Program

ACLS Fellowship Program

Department

Art History
In 1261 Constantinople celebrated its restoration as the beloved capital of the Byzantine Empire. Scholars typically call the following period’s artistic innovations the “Palaiologan Renaissance,” named after emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos. My book reveals that this so-called renaissance is not Palaiologan, but in fact originated in the Laskarid dynasty. This noble family had fled from Constantinople sixty years earlier when the great capital fell to western crusaders in 1204 during the Fourth Crusade. The Laskarids established an exilic capital in western Turkey and eventually returned to Constantinople bearing new art, architecture, and material culture created in exile. Replacing Byzantium: Laskarid Urban Environments and the Landscape of Loss (1204-1261) reinterprets the Palaiologan renaissance as exilic and peripheral rather than metropolitan and Constantinopolitan, and provides a humanistic model for rethinking artistic histories of “the center” that obscure essential minor and peripheral histories that have informed them. Each chapter focuses on well-known Palaiologan art and architecture in the capital and illuminates their connections to Laskarid works from exile, demonstrating the unique ways in which memories of place, space and the past migrate with populations on the move.