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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Roman Triumphal arch panel copy from Beth Hatefutsoth, showing spoils of Jerusalem temple. Image via Wikimedia under a CC BY-SA 3.0 License.

Over the past year I have had the amazing opportunity of being a Rome Prize Fellow in Ancient Studies at the American Academy in Rome. In this month’s blog, as a sort of farewell to the city, I briefly discuss my own research on holidays and festivals in ancient Jewish literature and the research I completed in Rome. I also briefly describe the evidence of the intersection and interaction of Jews, Judaism, and Rome found in the city.

View full article. | Posted in on Wed, 08/22/2018 - 5:09pm by Catherine Bonesho.
The mount Ida chain and the Messara plain seen from Phaistos, Crete, Greece. Jebulon. Image via Wikimedia under CC-by-1.0

How do we reconstruct the color palette of antiquity? What role did plants and flora play in the creation of this polychromy world? In February 2017, I arrived in Greece for a four-month research stay, based at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. Like many academics, I had experienced Greece only in the summer, and the image in my mind was one of bare, rocky, sun-scorched landscapes, punctuated primarily by olives and pines. In those first February days, I explored my local surroundings, walking up into the urban pine forest which is Mount Lykavittos, adjacent to the American School. I was stunned to find the Lykavittos blanketed in wildflowers, climbing over one another in a tangled rainbow of plant life. This immediately challenged my notions of the landscape, and of the color palette of Greece.

View full article. | Posted in on Wed, 08/15/2018 - 4:10pm by .
Forum Romanum

The Society for Classical Studies (SCS) is delighted to announce the first annual nomination period for our Forum Prize.

The Forum Prize - presented by the the SCS Committee on Public Information and Media Relations - recognizes outstanding contributions to public engagement made by non-academic works about the ancient Greek and Roman world. It empowers the SCS to build bridges with a broader public by rewarding the best public-facing essays, books, poems, articles, podcasts, films, and art produced each year by someone (either a classicist or a non-classicist) working primarily outside of the academy.

Image by Andreas Tille - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=41103

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Tue, 08/14/2018 - 9:06am by Helen Cullyer.
San Diego Reflecting Pond

SCS is now accepting applications for travel stipends for the 2019 Annual Meeting in San Diego. Click here for more information and to apply.



Image by Rufustelestrat, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 08/13/2018 - 10:58am by Helen Cullyer.
Roman Era Mummy Portraits from the Getty, Met, Wikimedia.

Princeton University’s Department of Classics has launched a new pre-doctoral fellowship for promising young Classicists who would contribute to the diversity of the University. Premised on a recognition that access to Classics is not equitable, the fellowship provides both preparation for and admission to Princeton’s Ph.D. program. I reached out to Professors Michael Flower and Dan-el Padilla Peralta to learn more about the concerns and conversations that gave birth to this fellowship. Below is our exchange, lightly edited for clarity.

Park: This fellowship is, as far as I know, unique. From what I can gather, it essentially offers financial support for post-baccalaureate study along with admission to Princeton’s Ph.D. program upon completion of the post-bacc. It seems to me unusual to fund a post-bacc—can you tell me how the idea for this level of support came about? Were there other fellowships that inspired Princeton’s?

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 08/13/2018 - 7:38am by Arum Park.
Vergilius Romanus. Shepherd with flocks (Georgics, Book III). First half of the 5th c., 22 x 22.5 cm. Vatican Apostolic Library. Vat. Lat. 3867. F ° 44v. Image via Wikipedia by Public Domain.

In our fourth post from the SCS’ Committee on Ancient and Modern Performance (CAMP), high school Latin teacher Patrick Hogan explores how to bring Vergil to life through dramatic performance. 

Teachers of Greek and Latin, no matter how experienced, are always looking for new ways to bring ancient language to life for their students, whether through basic oral conversation, reading passages of prose or poetry aloud, or translation from modern English into Latin or Greek. In my opinion, teachers should make more frequent use of a fourth option, i.e., public, staged readings of poetry. I have found success in performances of Vergil’s Eclogues at the private high school where I teach.

View full article. | Posted in on Thu, 08/09/2018 - 8:56am by Patrick Paul Hogan.
NEH Logo

August, 2018

Below is a list of the most recent NEH grantees and their Classically-themed projects. The NEH helps fund a number of SCS initiatives, and their support affects the field of Classics at a national and local level.

Grantees

  • Amir Zeldes (Georgetown University) - "A Linked Digital Environment for Coptic Studies"
    • Digital Humanities Advancement Grants
  • Robert Kanigel (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) - "American Scholar Milman Parry (1902-1935) and the Study of Oral Tradition in Classical Literature"
    • Public Scholar Program
  • Christopher Ratte (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor) - "Notion Archaeological Research Project: The Biography of an Ancient Greek Urban Community"
    • Collaborative Research
  • Thomas Madden (St. Louis University) - "The Fall of Republics: A History"
    • Public Scholar Program
  • James Romm (Bard College) - "The Sacred Band of Thebes and the Last Days of Greek Freedom (379-338 B.C.)"
    • Public Scholar Program
  • Tyler Jo Smith (University of Virginia) - "Linked Open Greek Pottery"
    • Digital Humanities Advancement Grants

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View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Wed, 08/08/2018 - 10:05am by Erik Shell.

SAGP at Central and Pacific Divisions of the American Philosophical Association 2019

The Deadline for submission of papers for the SAGP panels at the Central and Pacific Division meetings of the APA is coming up soon: SEPTEMBER 1. Papers on any topic in Ancient Greek Philosophy, from the 6th century BCE to the 6th century CE, may be considered.

The 2019 Central Division Meeting will be 2/20/19 – 2/23/19 in Denver (Westin Downtown).

The 2019 Pacific Division Meeting will be 4/17/19 - 4/20/19 in Vancouver (Westin Bayshore).

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Tue, 08/07/2018 - 11:02am by Erik Shell.
54th International Congress on Medieval Studies 2019
Kalamazoo, Michigan, May 9-12, 2019 
 
Bridging the Gap: Classicists and Medievalists in Continuous Dialogue
sponsored by the Classical Association for the Midwest and South. Organizer: Anise K. Strong

We are calling for papers that address ways in which medieval society, texts, and material culture perpetuate and adapt earlier traditions and practices from the ancient world. While papers concerning the reception of literary texts are welcome, we are particularly interested in papers that seek to make connections between ancient and medieval religious practices, local customs and traditions, artistic styles or types of media, persistent urban centers, enduring clans or families, social attitudes towards oppressed groups or minorities, or deliberate political and social echoes of earlier classical forms of government. We define “ancient” and “medieval” broadly in this context. Papers about the influence of Zoroastrianism on medieval writings about magic would be as enthusiastically greeted as papers about the use of ancient Greek political terms to describe Scandinavian Things. 

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Mon, 08/06/2018 - 10:47am by Erik Shell.
Vincenzo Camuccini. The Assassination of Julius Caesar, between 1804 and 1805. Oil on canvas. Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea.

Historical fiction based in the ancient world has long been a fruitful way to encourage the interest of non-specialists in the ancient world. These novels can also be used profitably to improve classroom pedagogy. I regularly assign a work of historical fiction in my online Intro to Ancient Rome course.  This summer, I opted for Steven Saylor’s most recent addition to his Gordianus series, The Throne of Caesar. My students in the summer are nearly all STEM majors who are looking to complete a core requirement, often while simultaneously working full-time. I need to select novels that are readable, follow Roman history accurately, and add dimension to the world and characters that they are studying. Ideally, the novel will also encourage the students to think about some aspect of Roman history from a new perspective.  For instance, Saylor’s Catalina’s Riddle tells the story of the Catilinarian conspiracy from the perspective of Catiline rather than Cicero and reminds students to pay close attention to Cicero’s presentation of the events. Robert Harris’s Imperium invites the reader into Cicero’s life at the very start of his career, to learn how Cicero became Cicero.

View full article. | Posted in on Thu, 08/02/2018 - 4:10pm by Jen Ebbeler.

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