IMC 2012: Sessions

Session 715: Changing the System from Within?: Rules and Their Subversion in Byzantine Literature

Tuesday 10 July 2012, 14.15-15.45

Organiser:Aglae Pizzone, Department of Classics & Ancient History, Durham University
Moderator/Chair:Alexander Riehle, Institut für Byzantinistik & Neogräzistik, Universität Wien
Paper 715-aFollowing and Breaking Generic Rules: The Example of Miracle Collections
(Language: English)
Stavroula Constantinou, Department of Byzantine & Modern Greek Studies, University of Cyprus, Nicosia
Index terms: Byzantine Studies, Hagiography
Paper 715-bOut of the Ashes of History: How to Create New Narratives in Byzantium
(Language: English)
Aglae Pizzone, Department of Classics & Ancient History, Durham University
Index terms: Byzantine Studies, Language and Literature - Greek
Paper 715-cBreaking Genres in Palaiologan Byzantium: The Cases of Demetrios Chrysoloras and John Chortasmenos
(Language: English)
Florin Leonte, Department of Medieval Studies, Central European University, Budapest
Index terms: Byzantine Studies, Rhetoric

In the last decade, ‘subversion’ has become a catchword in Byzantine studies. Yet, as regards literary conventions, the term is often employed to designate a mere form of compensation, an intellectual play ultimately aiming at reinforcing existing cultural rules. On the contrary, we intend to explore how and when in Byzantine literature the violation of established practices actually questions the role of recognized cultural models and patterns of expression. By taking into account a wide range of texts, both religious and profane, from the early up to the late Byzantine period, we will shed new light on the ‘construction’ and ‘deconstruction’ of genres and generic rules. Moreover, we aim to illustrate how a society largely based on the respect for ancient authority employed the infringement of literary standards to challenge the customary social order.