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CFP: Ancient Tragedy and Modern Refugees, Immigrants and Migrants

Call for Papers – Theater of Displacement: Ancient Tragedy and Modern Refugees, Immigrants and Migrants

CAMP Panel, 2020 SCS Meeting in Washington, D.C.

Organizers: Seth A. Jeppesen, BYU; Chiara Aliberti, BYU; Cecilia Peek, BYU

In Euripides’ Trojan Women, Hecuba and her fellow captives use a wide array of verbs for speaking and singing as they struggle to make their voices and stories heard in the face of repeated attempts by the men in the play to silence them and relegate them to the status of possessions rather than persons. Similar attempts to silence or disregard the plight of modern refugees and migrants are apparent all around us, from the newly energized nationalist movements in Europe to the tear gas canisters lobbed at women and children along the U.S.-Mexico border. As Nadia Murad has shown (The Last Girl, 2017), one of the most powerful ways of combatting this oppression is to open a dialogue and listen to the voices of those displaced by war as they tell us their stories. Bryan Doerries (The Theater of War, 2016) has shown how Greek tragedy can be used to initiate conversations regarding combat trauma, mass incarceration and end-of-life care and encourage recognition and healing for those involved. Luis Alfaro, in turn, has demonstrated in his recent play Mojada how well adaptations of Greek tragedy can address issues facing modern migrants and immigrants. Many Greek tragedies deal with displacement caused by war and characters who seek asylum from other cities and governments (e.g. Aeschylus’ Suppliants, Euripides’ Trojan Women, Hecuba, Andromache, Helen, Suppliant Women, etc.) There is much potential for scholarship and performance that uses Greek tragedy not only to elucidate the current refugee crisis but also to raise awareness and provide healing and understanding to communities. This panel invites papers that explore themes of cultural and physical displacement in Greek Tragedy and potentially draw connections between ancient literature and the current worldwide refugee/migrant crisis. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • The language of displacement and/or silencing in Greek tragedy
  • Greek tragedy and historical displacement in 5th century Greece
  • The effects of war and violence in Greek tragedy
  • Modern reception of Greek tragedy in the context of refugees, migrants, and immigrants
  • Greek tragedy and public humanities projects that deal with issues facing refugees, migrants, and immigrants

Abstracts should follow the SCS guidelines for individual abstracts and can be sent by email to ksburns@uic.edu. Review of abstracts begins March 1, 2019. Abstracts received by March 15 will receive full consideration. Please ensure that the abstracts are anonymous.  In accordance with SCS regulations, all abstracts for papers will be read anonymously by the panel organizers, who will serve as referees. Those selected for the panel will be informed by March 30.

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