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Sarah Tyler Brooks
James Madison University (Harrisonburg, VA 22807-0001)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2010 – 9/30/2010

The Art of Death in Byzantium: Funerary Art and Architecture, 1204-1453

From June 1-July 30, 2010, I plan to write the final two chapters of my book, for publication by Ashgate Press in 2011. This monograph focuses on the art and culture of the Byzantine empire, the Christian state ruling over major parts of the medieval Mediterranean world and the Middle East. Among the most understudied aspects of Byzantium's history have been its culture of public commemoration, and the ways in which its traditions surrounding death were distinct from, as well as influenced by, competing Islamic and Christian cultures. Rituals of death are among the most important indicators of greater cultural values and attitudes, and in the pre-modern world visual evidence often affords unique insight into these spheres. For students of world cultures and the diverse humanistic disciplines my forthcoming book affords a greater understanding of the important medieval society of Byzantium and its impact on Christian-Islamic relations throughout the centuries.