- Byzantine Icons
- Art History
- Marian Studies
- Religious Transformation
- Sacred Landscapes
- Reception of Byzantium in the West
- Byzantium and Venice
- Taxonomic Categories of Icon Exposition
- PhD, Byzantine Art, Ca'Foscari University of Venice and University of Fribourg (CH)
- MA, Medieval and Byzantine Art History, Ca'Foscari University of Venice
- BA, Cultural heritage, Statale University of Milan
Danai Thomaidis studied Cultural heritage at Statale University of Milan and gained her MA in Medieval and Byzantine Art History at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. For her PhD (Ca’ Foscari - Fribourg University), she analyzed the introduction, cult and exposition of Byzantine icons in the churches, streets and houses of Venice and of the Venetian-ruled colonies of the Mediterranean. Her research interests include the cult of Byzantine icons in the wider Mediterranean context, Marian devotion in Byzantium and the West, religious transformations and social identity in the Middle ages. She has received scholarships from the Leventis Foundation and Swissuniversities, and participated as a speaker in numerous international conferences. During her time at the SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies she will be finalizing her book manuscript, The Life of icons in Venice, as well as working on another project, "Iconic Montages as Bearers of Meaning from Constantinople to Venice (13th-15th centuries)," in which she will explore the techniques utilized for the exhibition of icons in Byzantium and Venice to understand how these visual ensembles created new meanings for their viewers. Her next two articles will be focused on icon worship among the Venetian working class, and on the use of icons as media of self-expression and promotion in Venice (15th - 17th centuries).
Journal articles and book chapters
- "Lives of Icons Among the Venetian Working Class," in Towards a Visual History of the Working Class, 2022 (Forthcoming).
- "How Architecture Responded to a Mixed Rite Society? The Early Example of Candia’s Double Churches and the Role of Icons," in Conference Proceedings, “Sacred Architecture, Rite and Music between Byzantium and the West”, 21-23 January 2021 (Forthcoming).
- "Sacred Rituals in Profane Spaces: The Migration of Folklore Images in Contemporary Art," Officina 27 (2019): 22-26.
- "Greek Icons in Venice and their Impact on Venetian Identity," Diogenes 6, University of Birmingham (2017): 1-12.
- "Byzantium in Venice. Artistic and Devotional Dialogue: Reception, Appropriation and Innovation of Icon Painting," in the conference proceedings of the 2nd annual Edinburgh International Graduate Byzantine Conference, 30 November - 1 December 2018 (Forthcoming).
Selected conference presentations and invited talks
- "Lives of Icons among the Venetian Working Class." Presented at Rice University, Texas, for the Towards a Visual History of the Working Class Conference 2021.
- "L’icona operativa. Mise-en-scènedel culto nella Serenissima dal XV al XVII secolo." Presented at the University of Padua, Italy, for the graduate conference: Culto e immagine. L’opera, pubblici e contesti 2021.
- "How architecture responded to a mixed rite society? The early example of Candia’s double churches and the role of icons." Presented at the University of Mainz, Germany, for the International and Interdisciplinary Conference: Sacred Architecture, Rite and Music between Byzantium and the West (Sixth to Fifteenth Century) 2021.
- "Byzantium in Venice. Artistic and Devotional Dialogue. Reception, Appropriation and Innovation of Icon Painting." Presented at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, for the 2nd annual Edinburgh International Graduate Byzantine Conference 2012.
- "The Life of (Post) Byzantine icons in Venetian Churches." Presented at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, for the Fribourg Seminar of the Art and Archaeology Department 2018.
- "Byzantine Icons in Venetian Piety: Medium-Message-Fruition from the East to the West." Presented at the Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo (MI), for the International Medieval Congress 2018.
- "Greek Icons in Venice and their Impact on Venetian Identity." Presented at the University of Birmingham's Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies, for the 18th Annual Postgraduate Colloquium "Multiculturalism from Late Antiquity to Modernity" 2017.
- "David-Orpheus and Synesis in Christian Art and Literature." Presented at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore for the 2nd International Conference "Hermeneutics of Symbol, Myth and 'Modernity of Antiquity' in Italian Literature and the Arts from the Renaissance up to the Present Day" 2016.
- 2020, Swissuniversities, Cotutelle de Thèse (scholarship for PhD students)
- 2019, Leventis Foundation, (scholarship for PhD students)
- 2016-2019, Ca'Foscari University (scholarship for PhD students)