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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Header image: Gold death-mask, known as the ‘mask of Agamemnon’. Mycenae, Grave Circle A, Grave V, 16th cent. BC. National Archaeological Museum of Athens.

The Classics Everywhere initiative, launched by the SCS in 2019, in March 2021 has been renamed and reimagined as the Ancient Worlds, Modern Communities initiative. Ancient Worlds, Modern Communities supports projects that seek to engage broader publics—individuals, groups, and communities—in critical discussion of and creative expression related to the ancient Mediterranean, the global reception of Greek and Roman culture, and the history of teaching and scholarship in the field of classical studies. As part of this initiative, the SCS has funded 98 projects ranging from school programming to reading groups, prison programs, public talks and conferences, digital projects, and collaborations with artists in theater, opera, music, dance, and the visual arts. Awardees are selected by the SCS Committee on Classics in the Community.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 03/26/2021 - 10:01am by .

Last week, several members of the SCS Board of Directors participated in a powerful and important solidarity event organized by the Women’s Classical Caucus (WCC) and Asian and Asian American Classical Caucus (AAACC) after the shootings in Atlanta that resulted in the deaths of eight individuals, six of whom were Asian women. After this event, we reached out to AAACC to ask what actions SCS could meaningfully take to support the AAACC community and AAPI communities more broadly. As a result, the SCS Board of Directors has approved donations to the Asian Counseling and Referring Service and Asian Americans Advancing Justice. SCS will also be working with AAACC on data collection in order to understand better the demographics and needs of Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander classicists.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Fri, 03/26/2021 - 8:45am by Helen Cullyer.

Awards and Fellowships: Spring 2021

We congratulate the following award and fellowship winners for 2021:

Frank M. Snowden Scholarships

  • Cayle Diefenbach
  • Maia Lee-Chin
  • Niles Marthone
  • Luis Rodriguez Perez
  • Coffin Fellowship
  • Robert Amstutz

Pearson Fellowship

  • Uwade Akhere

TLL Fellowship

  • Adam Trettel

Ancient Worlds, Modern Communities Awards (formerly Classics Everywhere)

  • New Atlantis: A Journey into the Classicism of W.E.B. Du Bois – Pennsylvania

                Divya Nair

  • Classics as Pedagogical Tool: An Interactive/Multimedia E-Book – online

                Marcus Bell and Nancy Rabinowitz

  • A Musical Adaptation of The Bacchae – online

                J. Landon Marcus

  • All BAME Medea: A Short Film – U.K.

                Shivaike Shah

  • The Ozymandias Project: A New Podcast – Illinois, online

                Lexie Henning

  • The Laodamiad at the Center for Hellenic Studies – Washington, DC, online

                Chas LiBretto

  • Society for Ancient Medicine Blog Series: “The Best Doctor is also a Historian” – online

                Colin Webster

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Tue, 03/23/2021 - 11:26am by Erik Shell.

The Inaugural SAIG/GSC Dissertation Lecture

The AIA’s Student Affairs Interest Group (SAIG) and SCS’s Graduate Student Committee (GSC) are pleased to announce the 2021 SAIG/GSC Dissertation Lecture! This annual talk is a collaborative effort intended to highlight the work of a senior doctoral candidate whose research features interdisciplinary work between the fields of archaeology and classical philology, and to support the student networks between these related fields.

As the first SAIG/GSC Dissertation Lecturer, Elizabeth Heintges, doctoral candidate at Columbia University, will present “Forgetting Sextus Pompey: the bellum Siculum and Vergil’s Aeneid,” integrating both literary and material evidence into an analysis of two major moments in Roman Republican history. Please see the poster and abstract below for more details.

The lecture will be held virtually on Thursday, April 22, 2021 at 5:00 pm EST.
Please register here in advance of this Zoom webinar.
Any questions? Please don’t hesitate to reach out via email (studentaffairsaia@gmail.com).

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Tue, 03/23/2021 - 10:50am by Erik Shell.

The past few weeks, and indeed the past few months and the past year, have been incredibly difficult in so many ways. The pandemic, the increasingly uncertain financial state of higher education and the humanities in particular, and the persistence of hate and racism are resulting in serious practical and emotional impacts. As SCS strives to address all these challenges and to serve its members, we are introducing a new experimental program of "office hours" that will provide members with short confidential Zoom appointments with the Executive Director to air concerns and make requests. At the current time, appointments are limited to members who are students, contingent faculty, and anyone with precarious or no employment. You can find the link to schedule an appointment in the body of the March email newsletter and on our Members Only page accessible via our Membership menu (login is required to access that page).

View full article. | Posted in Executive Director Letters on Mon, 03/22/2021 - 11:38am by Helen Cullyer.
Pleiades front page.

Pleiades is an online database of spatial information modeled on the long tradition of gazetteers. It is most useful to people interested in Greek and Roman material but also includes a growing amount of information concerning other ancient cultures.

The user interface is simple and intuitive. First, type the name of a place into the search bar. Then, if Pleiades recognizes the name, it provides a selection of peer-reviewed information about that place: for example, alternate names, relevant citations, and chronological periods during which the place was active.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 03/12/2021 - 10:01am by .

A message from the National Humanities Alliance:

"Advocates from all 50 states and Washington D.C. will be meeting virtually with their Members of Congress and congressional staff to discuss federal funding for the humanities. They will be thanking Members of Congress for the funding in the American Rescue Plan and pushing for increased funding for a wide range of humanities programs in FY 2022!

Help bolster their efforts by writing to your Members of Congress today!

We’ve won incremental increases for the NEH in each of the past 6 years, but given the needs of the humanities community and the crucial role they have to play in the current moment, we are urging a far more robust increase this year. Take action for the NEH!

View full article. | Posted in General Announcements on Wed, 03/10/2021 - 9:14am by Helen Cullyer.
Logo of the Women's Classical Caucus

In Part 3 of our guest series for the SCS Blog, the Women’s Classical Caucus (WCC) invites you to celebrate the winner of its 2020-21 Public Scholarship Award: Peopling the Past, a grassroots group of Canadian archaeologists and art historians of the ancient Mediterranean who have created resources accessible to audiences of all ages.

View full article. | Posted in on Tue, 03/09/2021 - 2:08pm by Caroline Cheung.

Gorgias/Gorgias

The Sicilian Orator and the Platonic Dialogue

Exedra Mediterranean Center

Syracuse, Sicily, 23-26 November, 2021

with a pre-conference seminar on selections of his writings in Greek (November 22-23) and an excursion to the archaeological site and museum of Leontini, November 27.

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Tue, 03/09/2021 - 1:49pm by Erik Shell.

Sex, Rage, & Change:Feminist Adaptation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses

a public conversation with Nina MacLaughlin, Paisley Rekdal, and Stephanie McCarter

4 p.m. CST Thursday, April 8, 2021

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Tue, 03/09/2021 - 1:39pm by Erik Shell.

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