CFP: Identity in Vergil

Identity in Vergil: Ancient Representations, Global Receptions

Symposium Cumanum 2021

June 23-26, Villa Vergiliana, Cuma

Co-Directors: Tedd A. Wimperis (Elon University) and David J. Wright (Fordham University)

Vergil’s poetry has long offered fertile ground for scholars engaging questions of race, ethnicity, and national identity, owing especially to the momentous social changes to which his works respond (Syed 2005; Reed 2007; Fletcher 2014; Giusti 2018; Barchiesi forthcoming). The complexities of identity reflected in his corpus have afforded rich insights into the poems themselves and the era’s political milieu; beyond their Roman context, across the centuries his poetry has been co-opted in both racist and nationalist rhetoric, and, at the same time, inspired dynamic multicultural receptions among its many audiences, from Enoch Powell’s “Rivers of Blood” speech to Gwendolyn Brooks’ The Anniad (e.g. Thomas 2001; Laird 2010; Ronnick 2010; Torlone 2014; Pogorzelski 2016).

This year’s theme invites diverse approaches to the ways in which Vergil’s poetry represents, constructs, critiques, or sustains collective identities, in the ancient Mediterranean and well beyond. It also aims to stimulate new connections between Vergilian study and wider interest in identity and multicultural exchange among classicists, as well as contemporary discourse on racism, colonialism, immigration, and nationalism. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • representations and expressions of identity among the poems’ characters or audiences

  • global receptions of Vergil from the perspective of ethnic, regional, or national identity

  • multiculturalism, cultural negotiation, and inclusivity inside and outside the poems

  • identity in Roman ideology and imperialism

  • paradigms of gender, sexuality, and geography in constructing identity

  • forms of prejudice, stereotyping, or hate speech within the poems or inspired by them

  • the loss or reinvention of identity through migration or exile

  • areas of reception, contextualization, and contrast between Vergil and other authors or media, including material culture

  • political appropriations of Vergil, including by identitarian and fascist ideologies

  • inclusive approaches to Vergilian scholarship and pedagogy

  • comparative studies of Vergil’s poetry to explore modern identities and racial justice movements

Confirmed Speakers:

Samuel Agbamu (Royal Holloway), Maurizio Bettini (University of Siena), Filippo Carlà-Uhink (Potsdam University), Anna Maria Cimino (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa), Hardeep Dhindsa (King’s College London), K.F.B. Fletcher (Louisiana State University), Valentina Follo (American Academy in Rome), Elena Giusti (University of Warwick), Andrew Laird (Brown University), Jackie Murray (University of Kentucky), Nandini Pandey (University of Wisconsin), Michele Ronnick (Wayne State University), Caroline Stark (Howard University), Richard Thomas (Harvard University), Zara Torlone (Miami University), Adriana Vazquez (UCLA)

Please send abstracts of roughly 300 words to identityinvergil@gmail.com by December 1, 2020. Papers will be 20 minutes long, with time for discussion after each. We hope to gather an inclusive group of speakers from multiple backgrounds and academic ranks, and especially encourage submissions from scholars belonging to communities underrepresented in the field.

Participants arrive on June 22; we are planning to hold the conference at the Villa Vergiliana, and enjoy visits to Vergilian sites alongside presentations and discussion. That said, in light of the uncertainties COVID-19 continues to present, including financial pressures in the academy that might make travel abroad (for a typically self-funded conference with a registration fee) less accessible for some participants, we are leaving open the option for a hybrid or virtual symposium, to be determined as events proceed; we are also pursuing sources of financial assistance for qualifying speakers. Whatever form it will ultimately take, we look forward to a vibrant and engaging symposium in June 2021.

You are welcome to contact the organizers with any questions about the symposium, including the status of remote participation options or possible funding aid:

Tedd Wimperis (twimperis@elon.edu); David Wright (dwright31@fordham.edu)

Works Cited

Barchiesi, A. Forthcoming. The War for Italia: Conflict and Collective Memory in Vergil’s Aeneid. Berkeley.

Fletcher 2014. Finding Italy: Travel, Nation and Colonization in Vergil’s Aeneid. Ann Arbor.

Giusti, E. 2018. Carthage in Virgil’s Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus. Cambridge.

Laird, A. 2010. “The Aeneid from the Aztecs to the Dark Virgin: Vergil, Native Tradition, and Latin Poetry in Colonial Mexico from Sahagún's Memoriales (1563) to Villerías' Guadalupe (1724).” In A Companion to Vergil’s Aeneid and Its Tradition, ed. Farrell and Putnam. Malden: 217-33.

Pogorzelski, R. J. 2016. Virgil and Joyce: Nationalism and Imperialism in the Aeneid and Ulysses. Madison.

Reed, J. D. 2007. Virgil’s Gaze: Nation and Poetry in the Aeneid. Princeton.

Ronnick, M. V. 2010. “Vergil in the Black American Experience.” In A Companion to Vergil’s Aeneid and Its Tradition, ed. Farrell and Putnam. Malden: 376-90.

Syed, Y. 2005. Vergil’s Aeneid and the Roman Self. Ann Arbor.

Thomas, R. F. 2001. Virgil and the Augustan Reception. Cambridge.

Torlone, Z. M. 2014. Vergil in Russia: National Identity and Classical Reception. Oxford.

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In 2022 the Society for Classical Studies (SCS) will again award the David D. and Rosemary H. Coffin Fellowship for study and travel in classical lands.

The Fellowship is intended to recognize secondary-school teachers of Greek or Latin who are as dedicated to their students as the Coffins themselves by giving them the opportunity to enrich their teaching and their lives through direct acquaintance with the classical world.  It will support study in classical lands (not limited to Greece and Italy); the recipient may use it to attend an educational program in (e.g. American Academy, American School) or to undertake an individual plan of study or research. It may be used either for summer study or during a sabbatical leave, and it may be used to supplement other awards or prizes.

You can read more about this fellowship here: Coffin Fellowship Flyer or for full details and instructions please visit the David D. and Rosemary H. Coffin Fellowship page. Materials must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) on Thursday, February 17, 2022.

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View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Thu, 01/27/2022 - 8:16am by Helen Cullyer.

Digital Ancient Rome

An NEH Summer Seminar for K-12 educators

Digital Ancient Rome is an NEH Summer Seminar for K-12 educators that will give teachers an opportunity to learn about important examples of Roman art, architecture, and archaeology through a broad range of digital resources. One of the most exciting things for students who study ancient Rome is that so many physical aspects of its civilization survive to this day. It is not just an ancient history that we know through texts. The surviving material remains—small artifacts, sculpture, paintings, mosaics, public monuments, neighborhoods, and whole cities—tell a variety of stories about the ancient world, and they bring history to life in a way that students find compelling.  

Dates: July 18-29, 2022

Place: Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minnesota

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Wed, 01/26/2022 - 8:40pm by Helen Cullyer.

Congratulations to our 2021 award winners again! You can view the full award citations by clicking on the links below:

Deborah Beck

Richard Ellis

Wilfred Major

Brett Rogers 

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Tue, 01/25/2022 - 2:11pm by Helen Cullyer.

Congratulations again to our 2021 winners! You can read the full award citations for each prize winner by clicking on the names below:

Jessie Craft

Mathew Olkovikas

Margaret Somerville


View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Tue, 01/25/2022 - 1:48pm by Helen Cullyer.

CFS: Ancient Leadership Series for SAGE Business Cases

Since 2018, SAGE Business Cases (SBC) has been inviting authors to contribute to its Ancient Leadership series. This year’s series will explore ideas and examples of “Followership” through history, mythology, philosophy, and material culture.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Mon, 01/24/2022 - 6:23pm by Helen Cullyer.
CAC logo in French and English

The Classical Association of Canada has extended its call for papers for its annual conference until February 7, 2022.

You can read more about the conference at this link: https://www.uwo.ca/classics/news/conferences/cac2022.html

The full CFP can be downloaded here: Call for Papers

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Mon, 01/24/2022 - 6:07pm by Helen Cullyer.
The poster for RU an Antígone? A black background with a Parthenon marble cast in the center, shaped like a headless male body reclining on its left side, propped up on its left arm, which is covered in drapery. The text reads: RU an Antigone?

RU an Antígone?, a play based on Sara Uribe’s Antígona González, was performed by Rockford University students on November 12, 2021. The performers were part of a fall semester course, CLAS 262, “Staging Politics in Antiquity and Today.” Students from different fields — including Nursing, Biochemistry, Education, Languages, and Political Science — took the stage to become Mexican Antigones and talk about missing people, violence, and disappearances in Latin America today.

On stage for the performance were two bodies, transported from the basement of the same building where the performance took place, Rockford University’s Scarborough Hall. A male and a female body. Two bodies “made of stone.” Two plaster casts of two of the so-called “Elgin marbles.” These castings came from Europe to the Art Institute of Chicago in the 19th century and, from there, to Rockford University in 1946. Those mythological images that have come from Europe to the Americas are part of our heritage.

Similarly, the story of Antigone has traveled from ancient Thebes to Mexico to prompt reflection and discussion about the thousands of disappearances in Latin America during the last decades. The Greek Antigone could bury her brother’s corpse, but this Mexican Antígona is still searching among the dead for the corpse of her brother.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 01/24/2022 - 10:16am by Yoandy Cabrera Ortega.
An illustration of an infographic titled "How UVM Admin Manufactured the Arts & Sciences Budget Crisis"

Happy news and an update on affairs at UVM.

A generous gift from Emeritus Professor Z. Philip Ambrose will let us maintain our MA program, and with it most of our undergraduate language curriculum, for the next five years at least. Please help us spread the word and encourage eligible students to apply for one of two very substantial fellowships that we can now offer each year. Our small program is familial yet rigorous, with a strong record of graduates securing doctoral fellowships as well as teaching positions in public and private schools. Our research collection is superb, from generations of active curation and endowed library funds. Burlington is also a fantastic place to pass two years. Information about our program, and a link to the application portal, are available here. Further questions may be directed to Dr. Jacques Bailly, DGS.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 01/21/2022 - 11:28am by .

2023 NumIG CFP

Call for Papers

“Ancient Coins and Portraiture”

Organized by the Numismatics Interest Group of the Archaeological Institute of America

For the Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America

Jan. 5-8, 2023, New Orleans, LA

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Tue, 01/18/2022 - 4:18pm by Helen Cullyer.
The logo for Asterion. A wide oval with a black background filled with stars. In the middle is a red circle with a Greek meander pattern, and inside the circle text reads "Asterion: Neurodiverse Classics."

As an autistic classicist, one of the things I’ve always struggled with is social interaction. In class, I teach students about Bourdieu and habitus and cultural scripts, while all the time feeling that, whatever the cultural script of our time is, mine got lost in the mail. I’ve spent my life pretending (without much success) to understand people and the codes that underpin their actions. The easiest solution for me has always been to hide because, when I’m on my own, I’m not uncomfortable, awkward, or afraid.

But hiding sends the wrong message and models the wrong behavior, as I realized when my son was diagnosed with autism, too. How can you advise a child to pretend to be like everyone else, because difference makes them a target? How can you warn them that their honesty will make them an outcast, their sensitivities will make them vulnerable, and their hyperempathy will make them a victim? How can you commit to inclusion in your professional life while accepting exclusion in your personal life?

You can’t — or, at least, I couldn’t.

View full article. | Posted in on Tue, 01/18/2022 - 9:38am by .

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