Call for Papers: Identity Under Empire

Boston University Graduate Student Conference

Identity Under Empire: Defining the Self under the Cultural Hegemony of the Athenian, Macedonian, and Roman Empires

Date of Conference: March 17, 2018

Keynote Speaker
Steven Smith
Hofstra University

The Department of Classical Studies at Boston University is excited to accept papers for its 10th annual Graduate Studies Conference. This year, the conference will examine the question of regional, national, personal, artistic, religious, and ethnic identity under the Athenian and Roman Empires as well as the empires of Philip II and Alexander the Great, and the subsequent Hellenistic Kingdoms. The cultural and political influence of any ancient empire has a far-reaching effect on the populace not only of founding city-states, but also that of the extending territories within its dominion. This conference intends to explore how ancient peoples – citizens and non-citizens, male and female alike – negotiated the multifarious problem of identity within the complexity of a unified yet multicultural empire. We enthusiastically welcome submissions from any and all fields of the humanities covering material, textual, or other sources.

Possible paper topics might include, but are not limited to:

  • The question of personae in ancient literature under empire
  • Portrayals of racial/ethnic identity by emperors and/or authors
  • Gender identity and gender roles under empires: correspondences/dissonances between literary depictions, societal expectations, and historical realities
  • Examinations of institutionalized constructs of identity (e.g.: Greek citizenship law of 451; the Leges Juliae)
  • The significance of Greek ethnicity during the Peloponnesian war
  • Local religion/cult and its relationship to official, imperial religion
  • Terminology: ways of expressing ethnic/racial identity in the ancient world, and the connotations/implications of these labels (e.g.: Patavinitas)
  • Philosophy and sophistry under empire
  • Examination and analysis of political satire
  • Self-identification of emperors with different gods and the deification of emperors (e.g.: Alexander and Ammon; Augustus and Apollo)
  • Alexander and the Persians
  • The question of “National Texts” vs. “Propaganda” vs. “Veiled Speech” under empire
  • Racial/Ethnic identity of Roman slaves & Freedmen/Freedwomen
  • Near-Eastern influence on literature and art under empire
  • Historiographical representations of “Others”

We encourage those interested in participation to send an abstract of no more than 500 words, along with a bibliography of no more than 150 words, for a 20-minute presentation to Victoria Burmeister, Shannon DuBois, and William Bruckel at IdentityUnderEmpire@Gmail.com on or before January 14th, 2018. We request that all documents be submitted as PDFs.

Please direct any questions or concerns to us at the address listed above. Submission decisions will be announced in early February.

Photo: "Handwritten" by A. Birkan, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

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This article was originally published in Amphora 11.1. It has been edited slightly to adhere to current SCS blog conventions.

At the entrance of the maximum security prison where I taught Greek tragedy was a wooden plaque in the shape of a shield. It was emblazoned with a motto: Non sum qualis eram. Apart from its incongruity in this place of no Latin and less Greek, the motto struck me as equally a declaration of failure and of hope. The men inside were not what they once were. What were they now?

I knew very little about my students at Cheshire Correctional Institute. I’d been told that over 100 inmates had applied to take classes through Wesleyan University’s Center for Prison Education (CPE).[1] Only eighteen had been accepted after tests and interviews with Wesleyan faculty members, CPE staff, and prison administrators. The men had widely differing educational backgrounds, but had proved that they could succeed at Wesleyan course work: biochemistry, essay writing, sociology, and philosophy. By the second year of the pilot program, 2011, when I taught, the cohort had lost only two. Of the remaining sixteen, thirteen were African-American.  

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 11/06/2017 - 12:00am by Elizabeth Bobrick.

The Women's Classical Caucus (WCC) is undertaking a major initiative to address all forms of harassment in the field of Classics.  As part of this initiative, the WCC leadership has begun to collaborate with the SCS Committee on Gender and Sexuality in the Profession, and Vice President for Professional Matters, Barbara Gold.  The first result of this collaboration is the following statement addressing harassment, bullying, and intimidation at the Annual Meeting. This statement has been approved by the SCS Board of Directors. 

Statement on Harassment

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Sun, 11/05/2017 - 7:37am by Helen Cullyer.

The deadline for graduate students and contingent faculty to submit applications for travel stipends has now passed and all recipients of travel stipends have been notified of their awards.  However, the Society is now accepting applications from members attending the meeting for funds to support the costs of childcare or care of other dependents during the conference in Boston. The amount awarded will depend on the degree of need and the number of applicants.

Notification of subsidies will be sent to applicants by December 7th. Please note that applications should be made in US Dollars. Please send the information requested below to Helen Cullyer (xd@classicalstudies.org) by NOVEMBER 30th, 2017.

Name:

Mailing address:

E-mail:

Institutional affiliation (if any):

Title of position:

Reason for attending Annual Meeting:

Amount of funds requested and brief summary of childcare / dependent care arrangements:

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Sun, 11/05/2017 - 7:26am by Helen Cullyer.

Platonic dialectic – inquiring into the nature of things

31st May - 2nd June, 2018
Department of Philosophy, University of Bergen

Confirmed keynote speakers:
Walter Mesch (University of Münster/Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Münster)
Vasilis Politis (Trinity College Dublin)
Pauliina Remes (Uppsala University)

The last decades of Platonic scholarship bear witness to a radical change in the way Plato’s dialogues are generally read. The developmental approach that dominated scholarship in the 20th century is now questioned by a growing number of scholars, and this has stimulated a renewed interest both in the question how the dialogues are best approached and in the approaches to Plato adopted by older Platonists (i.e. before the 19th century especially). This change, however, has still to prompt a revision of the way Platonic dialectic is approached. The assumption that Plato’s conception of dialectic underwent a significant development, starting from a Socratic ideal of philosophy as dialogue and culminating in a more Aristotelian, scientific ideal, still dominates scholarship on the subject. The aim of the conference is to consider, and potentially question, this assumption in order to stimulate discussions about the nature of Platonic dialectic.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Fri, 11/03/2017 - 10:04am by Erik Shell.

Registration for the Career Networking event at the 2018 Annual Meeting is now open. This special event is co-sponsored by SCS and the Paideia Institute.  Graduate students and contingent faculty interested in careers outside of academia are encouraged to attend.  There is no extra charge for this event but space is limited.

Registered attendees of the 2018 meeting can sign up for this event by filling out this form. Sign up will be open until November 22nd or close sooner if the event reaches capacity before that date. 

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(Photo: "_DSC7061" by rhodesj, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 10/31/2017 - 8:10am by Erik Shell.

A Stream on “Continuity of Culture Between Ancient and Modern Greece”
as part of the
16th Annual International Conference on History & Archaeology: From Ancient to Modern
2-5 July 2018, Athens, Greece
Sponsored by the Athens Journal of History

The History Unit of ATINER will hold A Stream on “Continuity of Culture Between Ancient and Modern Greece”, 2-5 July 2018, Athens, Greece as part of the 16th Annual International Conference on History & Archaeology: From Ancient to Modern sponsored by the Athens Journal of Sciences.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Mon, 10/30/2017 - 11:46am by Erik Shell.

Abstracts for all papers slated to be presented at the 149th annual meeting in Boston are now published online.

You can view the abstracts here.

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(Photo: "_DSC7061" by rhodesj, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 10/30/2017 - 9:42am by Erik Shell.
Sketchbook: Souvenir of Naples

On a summer night in 64 CE a conflagration that would be remembered as the Great Fire of Rome began somewhere in the tightly-packed shops and streets around the Circus Maximus. “A disaster,” the historian Tacitus called it, “graver and more dreadful than all that have befallen this city by the violence of fire” (Annals 15.38). His account goes on to describe panic and destruction, followed by rumors, resentment, and rebuilding. Ancient responses to disasters like these are the focus of a new first-year studies course at the University of Texas at Austin, for which I am the teaching assistant. The following is a reflection on what we might do as classics and ancient history teachers to aid our students in dealing with 2017’s brutal hurricane season, in this year that Tacitus might have called “rich in catastrophes” (opimum casibus, Histories 1.2).

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 10/30/2017 - 12:00am by Jane Millar.

Call for Papers

5000 Years of Comments: The Development of Commentary from Ancient Mesopotamia to the Age of Information

August 7-10, 2018

Sponsored and hosted by the Center for Hellenic Studies
Organized by Joel P. Christensen (Brandeis University) and Jacqueline Vayntrub (Brandeis University)

Commentary on the written word is nearly as old as writing itself and has developed alongside scholarship, literature and the writing cultures in critical and influential ways. As an activity, commentary has helped define categories of textuality and literature. As a type of discourse, commentary has been shaped over millennia by emerging technologies, from clay tablets to multi-user digital interfaces.

This two-day conference seeks to bring together specialists and investigators from various fields who are interested in the history of commentary and its study, in its theoretical underpinnings and its effects, and in exploring new forms commentary has taken in the information age. All fields of inquiry are open, but we are particularly interested in assembling papers that draw on the history of philology from the Ancient Near East (Mesopotamia through Biblical philology) through Classical Greece and Rome in antiquity, the middle ages, and reflecting on this history in light of the emergence of modern Digital Humanities. 

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Thu, 10/26/2017 - 8:16am by Erik Shell.

This is a reminder that the deadline for the SCS's TLL Fellowship is November 15

You can read the posting for this fellowship here, and learn more about the program on this page.

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(Photo: "_DSC7061" by rhodesj, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Wed, 10/25/2017 - 8:44am by Erik Shell.

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