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


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:

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


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


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Congratulations to Michele Valerie Ronnick and Ruth Scodel, who were both awarded Lifetime Achievement Awards by Eta Sigma Phi this Fall. Read more about the awardees and their achievements in Nuntius, Eta Sigma Phi's publication.  


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

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Thu, 12/14/2017 - 3:11pm by .
NEH Logo

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.

  • Philip Sapirstein (University of Nebraska, Lincoln): "The Ancient Greek Temple of Hera at Olympia: A Digital Architectural History"
  • Ryan Horne (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill): "Understanding Ancient Economic and Social Networks Based on Evidence from Aeolian Coins" 
  • Etienne Helmer (University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras): "Ancient Greek Philosophers on Economics"
  • Michele Lowrie (University of Chicago) "The Concept of Security in Ancient Roman Literature and Politics"
  • Craig Williams (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) "Orpheus Crosses the Atlantic: Native American Knowledge of Ancient Greece and Rome"
  • Susan Collins (University of Notre Dame) "Constituting the Ancient City: The Political Regime and Classical Sparta" 


(Photo: "Logo of the United States National Endowment for the Humanities" by National Endowment for the Humanities, public domain, edited to fit thumbnail template)

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Thu, 12/14/2017 - 2:56pm by .

Ancient Greek and Roman Painting and the Digital Humanities

6th-8th August, 2018 at Tufts University

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Thu, 12/14/2017 - 2:14pm by .

This article was originally published on the Amphora blog on January 6, 2016.

If you’re new to academic conferences, or to the joint annual meeting of the SCS/AIA, you may be thinking that the Exhibit Hall is mostly for buying books. And if you’re at the start of your career and/or on a modest budget, you may think that there’s nothing for you in the Exhibit Hall as a result.  Au contraire!  Here’s a short list of things you can do there—completely aside from buying books—that can be beneficial to your career, fun, interesting, worthwhile, and generally good things to do. The Exhibit Hall is generally open about nine hours a day for the two full days of the conference, plus a half day on either side, so there’s plenty of time to try these in small bits.  As a press exhibitor myself (full disclosure) I spend many hours in the hall, so I have a chance to see the variety of exhibitors who transport their materials or goods or information to the conference, often from international origins, in hopes they’ll have an opportunity to talk with you.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 12/11/2017 - 12:00am by Ellen Bauerle.

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:

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Thu, 12/07/2017 - 1:21pm by .

The University of Texas at Austin

Joint Classics Philosophy Graduate Program in Ancient Philosophy

Gregory Vlastos Archive: Research Possibilities 2017-2018

The large collection of papers from the Nachlass of Gregory Vlastos (1907-1991) is available for study at The University of Texas at Austin, in its Harry Ransom Center—one of the world's major and renowned repositories of manuscripts, rare books, and other materials in the fine arts and the humanities. The Vlastos Archive comprises published and unpublished studies, lecture notes for classes, research notes, books and offprints with annotations, and extensive files of correspondence. Under the auspices of the Joint Classics-Philosophy Graduate Program in Ancient Philosophy at UT Austin, a fund has been established for awards for travel expenses to scholars who are interested in conducting research at the Vlastos Archive.  Applications for these awards may be submitted at any time, provided the yearly allowance of funds has not been exhausted. Interested scholars should contact the Director of the Joint Program, Professor Matthew L. Evans, The University of Texas at Austin, Department of Philosophy, 2210 Speedway, Mail Code C3500, Austin, TX 78712, or via e-mail,

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Thu, 12/07/2017 - 1:09pm by .
The Philosophy Department at Stanford University invites you to attend a two-day conference on Aristotle's Politics in Stanford, California on March 9-10 in Building 60, Room 109. Please register for the conference at Papers will be pre-circulated once available. 

Pierre Destrée
Associate Research Professor, Department of Philosophy, FNRS/University of Louvain

Terence Irwin
Faculty of Philosophy, Radcliffe Humanities, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Oxford University

Mariska Leunissen
Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, UNC Chapel Hill

Thornton C. Lockwood
Associate Professor of Philosophy, Department of Philosophy and Political Science, Quinnipiac University

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Thu, 12/07/2017 - 12:53pm by .

Early on Saturday morning, the US Senate passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Given that the House passed its version of the tax bill on November 16, the House and Senate will now choose members for a conference committee to reconcile the two versions of the bill. 

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 12/04/2017 - 6:12am by Helen Cullyer.
Marble left hand holding a scroll

Co-authored with Richard J. Tarrant.

Editor’s note: The guidelines under review here, while publicly available for comment, represent a pre-release version.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 12/04/2017 - 12:00am by Donald J. Mastronarde.

Update, December 31, 2017:  Mark Thompson is unable to attend the Rhetoric panel due to unforseen circumstances.  In his place, Professor James Engell, Harvard University, will be speaking.

Dear Attendees:

The 2018 SCS-AIA Meeting in Boston is just a month away! The Program Committee has worked hard to put together a rewarding and stimulating meeting and, as Vice President for Programs, I am particularly pleased by the growing number of panels – some 18 were accepted for the Boston meeting, an increase by three over last year. I want now to call your attention to a few of the exciting events that are planned.

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Tue, 11/28/2017 - 11:31am by Erik Shell.


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