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"Going ashore in Byzantium". On border crossings in Swedophone travelogues from Mount Athos in the 1950s and 60s
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Culture and Aesthetics.
2015 (English)In: Borders and the changing boundaries of knowledge / [ed] Inga Brandell, Marie Carlson, Önver A. Çetrez, Stockholm: Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul , 2015, 53-73 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The article explores how Byzantium was represented by Mount Athos, the Orthodox Christian monastic republic, in Swedophone travelogues from the 1950s and 60s, and from which bases of knowledge and values this was done. The issue is addressed from a cultural semiotic perspective, based on Yuri Lotman’s concept of the semiosphere in combination with Itamar Even-Zohar’s method of studying cultural and dynamic polysystems.Mount Athos is a cultural and religious centre of great importance to all of “the Byzantine commonwealth”, i.e. a centre within the Byzantine semiosphere. The travellers crossed or faced political, cultural, linguistic and religious borders, yet some of them failed to notice the epistemological border between the semiospheres. Decisive to how Byzantium was represented by Mount Athos was whether the monastic republic was judged and evaluated according to the norms of the Byzantine or the Western cultural system – that is, whether Mount Athos was regarded as central within the Byzantine semiosphere, or as peripheral within the Western semiosphere.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul , 2015. 53-73 p.
, Transactions / Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul, ISSN 1100-0333 ; 22
Keyword [en]
Border Studies, Cultural Semiotics, Byzantine Studies, Mount Athos, Orthodox Christianity, Swedish Literature, Travelogues, Semiosphere
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-124974ISBN: 978-91-978813-3-3OAI: diva2:891393
Available from: 2016-01-07 Created: 2016-01-07 Last updated: 2016-04-25Bibliographically approved

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Bodin, Helena
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