“Imagine There’s a Tragelaph”: Phantasia and Aesthetics in the Middle Byzantine Period (Ninth–Twelfth Centuries)
During my fellowship, I completed a bibliographical survey, thus paving the way for the first draft of my monograph, provisionally titled Fantasizing Gazes: Imagination and the Beholder in Byzantine Aesthetics. I completed three chapters devoted to imagination and emotions from the third to the ninth century. I worked extensively on the third part of the monograph, which deals with the notion of fictionality in art theory and literature in the post-iconoclastic era. I also finished and submitted a paper on visual imagination and sense perception in Byzantine culture from the seventh through the ninth century. In addition to this project, I worked on a paper on Synesios’s treatise on dreams against the background of Patriarch Theophilos’s anti-Origenistic politics in early fifth-century Alexandria. I also completed two more papers: the first one deals with the character of Thersites in Aeneas of Gaza, at the crossroads between pantomime and rhetorical exercises; and the second one is a literary study of the logos eucharisterios of John Eugenicus.