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Call for Contributions in Edited Volume: "Ancient Pasts for Modern Audiences: Public Scholarship and the Mediterranean World"

The editors are seeking 2-3 additional chapter-length contributions (6000 words max. including notes and bibliography) for the volume “Ancient Pasts for Modern Audiences: Public Scholarship and the Mediterranean World”, currently under contract with Routledge. This volume is the result of a multi-disciplinary colloquium held in Vancouver in March 2023, called “Presenting the Past: Responsible Engagement with Ancient Mediterranean History” ( Specifically, the editors are seeking contributions related to the following topics, which are currently missing from the volume: decolonization and pedagogy; indigenizing the “Classics” curriculum; people-centred museum narratives and/or community-oriented museum programs. Submissions from graduate students, contingent faculty, independent researchers, museum staff, and early-career scholars are especially welcome, as are contributions from individuals working outside of North America.

Please send your expressions of interest in the form of a short abstract (~250 words) to and by September 1st 2023. Decisions will be made shortly thereafter, and chapter drafts will be due by mid-October. The volume is already under contract, which is the reason for the tight timeline. Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have about the volume.

Description of the Volume

A common critique of the study of ancient history is that it is “institutional and exclusionary; still the stuff of galleries, museums and UNESCO World Heritage sites; of prized images, objects and structures, rather than of living humanity” (Wengrow 2018). On one hand, this critique speaks to multiple peoples and experiences in the past that are excluded, overshadowed by prized objects and monuments. On the other hand, it also speaks to people in the modern world who are excluded from institutions and discourses surrounding human history. To address the latter, the spirit of public scholarship aims at breaking down barriers between the academy and the broader public to maximize inclusion, diversity, and other social benefits (Mitchell 2008). But the field of ancient Mediterranean history and traditional academic disciplines (Classics, Egyptology, Near Eastern Studies, Classical Archaeology, etc.) remain deeply entangled with racist and exclusionary agendas which have impacted how scholars communicate knowledge on this past (Rankine 2019). In an age where social media and digital technology have broken down barriers between the academy and the public to a greater degree than ever before, how can we as educators inside and outside the academy more effectively participate in public discourse about the ancient Mediterranean? How do we engage in responsible scholarship that is more inclusive of past diversity and modern audiences? This volume seeks to address these questions by bringing together specialists from a broad demographic and professional range - academics, museum curators, students, content creators, and media personalities - to discuss the challenges and best practices for public scholarship on the history, archaeology, and cultures of the ancient Mediterranean and surrounding geographical regions, broadly construed. Together, the contributors address issues of cultural heritage, pedagogy, and public scholarship and how we can responsibly engage and communicate with academic and non-academic audiences across various learning environments, including the classroom, museums and social media. The chapters also address questions of positionality, voice, and representation in knowledge production, the ethical treatment of cultural heritage, and accessibility and inclusivity in public resources. The proposed participants for this volume are integral to such conversations, since they come from diverse backgrounds—many from groups traditionally working outside of the academy—and range from students to senior working professionals. This volume will integrate, organize, and share their experiences and ideas for producing responsible public scholarship on the ancient Mediterranean in the new digital and public realities of the twenty-first century.

Ancient Pasts for Modern Audiences promotes the creation of inclusive methods of knowledge mobilization and communication in public spheres across three main areas: cultural heritage, pedagogy, and public-facing scholarship. These interrelated areas require close conversation and collaboration among practitioners across the social sciences and humanities, both in and beyond academic institutions, to enact responsible change. These areas in particular have been directly affected by Eurocentric structures that have claimed ownership of ancient Mediterranean cultural heritage and have dictated how it was taught in schools and communicated to a broader public. In order to best address these issues, the volume is divided into three sections: Museums and Cultural Heritage, Pedagogy, and Public-Facing Scholarship, each addressing the most pressing challenges faced within these distinct fields, and offering ways in which we can overcome the exclusionary narratives that plague our respective fields.

Ultimately, Ancient Pasts for Modern Audiences aims to produce and support diverse and inclusive public scholarship. Specifically, the articles in this volume seek to: push research contributions beyond the traditional academic boundaries; produce a series of best practices translatable across numerous disciplines that address the exclusionary pasts of Mediterranean history; and communicate these practices and resources to educators and scholars within and beyond Ancient Mediterranean Studies through an open-access platform.

Call for Papers