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Seventh Interdisciplinary Symposium on the Heritage of Western Greece

Paideia and Performance”

the educational function of theatrical, rhetorical, athletic, and musical performance with a pre-conference seminar on Aeschylus and a theater-themed post-conference excursion

Exedra Mediterranean Center

Syracuse, Sicily, May 29 – June 4, 2022

Ancient Greek culture was marked by a love for cultural performances—theatrical, rhetorical, athletic, and musical—which always found their audience and exerted educational influence on them. The works of thinkers living in different periods of ancient history allow us to assume that such performances functioned as a school for adults and youth, where the audience was taught the correct understanding of events through the demonstration of approved patterns of thinking and behavior. However, those who study paideia as culture often ignore its educational aspect, and those who study education sometimes ignore such cultural performances. Our goal is to bring various disciplines together to discover how cultural performance functioned as education, especially in Western Greece—the coastal areas of Southern Italy and Sicily settled by Hellenes in the 8th and 7th centuries BCE.

Our conference takes place at the Exedra Center in Syracuse, Sicily—the cultural center of Western Greece known by Epicharmus, Empedocles, Plato, Aeschylus, Sappho, Theocritus, Archimedes, Cicero and many others. It includes guided tours of local archaeological and cultural sites, communal meals, and the possibility to witness live performances in the ancient Greek theater by the National Institute for Ancient Drama. An optional pre-conference seminar on Aeschylus’ work in Greek, and a post-conference tour to important theatrical sites is also planned.

The official languages of the conference are English, Italian, and Greek – though the vast majority of participants have historically been Anglophone. Proposals for individual paper presentations and panel discussions related to any aspect of the cultural heritage of Western Greece are welcome. This year, we are especially interested in proposals discussing paideia and performance. Abstracts for papers should be 150-300 words in length and prepared for blind review in .docx or .rtf format (not .pdf). Proposals for panel discussions should include contact information for all participants. Presentation times range from 20 minutes for individual papers to 90 minutes for panel discussions. Abstracts received by November 15, 2021 will be considered for early acceptance. Final deadline for abstracts is February 15, 2022. Selected proceedings will be published in our series, The Heritage of Western Greece, which is indexed in JSTOR.

Please send abstracts and direct questions to Heather L. Reid at

Details on the pre-conference symposium (June 15-16), as well as the Post-conference tour will be posted in due course on We look forward to welcoming you and offering our hospitality in beautiful Syracuse, the heart of Western Greece.