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2025 Society for Classical Studies Annual Meeting in PHILADELPHIA

Call for Papers

Panel Title: “Dance and Myth: The Reception of the Greeks by Martha Graham”

Organized by Ronnie Ancona, Hunter College and CUNY Graduate Center; and
Nina Papathanasopoulou, College Year in Athens and Society for Classical Studies

We invite abstracts for a panel at the 156th Annual Meeting of the Society for Classical Studies in Philadelphia in January 2025 that address the prompt below:

Martha Graham was one of the most significant choreographers and dancers of the twentieth century. Several of her most iconic pieces are based on Greek myth. This panel will explore Graham’s reception of Greek myth, thus contributing to classical reception studies and dance studies. We seek papers that address any aspect of the Greek myth-based dances of Graham including, but not limited to, any of the following.

What role does gender play in the choreography and performance of these dances?

What is the relationship between Greek tragedy and Graham’s Greek myth-based dances?

What role do sets, props, and costumes play in the dances?

How do Graham’s Greek myth-based dances reflect on political and societal issues?

Are the dances feminist interpretations of Greek myth?

How is the chorus reimagined in these dances?

How has the Martha Graham Dance Company revived and/or changed these dances over time?

How are these dances received by a twenty-first century audience?

How do the temporal and non-verbal features of dance contribute to Graham’s reception of Greek myth?

What influences, whether from the dance world or beyond, did Graham have for the creation of these dances?

How were these dances received outside of the United States?

The company Graham founded in 1926 is celebrating its upcoming one hundredth anniversary through a variety of events over a three-year period. We think this is a particularly appropriate time to recognize Graham’s important role in audience encounters with Greek myth in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Please submit abstracts (maximum 500 words, excluding bibliography) as a Word document to BOTH panel organizers at and They should conform to the instructions for the format of individual abstracts that appear in the SCS Guidelines for Authors of Abstracts. The deadline for submission of abstracts is Friday, February 2, 2024.

Please put “Martha Graham panel at SCS 2025” in the subject line of your email submission. Include the title of your paper, your name, and your institutional affiliation (or status as an independent scholar) in the email message only, but make sure that your name (and any other identifying information) does not appear in the abstract itself or in the name of the file. If you refer to your own scholarship in your abstract, cite it in the third person, as you would any other source.

You MUST be a member of SCS to be part of our panel submission and to present at the meeting. However, a waiver of the membership requirement may be requested from the Program Committee by the organizers if the participant in question is a scholar in a field not ordinarily associated with classical studies or is a resident of a country outside North America and only a temporary visitor to North America. Those whose abstracts we choose will have to join SCS if they aren’t already members at the time of acceptance.

If you have any questions, please email BOTH organizers at:

Image Caption: Martha Graham as Medea in Cave of the Heart. Set by Isamu Noguchi. Courtesy of Martha Graham Resources.

Martha Graham as Medea in Cave of the Heart