Call for Papers:
Wilderness, Frontiers, and New Worlds in Antiquity
Biennial Classics Graduate Student Conference
New York University
November 4, 2017
Keynote: Prof. Andrew Laird (Brown University)
Unfamiliar, unexplored, and unsettled places captivated the ancient imagination and were of pressing importance not only to poets and prose writers of every genre, but also to merchants, militaries, and governing bodies enticed by the prospects of new sites for trading, settling, and conquering. There has been a swell of critical interest recently in the topics of borders and boundaries in the ancient world, as part of the increased scholarly attention to space over the past few decades. Our conference is interested in spaces beyond borders, and we aim to explore ancient encounters with wilderness, frontiers, and unknown lands.
Possible topics include:
• Visual representations of wilderness and extreme environments
• Representations in ancient texts of the landscape, weather, and human adaptation in unexplored lands
• Narrations and theorizations of journeys undersea, into the sky, or below the earth
• New methodological approaches to unknowns in the material culture of ancient space (e.g., topographic explorations and GIS in archaeological sites)
• Religious conceptions of removed sanctified spaces (e.g., sacred groves, hermitages and similar spaces of asceticism)
• Legal-administrative encounters with unsettled land (e.g., the law and practice of land surveying, veteran settlement, and colonization)
• Unexplored or mythical places in ancient cartography (e.g., Thule or Hyperborea) and in modern maps of ancient uncharted places
• Receptions of classical texts in the Age of Exploration and in the New World of the early Americas
We welcome papers from critical perspectives old and new, including those informed by ecocritical, postcolonial, phenomenological, etc. theories, and invite submissions from graduate students specializing in Greco-Roman classics and related subfields and disciplines (history, religious studies, philosophy, art history, archaeology, Near Eastern studies, Jewish studies).
Anonymous abstracts of 300 words or fewer, along with an optional bibliography, should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org in .pdf format no later than August 31, 2017. Notifications of acceptance will be sent in the first half of September. Please include your name, affiliation, and the title of your abstract in the body of your email. Papers should be no longer than 20 minutes. Questions about the conference should be addressed to Del Maticic and Rebecca Sausville at the same email address.