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Calls for Abstracts for Organizer-Refereed Panels

Organizer-Refereed Panels are approved by the Program Committee for presentation at a future Annual Meeting at least 18 months before that meeting takes place.  For example, the Organizer-Refereed Panels to be held at the January 2012 meeting were approved by the Committee in April 2010.  After approval, the Program Committee delegates all discretionary responsibility for selection of abstracts and discussants to the panel organizer(s).  However, in order to ensure anonymity, all abstracts are submitted to the Executive Director's office and are then forwarded anonymously to the panel organizer(s).  Abstracts must be submitted as PDF attachments to The deadline for submission is February 1, 2012. Members wishing to present a paper in an Organizer-Refereed Panel must have paid APA membership dues for 2012.  A presenter who is responding to one of these calls for abstracts is not eligible for a waiver of the membership requirement.  If a member’s paper is accepted for an Organizer-Refereed Panel, that member may not submit another abstract for consideration by the Program Committee for a regular paper session.

After the February 1 deadline, the APA office will forward anonymous abstracts to panel organizers.  Panels receiving fewer than four abstracts will be canceled.  In the event that a panel has to be canceled because of inadequate response, the panel organizer(s) will be invited to resubmit their proposals as regular panels with invited speakers for consideration in competition with other program unit submissions at the April 2010 Program Committee meeting.

Please send an anonymous abstract of 500 to 800 words for a paper suitable for a 15-20 minute presentation as a PDF attachment to Be sure to mention the title of the panel and provide complete contact information and any AV requests in the body of your email. All submissions will be reviewed anonymously.

The titles of Organizer-Refereed Panels approved for 2013 are:

Going Green: The Emergence of Bucolic in Augustan Rome

Organizers:  Jeffrey M. Hunt and Alden Smith, Baylor University

The notion of bucolic as received by the Augustans was variable. Even as a strain of Hellenistic imitators undertook the codification of imagery in Theocritus’ bucolic world, more innovative approaches to bucolic continued to evolve throughout the Hellenistic era. In the Augustan period, Virgil adapted the genre to fit his own idiosyncrasies, as is especially apparent in his integration of Theocritean rusticity with contemporary urban issues. The reemergence of the genre and its themes in the Augustan period was challenged and enhanced by other Augustan poets, particularly elegists such as Cornelius Gallus, who figures prominently in Virgil's Eclogues and likely employed rustic settings in his elegiac verse. Virgil's great addition, of course, was to invest the genre’s green themes with urban concerns, a theme that emerges in the corpus already in the firstEclogue.  The direction that the goatherds travel in E. 9 (in urbem) is further evidence of a new direction for the genre, which now paradoxically moves toward the city.

Such literary representation finds a contemporary parallel also in the representation of the pastoral world in other art forms, such as wall painting, in which the bucolic tradition manifests itself in ways befitting the literary sensibilities of the patrons.  Numerous Hellenistic statues of Pan reveal the bucolic influence in the plastic arts. The classic example in wall painting can be seen in the Mysteries frieze in Pompeii. In light of the multiplicity of views on what constituted literary bucolic, one may wonder whether a similar problem of definition exists in other art forms. Further exploration of how closely painted or plastic representations of pastoral vignettes adhere to various literary models (i.e. as representations of shepherds, as erotically charged, etc.) would enrich consideration of this topic.

We call for papers dealing with aspects of how bucolic defies traditional generic limitations, particularly as a precursor to and within the Augustan age. Clearly generic limitations were imposed upon it by Virgil’s famous redefinition of bucolic poetry, but the genre reveals a remakable fluidity in the face of any and all constraints.  In the art of the period such flexibility may be harder to define in terms of linear development, yet the proliferation of bucolic themes in sculpture and in second through fourth style painting shows that this the notion of bucolic is most certainly in the air. Thus, it is not surprising that bucolic informs the work of such a generically diverse Augustan poet as Horace, or that of the Augustan elegists. Even Ovid in his Metamorphoses reveals its ubiquitous and fluid nature, a development perhaps not so surprising in light of the capacity of this offshoot of epos to adopt and transform the grander language and themes of the Homeric poems. 

Papers in this panel may consider any aspect of the influence and limits of bucolic as an Augustan inheritance of the Hellenistic era, including the role of tradition as it is interpreted and adapted by poets who include bucolic features in their poetry. This panel will also consider how bucolic is construed in various forms of art and how multiple understandings of bucolic are integrated into Augustan poetry and culture. Thus, in addition to papers that address literary themes, those that speak to interdisciplinary and transcendent nature of the bucolic genre are also welcome.

Abstracts must be received in the APA office by February 1, 2012. Please send an anonymous abstract as a PDF attachment to, and be sure to provide complete contact information and any AV requests in the body of your email. All submissions will be reviewed anonymously by the panel organizers.

Campanian Cultures: Poetics, Location and Identity

Organizers:  Ian Fielding, University of Warwick, and Carole E. Newlands, University of Colorado

The region of Campania was an important point of intersection between the cultures of antiquity. As the center of Greek colonial presence in mainland Italy, Campania later became a focus for Roman interest in Hellenistic culture. For educated individuals like Cicero, Seneca and Pliny the Younger, the region was associated with artistic and intellectual pursuits, but also with the pursuit of luxury and excess. The history of Campania’s relationship with Rome has been traced in e.g. D'Arms 1970, Frederiksen 1984, Lomas 1993 and Leiwo 1994. The purpose of this panel is to prompt new inquiries into Campania's distinctive multicultural identity. 

With the wealth of textual and material evidence from ancient Campania, this panel will allow specialists from across a broad disciplinary spectrum to examine the interaction of different forms of cultural practice in the development of local identity. Papers might seek (1) to situate literary representations of Campania within their social and historical contexts, or (2) to consider how those representations were themselves influential in cultivating the region's identity.

Significant issues to be considered include, for (1): how distinct were the individual towns and cities within Campania, and what kind of relationships existed between them? For instance, the strong sense of Greekness maintained in Naples has been shown to have an important bearing on the poetry of Statius, a native of the city. But is it possible to account for cultural variations between texts from Naples and texts from the surrounding area?

For (2): how can the literary representations of specific loci within Campania be seen to figure the local and trans-local (Greek, Roman, Oscan) aspects of the region's identity? Virgil, for example, depicts places such as Cumae and Lake Avernus in terms of the Greek literary tradition, and his association with the Bay of Naples continued to attract poetic imitators, such as Silius Italicus.

Contributors are invited to consider not only Campania’s development before and during the Roman period, but also its reception in later traditions of antiquity. In the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, long after the decline of its material resources, the area around Baiae retained much of the cultural significance it had held in the classical period. Through an examination of Campania's varied cultural legacy, this panel aims to further our appreciation of its importance for the history of classical literature.

Abstracts must be received in the APA office by February 1, 2012. Please send an anonymous abstract as a PDF attachment to Be sure to mention the title of the panel and provide complete contact information and any AV requests in the body of your email. All submissions will be reviewed anonymously. You will be notified of our decision by March 1, 2012.

(Dis)Continuities in the Texts of Lucian

Organizers:  Nathanael J. Andrade, University of West Virginia, and Emily Rush, UCLA

Lucian of Samosata is a cryptic figure in the history of later Greek literature. Though a prolific writer, he is mentioned briefly by only one contemporary. Even as his style and content cohered with the intellectual traditions of his day, he positioned his narrators and comic heroes as critical spectators who analyzed these traditions from the outside. In fact, while ushering the reader into a world of competitive display and theatrical performance in which characters are frequently revealed to be actors, his works conceal their author beneath an assortment of assumed subjectivities and masks that guide his audience’s engagement with the text (Whitmarsh 2001: 254-57, 274-78; Whitmarsh 2005: 26-27; Goldhill 2002: 67-82; Gerlach 2005: 186-97; Gilhuly 2007; Kemezis 2010: 302-305; Richter 2011: 146-60, 168-76, 229-42). For such reasons, Lucian remains an enigmatic yet influential figure in Western literature.

As recent scholarship has emphasized, and as Lucian’s narrators and characters themselves observe, the Lucianic corpus is defined by its innovation, internal paradoxes, heterogeneity, and hybridization of extant genres (Zeux. 1-2, 12;Bacchus 5; Bis Acc. 33-34; Prometh. in verb. 6-7; Branham 1989; Georgiadou and Larmour 1998: 22-43; Whitmarsh 2005: 21-22, 37, 77; Karavas 2005: 229-32; Camerotto 2009: 1-47; Cistaro 2009: 265-90; Schmitz 2010). An ostensibly motley assortment of comic dialogues, ethnographic pastiches, prolaliai, and prose narratives, his corpus engages and interweaves most classical literary genres. Yet, it does so in ways that challenge expectations and defy an epistemology of linear textual transmission (Ní-Mheallaigh 2009). Although it exemplifies the erudition and mastery of classical paideia characteristic of the Second Sophistic, it critiques many of its staple practices and performances.

While Lucian’s works display considerable variation, many points of convergence can be found within his corpus. Nearly all Lucian’s writings, for example, show the influence of his rhetorical training. In many works, the primary actors are drawn from stock types such as the orator, rhetorician, craftsman, or courtesan and often have shared characteristics or ambitions. Similarly, Lucian frequently employs devices or pursues themes, such as ekphrasis, artistic production, and literary allusion, as a means for discussing diverse topics (Romm 1990).

With the issues outlined above in mind, this panel wishes to stimulate further discussion of scholarly approaches to the Lucianic corpus that reflect its polymorphic nature  and the complex responses that it elicits from its audiences. Diverse possibilities for approaches are envisioned and encouraged. 

Abstracts must be received in the APA office by February 1, 2012. Please send an anonymous abstract as a PDF attachment to, and include the panel’s title, complete contact information, and any AV requests. All submissions will be reviewed anonymously. You will be notified of our decision by the end of February.

Seneca as Politician, Philosopher and Author: Revisiting the Relationship between the Man, his Writings and his Textual Self-Portrait

Organizers:  Jamie Romm, Bard College, and Gareth D. Williams, Columbia University

Seneca's central role in the first decade of Nero's regime presents interpreters with a complex weave of political, literary and philosophical themes, challenges and problems. Scholars have struggled to define Seneca's role at court, portrayed differently by Tacitus, Cassius Dio and the author of the Octavia, and to understand how it connects with his philosophical writings, his tragedies and his prosimetric satire Apocolocyntosis. Complicating their efforts are Seneca's silence about his political career, the difficulty of establishing a date for many of his works, and lingering questions about the authorship of the Apocolocyntosis and of certain tragedies. Seneca's motives and intentions are often hard to discern. It has remained unclear whether he was a philosopher in politics, as Miriam Griffin's 1976 biography characterized him, or a politician who dabbled in philosophy. And even when our focus is on the purely literary claims of Seneca’s writings, the life impinges: the facts of Seneca’s political career prompt us to ask whether his philosophical prose represents a form of high-minded ideology, or whether his writings cleanse a conscience compromised by high office; and to ask if the tragedies can or should be read as an oblique commentary on the excesses of Imperial times.

The panel organizers welcome papers that explore the multifaceted implications of the issues raised above. Fundamental questions include the following: What new methodologies and strategies of interpretation might be available to advance current inquiry into the relationship between the Senecan life and his writings? To what extent are the traditional scholarly lines drawn between Seneca the philosopher, Seneca the literary artist and Seneca the politician still sustainable? To what extent might his philosophical prose be seen to engage with political life by amassing and managing political capital, albeit under the veneer of high-minded detachment from everyday realities at court? In what ways might interpretation of Seneca’s less read works (in particular On favors and Natural questions) advance current appraisals of his career? If Seneca’s philosophical/political career is consistent only in the inconsistency of the mixed messages it sends out, might that mixed picture itself be tactically motivated or exploited for advantage? To what extent does the Senecan oeuvre and Seneca’s mixed reputation in antiquity reflect an enigmatic elusiveness of characterization that is one route to survival in Neronian Rome? In short, how might renewed, theoretically nuanced reflection on the relationship of the Senecan life to his writings shed different light on old and vexed questions?

Please send your anonymous abstract (of no more than one page in length) for a 20 minute paper as a PDF attachment to the APA office at by February 1, 2012. Be sure to mention the title of the panel and to provide complete contact information and any AV requests in the body of your email. Anonymous abstracts will be reviewed by the panel organizers.  Questions may be addressed to the organizers: Jamie Romm ( and Gareth Williams (

Travel and the Roman Empire

Organizer:  Josephine Shaya, The College of Wooster

This panel examines the Roman Empire on the move. It invites papers that explore the cultural history of travel within the Roman Empire and between Rome and the wider ancient world.  The Roman Empire, like all empires, depended on the movement of people and information. Governors, generals, soldiers, merchants, performers, and many more traversed its roads and sea lanes. Travel was central to the idea of the Roman Empire. In Aristides’ vision of Rome “every man could go where he wished without fear” (Or. XXXVI 100--2). Likewise, travel was essential to the Roman imagination. From the wanderings of Aeneas to Augustine’s inner wandering, it is a great theme in Roman literature, one that is closely tied to social and political realities.

A wide body of literature has explored the physical and social workings of travel and its robust infrastructures (Casson 1974, Chevallier 1976, Lawrence 1999, Adams and Lawrence 2001, Matthews 2006). Others have investigated broader cultural resonances associated with travel. Works on Roman representations of space have focused on maps and geographic treatises as instruments of Roman imperialism (Nicolet 1991). Studies of geographic literature have shown how accounts of the edges of empire catered to an appetite for the marvelous (Romm 1992). Others have explored travel, ideas of otherness and the exotic in light of questions of identity and the representation of distant lands (Hartog 2001, Parker 2008).

The intersection of travel and religion has been the focus of important work, particularly in regards to pilgrimage, traveling cult founders, and holy men (Elsner and Coleman 1995; Frankfurter 1998; Elsner and Rutherford 2005; Harland 2011). Travel writing, especially that of Pausanias, has been studied with an eye to the relationship between travel and narrative and the role of memory in the construction of a sacred--historical landscape (Alcock, Cherry and Elsner 2001; Hutton 2005).

This panel invites applications for papers that explore the cultural history of travel in the Roman Empire. We interpret travel broadly, to encompass voyages, trade, occupational travel, conquest, exploration, immigration, diaspora, exile, pilgrimage, as well as spiritual wandering, and travel to the other world. To focus the panel, we look for papers that foreground texts and/or images. What images and ideas of travel, travellers, and means of travel circulated in the Roman world? What visions of travel did they present and what kinds of responses did they inspire? How did the realities of travel influence such representations? What role did such representations play in the making of the empire? We welcome papers from every discipline and encourage those who use an interdisciplinary approach or draw on cross--‐cultural methods and theory.

Please send an anonymous abstract as a PDF attachment to and be sure to provide in your email complete contact information and any AV requests. Abstracts must be received by February 1, 2012.

Truth-Value and the Value of Truth in Roman Historiography

Organizer: Ayelet Haimson Lushkov, The University of Texas in Austin.

The question of truth-value in the literary historians has been central to the modern discipline of history since Ranke first subjected the issue to systematic criticism. Within Classics, the same question has been explored along two divergent paths: historians have responded to the apparent unreliability and limitations of ancient authors’ claims by abandoning text-based analyses in favor of documentary and data-oriented methods, whereas historiographers have recuperated the artistic and cultural significance of historical texts, while largely dismissing the question of the relationship between text and truth. Recently, however, the status quo has been disrupted by J. E. Lendon’s (2009) provocative criticism of the practices of Roman historiography, while others (e.g., O’Gorman 2005 and 2009, Riggsby 2007, and Levene 2010) have explored the tensions arising from historiography’s amalgamation of literary artifice and historical subject matter.

The time is thus ripe to explore more fully the utility of truth as a category within the broader milieu of Roman historical practices, of which historiography was merely the most formal manifestation. This panel aims to interrogate the concept of truth-value in Roman historiography, and in particular to provide an account of the historians’ objectives and practices that moves beyond the traditional categories of truth and mendacity. In order to replace this opposition with a more nuanced range of possibilities, the panel will consider how truth-value functioned as a cultural and literary concept at Rome and how that context relates to the specific genre of historiography. The panel thus embraces various Roman historiographical forms, broadly conceived to include prose, poetry, and visual narratives.

Topics might include:

  • How does the question of the historians’ concepts of truth sharpen or diminish attention to the artistic features of the texts?
  • What is the role of overtly fictive elements in an ostensibly truth-seeking work? How do poetic texts, especially historical epic, reconcile or exploit those tensions for their own purposes, and do those aims align well with historiography?
  • Woodman’s seminal monograph Rhetoric in Classical Historiography now forms the basis of many readings of historiography. How can oratorical practice, as opposed to rhetorical theory, illuminate historiographical practices, or the expectation of the reading audience? How does the place of truth in forensic oratory relate to evidentiary argument in historiography?
  • Philosophy and didactic, technical or scientific texts all participate in a broad discourse aimed to assess the validity of certain claims to truth. What is the role of the intellectual milieu in Rome in constructing a common sense, or conflicting senses, of truth and truthfulness?

Abstracts must be received by the APA office by 1 February 2012. Please send an anonymous abstract as a PDF attachment to, and be sure to provide complete contact information and any AV requests in the body of your email. Submissions will be reviewed anonymously.

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