New Critical Approaches to Byzantine Gender

mirela event

This event is part of the TORCH New Critical Approaches to the Byzantine World Network.



09.30 - 09.45           Arrival and Coffee

09.45 - 10.00           Introduction

New Critical Approaches to the Byzantine World

Mirela Ivanova (University of Oxford) and Alexandra Vukovich (University of Oxford)

New Critical Approaches to Byzantine Gender

Jules Gleeson (University of Vienna) and Matthew Kinloch (Dumbarton Oaks)

10.00 - 12.00           Session 1: Producing and Categorising Gender

Chair: Leslie Brubaker (University of Birmingham)

Gendering the Dead

Sophie Moore (Newcastle University)

Byzantine Households and Questions of Reproduction

Jules Gleeson (University of Vienna)

Categorising Masculinities: Clerics and Scholars in Byzantium

Maroula Perisanidi (University of Leeds)

12.00 - 13.00           Lunch

13.00 - 14.30           Session 2: Poststructuralist and Queer Approaches

Chair: Mary Cunningham (University of Nottingham)

Gender and Character Hierarchies: Hagiography and Historiography

Matthew Kinloch (Dumbarton Oaks)

Gender, Queer and Trans Theoretical Approaches to Orthodox Culture

Nick Mayhew (Stanford University)

14:30 - 15:00           Coffee Break

15:00 - 17:00           Session 3: Byzantine Gender

Chair: Matthew Kinloch (Dumbarton Oaks)

The final session will consist of a roundtable discussion facilitated digitally by Leonora Neville (University of Wisconsin, Madison). This session will explore the current state of research and critical theory in the study of Byzantine gender, with a view to identifying potential directions of research and critical analysis.

The starting point for discussion will be provided by the intervention into the field made by Neville’s recent book Byzantine Gender. Discussion of the intervention this book seeks to make and several of the central questions that it raises will lead into a wider discussion to be determined by participants. We envisage discussion including, but not being limited to, areas of discussion arising from previous network discussions:

  • Social reproduction

  • Sexual difference and theories of embodiment

  • Afropessimism, intersectionality, race, colonialism, imperialism

  • State, administration, sexuation

  • Gender categorisation and historical change

  • Queer histories

Core Discussion Reading

Neville, L., Byzantine Gender (Amsterdam, 2019).

Additional Discussion Readings

Arruzza, C., ‘Gender as Social Temporality: Butler (and Marx)’, Historical Materialism 23 (2015), 28-52.

Ballif, M., ‘Re/dressing Histories; Or, on Re/covering Figures who have been Laid Bare by our Gaze’, Rhetoric Society Quarterly 22 (1992), 91-8.

Clark, E., ‘The Lady Vanishes: Dilemmas of a feminist historian after the “Linguistic Turn”’, Church History 67 (1998), 1-31.

Constantinou, S., ‘Performing Gender in Lay Saints’ Lives’, Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies 38 (2014), 24-32.

Kaldellis, A., ‘The Study of Women and Children: Methodological challenges and new directions’, in P. Stephenson (ed.), The Byzantine World (Abingdon, 2010), 61-71.

17:00 - 17:15      Closing Remarks

17.15 - 18:30      Drinks Reception


For links to readings, additional bibliography, and further event details see

You find the reading list for discussion here in word format: 


Registration is not required, but is helpful for the organisers. If you plan to attend, please register here.

This network and event are made possible by the generous support of:

The Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research

The Oxford Centre in the Humanities


New Critical Approaches to the Byzantine World Network, TORCH Networks