Making Narratives of an Empire's Unmaking: A Critical Spatialization of Byzantine Historiography of the Late Eleventh and Early Twelfth Centuries.
This project explores the use of space, place, and landscape in a group of historical narratives of the late eleventh and early twelfth century Byzantium, a time of immense territorial change and intellectual vitality. The project's central research hypothesis is that landscape, places, spaces are not only the background settings; they are also constituents of the narrative framework with strategic roles. First, this project aims to draw the authors' cognitive maps by focusing on the historical, cultural, and political factors that shape their maps. Secondly, it explores the ramifications of their cognitive maps on their narratives. Following these, this project undertakes a rigorous spatial deconstruction of the narratives and investigates how these authors use space, place, and landscapes strategically. Lastly, this project explores the texts' political and social ideologies as well as gender perspectives through their engagement with spaces, places, and landscapes. The project will be based primarily on the depictions of Anatolia without excluding its findings of other regions in a complimentary manner. Overall, this project aims to form a comparative spatial picture of Byzantine historiography of the age. Ultimately, it aims to contribute to the study of Byzantine history and historiography by using tools and concepts inspired by the so-called spatial-turn with an interdisciplinary perspective of memory studies, narratology, and ecocriticism.