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May 2-4, 2019, College Park, Maryland

DEADLINE EXTENDED until Mon., Feb. 18: Conference on “Teaching Rome at Home"

The Department of Classics at the University of Maryland, College Park, invites proposals from university and K-12 teachers and graduate students for papers and workshops on the ways in which Latin and ancient Roman civilization are now being taught to and connected with a contemporary American audience, with special emphasis on issues of contemporary urgency such as the legacies of gender and social inequality and of slavery.

The "Classics" were etymologically and institutionally synonymous with attending "class" in the United States from the colonial period up until the end of the nineteenth century. Americans studied Roman history and literature in school and thus Rome seemed already to be their “home,” especially since the Romans deposed kings who once ruled them just as revolutionary Americans set out to do with the British King. Over its second century, however, America gradually confronted its idealization of a Roman past and began to explore, in discussions of women's rights, of sexual identity, of multiculturalism, and of the fall of Rome, the ways in which the realities of antiquity might speak to us.

Our conference will assess the ways in which, in the teaching of the Classics in the United States, Rome is and is not now presented as a home to American students, over two centuries since the founding. How is the curriculum in Classics now confronting issues such as slavery, multiculturalism, ethnicity, social inequality, gender and sexuality, as it considers the ways in which America is a new Rome?

The keynote address will be given by Dr. Hunter Rawlings on Thursday afternoon, May 2. On Friday and Saturday we envision a program of both conference papers and pedagogical workshops on how to incorporate issues of contemporary concern into the secondary and post-secondary Classics curriculum, including a workshop on Saturday specifically for teachers of high school Latin. Scholars and teachers at all levels are invited to participate in as much of the conference as they wish.

Abstracts for papers or proposals for workshops, not to exceed 300 words, should be submitted as Word files to by February 18, 2019. Please include your name and the phrase “Abstract Rome at Home” in the subject heading; in the body of the email message, include your full name, affiliation, contact information, and the title of the presentation. Do not include your name or identifying information in the abstract or proposal but please make sure that the title on the abstract and the title in the cover email are the same.

The conference is part of the NIAF Pellegri Program on Ancient Rome and its Legacy in America, supported by a grant from the National Italian American Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Department of Classics and the College of Arts and Humanities of the University of Maryland, College Park.


(Photo: "Handwritten" by A. Birkan, licensed under CC BY 2.0)