SO PLEASED to be able to provide this LinkedIn reference to my Byzantinist intern Marina Khonina on her road to applying to grad school!
And what a fun walk down memory lane on my pop cultural/historical project that remains in development...
Marina was a joy to work with in Istanbul on my pop cultural, Byzantinist research project about the Church of Polyeuktos.
Her facility with Byzantine history and exuberant curiosity helped me develop the outline for an art historical saga of interest to a modern audience about a Byzantine aristocrat, Anicia Juliana, and her architectural rivalry with Emperor Justinian which resulted in him building a wonder of the ancient world and seat of Christianity for 1,000 years (Haghia Sophia), and her forgotten.
Marina contributed valuable context and insight into the story’s most compelling themes of religious symbolism and gender roles, including the link between Jerusalem and Constantinople and
- what it meant for a woman to be a non-royal patron of the arts
- what it meant to equate herself with King Solomon and the emperor
- what it meant to claim she was head of the Christian church
...all of which Juliana did in building her edifice.
(You begin to see why I picked this subject to develop.)
Marina added rich new perspective to how Juliana was misrepresented historically vis a vis the lesser-accomplished Empress Theodora, and the daring Chalcedonian statement Juliana made in restoring another woman’s building project.
I’d recommend Marina for inclusion in any advanced research venture.