eyice kitaplığının tasnifini ve yeni kitaplıklarla, arşivlerin geliştirilmesini üstlendi. Halen İstanbul Araştırmaları Enstitüsü yöneticiliği görevindedir. Brigitte Pitarakis doktorasını Paris I Sorbonne Üniversitesinde Arkeoloji ve Sanat Tarihi alanında tamamlamıştır. Paris CNRS’te Araştırmacı ve EPHE’de doktora yönetme yetkisi olan Brigitte Pitarakis kuruluşundan bu yana İstanbul Araştırmaları Enstitüsü’nün Bizans Araştırmaları alanında bilimsel danışmanıdır. İstanbul’dan Bizans’a: Yeniden Keşfin Yolları, 1800–1955 sergisinin küratörüdür. Emir Alışık Yüksek Lisans eğitimini Central European University Karşılaştırmalı Tarih: Disiplinlerarası Orta Çağ Tarihi bölümünde tamamladı. Hâlen doktora çalışmalarını İstanbul Üniversitesi Sanat Tarihi bölümünde sürdürmekte ve İstanbul Araştırmaları Enstitüsü Bizans Araştırmaları bölümünde çalışmaktadır. “İstanbul’da Bu Ne Bizantinizm!”: Popüler Kültürde Bizans sergisinin küratörüdür. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Brigitte Pitarakis, Gülru Tanman, and Emir Alışık, creators of From Istanbul to Byzantium: Paths to Rediscovery, 1800–1955 and “What Byzantinism Is This in Istanbul!”: Byzantium in Popular Culture exhibitions, talk on how they prepared for these and past Byzantium-related exhibitions at Pera Museum.   Gülru Tanman, having had a BA degree from Bilkent University, completed her MA at the University of Birmingham Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman, and Modern Greek Studies. She has actively worked in the establishment of Istanbul Research Institute, and its acquisition of Semavi Eyice book collection, as well as in expanding the archive and the library. She is currently the head of the institute.  Brigitte Pitarakis has her PhD from Paris I Sorbonne University, Department of Archaeology and Art History. She is currently a researcher at Paris CNRS and has the accreditation to supervise research at EPHE. She is the scientific advisor to Istanbul Research Institute for the Byzantine Studies Department, and curated From Istanbul to Byzantium: Paths to Rediscovery, 1800–1955. Emir Alışık completed his MA at the Department of Comparative History: Interdisciplinary Medieval History at Central European University, and is a PhD candidate at Istanbul University, Department of Art History. Currently, he is working as the project manager at the Byzantine Studies Department of Istanbul Research Institute, and curated “What Byzantinism Is This in Istanbul!”: Byzantium in Popular Culture.

Friday Jun 17, 2022

Buket Kitapçı Bayrı, çizgi roman kahramanı Batman’in dünyanın çeşitli şehirlerinde atıldığı maceralarını konu alan Batman: Dünya (2021) cildindeki Beşik öyküsünün çizeri Ethem Onur Bilgiç’le Bizans’ın sahnelenişini tartışıyor. Buket Kitapçı Bayrı, doktora derecesini Paris 1/Panthéon-Sorbonne ve Boğaziçi Üniversiteleri’nin ortak programından aldı. İstanbul Bilgi, Yeditepe ve Boğaziçi Üniversiteleri’nde dersler verdi ve Koç Üniversitesi-ANAMED ve GABAM'da doktora sonrası araştırmalar yaptı. 2020’de Brill yayınevinden Warriors, Martyrs, and Dervishes: Moving Frontiers, Shifting Identities in the Land of Rome (13th-15th Centuries) isimli kitabı yayımlanan araştırmacı Türkiye’de edebiyat ve film alanında Bizans gösterimleri hakkında da öncü çalışmalar yapmıştır. Mimar Sinan Güzel Sanatlar Üniversitesi’nin Grafik Tasarımı bölümünden mezun Ethem Onur Bilgiç bugüne kadar pek çok kitap ve dergi kapağı tasarladı, çeşitli film ve festivaller için posterler üretti. Salkım Söğüt isimli kısa animasyonu çeşitli ulusal festivallerden ödül kazandı. Ertan Ergil’in kaleme alıp DC Comics’in yayımladığı Beşik’in çizeridir. -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Buket Kitapçı Bayrı talks to the artist Ethem Onur Bilgiç on the representation of Byzantium in The Cradle from Batman: The World, where Batman quests in various cities around the world. This podcast episode is only available in Turkish. Buket Kitapçı Bayrı is awarded PhD by the joint programme of Paris 1/Sorbonne and Boğaziçi University. Since 2011, she has been instructing at İstanbul Bilgi, Yeditepe, and Boğaziçi universities. She has conducted post doctoral research both at Koc University-ANAMED and GABAM. Her recent book Warriors, Martyrs, and Dervishes: Moving Frontiers, Shifting Identities in the Land of Rome (13th-15th Centuries) has been published by Brill in 2020. Her research on the reception of Byzantium in Turkish literature and cinema is pioneering in the field. Ethem Onur Bilgiç, a graduate of Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts, has designed numerous book and magazine covers, posters for films and festivals. His short animation Weeping Willow has been awarded at various film festivals. He did the drawings and coloring for The Cradle, written by Ertan Ergil and published by DC Comics.

Wednesday Jan 19, 2022

Rohan Harris and Roland Betancourt goes deep into the eerie mural scene in Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021), discussing it in the context of late Byzantine art. Roland Betancourt is a professor of Byzantine Art in the Art History department, Visual Studies program director, and affiliate faculty at the Religious Studies of UC Irvine. His latest book Performing the Gospels in Byzantium: Sight, Sound, and Space in the Divine Liturgy has just come out from Cambridge University Press, only a year after his Byzantine Intersectionality from Princeton University Press. Roland contributed to the exhibition catalog of “What Byzantinism Is This in Istanbul!”: Byzantium in Popular Culture with a piece titled “Neon Byzantium: Aesthetics without Iconography in Las Vegas”. Rohan Harris is a scenic artist. He worked for the sets of giant and prized movies and TV shows such as Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, King Arthur, and Macbeth. He turned these productions that we all admire into believable medieval settings. His more recent work is Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021). The 2017 movie was re-released with Zack Snyder’s cut in 2021. This latter version brought us an almost three-minute-long scene where we can spectate an otherworldly room decorated in frescoes with the scenes of Darkseid’s first attack on Earth.

Wednesday Jan 12, 2022

Nebula and World Fantasy Awards winning author Jeff VanderMeer is interviewed by Emir Alışık on the Byzantine parallels in Ambergris cycle, and the appropriation of history in fantasy settings. Emir Alışık is the curator of “What Byzantinism Is This in Istanbul!”: Byzantium in Popular Culture exhibition in the Pera Museum. He is currently the project manager at the Istanbul Research Institute Byzantine Studies Department and a PhD candidate at the Istanbul University Art History Department. His research interests lie in the reception of late Byzantine thought in the Italian Renaissance art, and speculative fiction’s engagements with Byzantine history. His latest article “Towards an Unearthly Byzantium: Mapping Out Topoi of Byzantinisms in Speculative Fiction” appears in “What Byzantinism Is This in Istanbul!”: Byzantium in Popular Culture exhibition catalogue. Jeff VanderMeer is an acclaimed novelist and editor, a pioneer of the New Weird. Among many of his nominations, he is a recipient of Nebula, Shirley Jackson, and World Fantasy awards both as a fiction writer and as co-editor with Ann VanderMeer of tomes such as The Weird, New Weird, Big Book of Classical Fantasy, and Big Book of Modern Fantasy. His award-winning novel Annihilation was adapted into a movie in 2018 by the director Alex Garland. His fiction has been the topic of numerous academic research articles, and books by respected academic publishers. The Ambergris Cycle has been re-released in a single volume by MCD books in 2020. His most recent novel is Hummingbird Salamander.

Wednesday Jan 05, 2022

Inspired by Istanbul Research Institute’s exhibition at Pera Museum titled “What Byzantinism Is This in Istanbul!”: Byzantium in Popular Culture, we invited artists, authors and musicians to converse with researchers of Byzantine history on how they have engaged with Byzantine history in their works. We explore the unearthly ways of appropriating Byzantine culture in unlikely mediums and genres, showing novel ways of engagement with Byzantine heritage in popular culture. On Rotting Christ: Sakis Tolis, Jeremy J. Swist and Nikos Tragakis converse on the legendary band’s engagement with history Jeremy J. Swist hosts Sakis Tolis of Rotting Christ and Nikos Tragakis. They venture into the appropriation of history in Greek metal scene, especially by Rotting Christ. Jeremy J. Swist is a lecturer in the department of Classics at Brandeis University. His research interests lie in Greek and Imperial Roman historiography and rhetoric, Reception of Greece, Rome, and Byzantium in Heavy Metal Music among other things. He has given talks and published articles on the classical reception in heavy metal in various academic conferences and journals. His latest article, “Headbanging to Byzantium: The Reception of the Byzantine Empire in Heavy Metal Music,” appeared in the exhibition catalogue of “What Byzantinism Is This in Istanbul!”: Byzantium in Popular Culture. Jeremy is a prolific writer, and you can read his non-academic but still very insightful pieces at his blog Heavy Metal Classicist. Nikos Tragakis is the vocalist of the band Exarsis, and a deputy editor and writer for Metal Hammer Greece. Sakis Tolis, the founder and the frontman of Rotting Christ, which is a Greek black metal band founded by Sakis and his brother Themis back in 1987. The band has 13 full-length albums. With mythology-themed lyrics, and with music incorporating various folkloric elements, Rotting Christ creates his own myth in the metal scene. In 2018, Sakis and Dayal Patterson co-authored the story of the band: Non Serviam: The Official Story of Rotting Christ, named after their song Non Serviam.

Monday Dec 27, 2021

Inspired by Istanbul Research Institute’s exhibition at Pera Museum titled “What Byzantinism Is This in Istanbul!”: Byzantium in Popular Culture, we invited artists, authors and musicians to converse with researchers of Byzantine history on how they have engaged with Byzantine history in their works. We explore the unearthly ways of appropriating Byzantine culture in unlikely mediums and genres, showing novel ways of engagement with Byzantine heritage in popular culture. On A Memory Called Empire: Arkady Martine and Ingela Nilsson converse on the Hugo Award winning novel and its Byzantine inspirations. Two Byzantinist colleagues reunite to discuss Arkady Martine’s 2020 Hugo winner space opera A Memory Called Empire, and its allusions to Byzantine culture. Ingela Nilsson is the former director of the Swedish Institute in Istanbul. She is also a professor in Greek and Byzantine Studies at Uppsala University. Her research interests lie in the narrative traditions between the Ancient and Byzantine worlds, historiography, and fictional writings in Byzantium, as well as the reception of Byzantium in post-Byzantine Europe. Her most recent book is titled Writer and Occasion in Twelfth-Century Byzantium: The Authorial Voice of Constantine Manasses Arkady Martine is the pen name of Dr. AnnaLinden Weller that she adopts in her speculative fiction writing. As AnnaLinden Weller, she is a historian of the Byzantine Empire and a city planner. She actually did her postdoctoral research at Uppsala University where she worked with Ingela Nilsson. Arkady Martine published short fiction in many prominent speculative fiction magazines. She won the Hugo Award for best novel in 2020 with her debut novel A Memory Called Empire. Her second novel, a sequel to her first, A Desolation Called Peace is published in 2021.

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