Pieter Byttebier is a historian of the Central Middle Ages. He obtained a master degree in History at the University of Ghent in 2012 (with a dissertation on “Performativity and symbolic behaviour in creating episcopal identity and shaping new discourses of authority by Gerard of Cambrai (1012-1051)”), and a Master in Philosophy at King’s College London in 2014 (with a dissertation on the objectivity of historiographic writing).
Since 2013 he is working as a Ph.D fellow of the Research foundation-Flanders (FWO) at the University of Ghent, under the guidance of Prof. dr. Steven Vanderputten. His project is entitled: The performative construction of episcopal authority in eleventh-century Lotharingia: towards an integrated analysis of speech act, ritual behaviour and spatial representation. His main research interests are the symbolic self-representations of bishops in 11th century Lotharingia, and their real life conduct in order to construct and establish authority answering to local contexts. Key aspects of interest are ritual performances, speech acts, use of space, architecture, iconography, textual discourse and the use of the past, and this in a comparative approach between bishops and dioceses.
He also obtained a fellowship of the Belgian American Educational Foundation (B.A.E.F.) for a year-long research stay in the United States in 2015-2016, where he is a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University in the city of New York.