Call for Papers: "Screening the 'Political Animals' of the Ancient Mediterranean"

CALL FOR PAPERS

Classical Antiquity: Screening the “political animals” of the Ancient Mediterranean world

An area of multiple panels for the 2018 Film & History Conference:

Citizenship and Sociopathy in Film, Television, and New Media

November 7-12, 2018

Madison Concourse Hotel and Governor’s Club, Madison, WI (USA)

Full details at: www.filmandhistory.org/conference

DEADLINE for abstracts: 1 June 2018 

Aristotle famously defined humans as “political animals”: organizing themselves within the social structure of the polis and its codes of conduct, defining members from outsiders and different types of member in relation to each other and to the whole. From the time of the city’s foundation, Romans were no less concerned with the civitas and citizen status — increasingly so as Roman imperium expanded to encompass ethnic “Others.” The narratives generated and consumed by these societies both acknowledged and questioned the clarity of these theoretical concepts: the Odyssey marks Penelope’s aristocratic suitors as morally base and condemns them to divinely-authorized death worthy of enemies; Herodotus and Thucydides observe the increasingly despotic behavior of democratic Athens, as compared to both “barbarian” and other Greek adversaries; Livy emphasizes how abducted Sabine women stopped a war by asserting their own status and moral authority as Roman wives. Perhaps Julius Caesar would have been reviled as a traitor for his march on Rome, like the failed insurrectionary Catiline, had Caesar’s heir Octavian not gained control over the state, proclaiming the assassinated dictator in perpetuo divine and himself princeps.

All depictions of socio-political relations within the frameworks of kingdom, ethnospoliscivitas, and empire in the ancient Mediterranean world have been shaped and reshaped through the lens of subsequent interest—both in antiquity and in modernity. The Classical Antiquity area solicits abstracts for papers that discuss how film, television, video games, and other screen media represent these relations and frameworks, on topics including but not limited to:

--how representations help modern audiences to imagine those social relations through dramatization — or promise to, despite reshaping ancient accounts to modern tastes

--how representations radically re-envision ancient accounts of political actors and communities to suit contemporary purposes (e.g. the noble rebel Spartacus in Kubrick’s 1960 film or the vengeful survivor Artemisia in 2013’s300: Rise of an Empire)

--how modern social constructs (e.g. race, sexuality, gender) have been retrojected into depictions of ancient communities and individuals’ relations to each other and that whole

--how depictions of epochal shifts (e.g. constitutional, epistemological) redefine enfranchised/disenfranchised, subversive/revolutionary, patriot/traitor, barbarian/civilized

--how a “bad ruler/system” is critiqued by focus on a good/conscientious community member, or a “good ruler/system” is destroyed by criminality/sociopathy

--“rise and/or fall” narratives that turn on revolution, civil war, tyrannical coup, restoration

--use of ancient Mediterranean societies to stage modern romance with e.g. democracy, republicanism, fascism, imperialism

Proposals for complete panels of three related presentations are also welcome, but should include an abstract and contact information (including email) for each presenter.

Please e-mail your 200-400-word proposal to the area chair:

Meredith Safran

Trinity College

classicsonscreen@gmail.com

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

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Figure of the heavenly bodies - Illuminated illustration of the Ptolemaic geocentric conception of the Universe by Portuguese cosmographer and cartographer Bartolomeu Velho (?-1568). From his work Cosmographia, made in France, 1568 (Public Domain).

In April, Reed College decided to revamp their year-long core humanities course, Humanities 110.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 05/11/2018 - 5:58am by Sarah Bond.
Microphone

Multiple proponents of Spoken Latin in the classroom - Edward Zarrow, Tom Morris, and Jason Pedicone - were recently featured on the "America the Bilingual" podcast.

"How has a presumably dead language become such a disruptor? Because Latin certainly seems to be just that. It’s one of the most frequently taught languages in American schools."

You can listen to the podcast in-browser here: http://www.americathebilingual.com/in-case-you-thought-latin-was-dead/

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(Photo: "Audio Bokeh" by Alan Levine, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Tue, 05/08/2018 - 2:06pm by Erik Shell.

This is a reminder for upcoming deadlines for SCS Awards and Prizes. Follow the linked URLs for more information on the nomination materials and the prizes themselves.

Excellence in the Teaching of Classics at the College Level: June 1, 2018

SCS Outreach Prize: September 14, 2018

Excellence in Teaching at the Precollegiate Level: October 2, 2018

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(Photo: "library" by Viva Vivanista, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Mon, 05/07/2018 - 12:31pm by Erik Shell.
Composite RGB image of manuscript E3, Escorialensis 291 (Υ.i.1): overview of folio 32 recto Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

The Homer Multitext (HMT) has something in common with the poetry it documents: They are both monumental and impressive works whose gradual evolution over many years by many hands has left traces of its past; it exists in several forms that present the same information in slightly different ways, and its development through changing technologies has left occasional redundancies. Like the Iliad, it lives up to its title, but perhaps not in the way one expects. And like its poetic source text, it richly rewards those who plumb its depths.

View full article. | Posted in on Sun, 05/06/2018 - 1:02pm by Bill Beck.

The Classical Association of the Middle West and South recently put out a call for action concerning the proposed discontinuation of the Classics program at the University of Montana.

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Fri, 05/04/2018 - 10:00am by Erik Shell.
Portrait of an elderly Roman matron (40-20 BCE, Image via the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC, CC0 License).

I am a professional hairdresser with a BA degree in Drama. My only other significant job experience was a brief career in Academic Computer Database Administration in the 1980s, managing the Dartmouth Dante Project. I have no formal training in Archaeology or Classics, except for my dismal performance in high school Latin — but somehow this didn’t prevent me from becoming the authority on technical recreation of ancient Roman hairstyles.

I am a textbook case of doing things backwards: my topic found me. A chance encounter with a statue of Julia Domna at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore where I live, set me on the path of scholarship. The Walters had set this portrait out in the middle of the room where I could see the back of her head. At first I saw just a pretty updo I could sell to brides. But I failed completely when I tried to recreate it using modern, U-shaped wire hairpins. As I searched for information about how these styles were constructed, I found my professional hairdressing expertise at odds with canonical explanations of ancient Roman hairstyles—they all agreed that they were impossible without wigs and false hair.

View full article. | Posted in on Wed, 05/02/2018 - 4:26pm by Janet Stephens.

The deadline for members to volunteer for SCS committees and leadership positions is today, May 2nd.

These positions include many current SCS committees including the curriculum and preparation for a variety of teaching, research, and other careers. Descriptions of various positions and offices can be found here.

To volunteer, you can fill out the form linked on the Members Only page of our website. You must log in to the site to access this page. Appointed committee members will begin their terms in 2019.  Most elected offices will begin in 2020. 

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

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 05/02/2018 - 9:55am by Erik Shell.

Ἀρχή and origo: The Power of Origins

(Newcastle University, 2-4 May, 2019)

Origins have a particular power. Arguments referring back to the first beginnings and relating them to the present tend to be especially attractive. When we’re in a new place or confronted with new phenomena, we have a natural urge to learn about their origins. Stories of this kind – the so-called aitia – can convey a sense of education, of venerable antiquity, of continuity, of religious awe, or they can just be entertaining. In any case, they are as prominent nowadays as they were in antiquity.  

In this interdisciplinary conference we want to shed light on the fascination with origins from different perspectives: how is the power of origins employed in historiography, in literature ancient and modern, in art, in religious contexts, in philosophy, or in political debate? We are interested in exploring a wide range of case studies, in order to reflect on our overarching question: what is it that holds the different forms of aitia together? How can we understand this phenomenon in general terms? What is it that makes the origin such a fascinating and powerful form of discourse? 

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Mon, 04/30/2018 - 2:33pm by Erik Shell.

The Classics Graduate Forum at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is seeking papers for a graduate colloquium entitled “Constructing Identity in the Ancient World.” The colloquium will take place on October 26-27, 2018 and will feature a keynote address by Shadi Bartsch-Zimmer (University of Chicago). Submissions from all disciplines and approaches are encouraged, and we invite you to pass the attached Call for Papers along to all graduate students and departments that may be interested.

Abstract submissions are due June 1, 2018 and should be submitted to uwclassics.colloquium@gmail.com (see the CfP for guidelines). Any questions can be directed to the same email address or to amy.hendricks@wisc.edu.

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View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Mon, 04/30/2018 - 12:27pm by Erik Shell.
3rd c. CE Palmyrene Funerary Inscription and Bust from the Princeton Museum of Art (Photo by Sarah E. Bond).

How can digital humanities projects within the field of Classics preserve and allow public access to endangered materials? The Wisconsin Palmyrene Aramaic Inscription Project (WPAIP) is already addressing theses question head-on. WPAIP is a digital humanities project housed at the Digital Collections of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and established by Jeremy M. Hutton. Similar to the Palmyra Portrait Project of Aarhus University in Denmark, which works to collate and digitize Palmyrene portraiture, the primary goal of WPAIP is to collate and digitize Palmyrene Aramaic inscriptions. This allows researchers to then analyze the language of Palmyrene Aramaic, the development and variations of its script, and other features.

Though these inscriptions are usually from the ancient city of Palmyra, they can also be found throughout the ancient Roman world, including Roman Britain and in the city of Rome itself. In fact, some feature bilingual and trilingual inscriptions with Latin and Greek texts that range from funerary inscriptions to dedicatory altars.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 04/27/2018 - 7:37am by Catherine Bonesho.

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