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.