CFP: World Upside-Down - Columbia University Graduate Conference

The World Upside-Down: Absurdities, Inversions, and Alternate Realities

Columbia University Ancient Mediterranean Graduate Student Conference
November 1-2, 2019. Columbia University in the City of New York, USA.                           

Keynote Speaker:  Patrick R. Crowley (University of Chicago)

In an era of ‘fake news’ and ‘alternative facts’ it can seem like no form of media should be entirely trusted. While these issues are a modern problem, exacerbated by the unprecedented rise of social media, evidence from the ancient world produces a similar ‘truthiness’: an upside-down world or alternate reality that is latent, barely below the surface of the present and just beyond the borders of civilization and norms. Unlike utopias, which are placeless or displaced, many of these imagined dystopic or feigned worlds are presented as dangerously close to their contemporaries.

We invite papers from graduate students working across disciplines related to the ancient world––and interdisciplinary approaches are encouraged––for a conference that will explore the relationships between fact and fiction, order and chaos. From representations of alternate realities in ancient drama, painting, and sculpture, to disparate histories and archaeological evidence, we hope to discuss the motivations behind, and effects of, the absurd, inverted, and alternative.

We will consider papers in any field pertaining to the ancient Mediterranean and its surrounding regions, including Egypt, the Near East, Anatolia, and the expanses of the Roman Empire, falling within the period spanning from the Bronze Age to Late Antiquity.

Potential topics could include:

  • Parodies of social norms or myths; visions of dystopia in any media
  • Humorous, didactic, or bleak exaggerations or distortions of reality
  • Intrusion or inclusion of ‘outsiders’/‘others’ or inversions of gender roles
  • Intentional falsehoods, perversions, or omissions of facts, events, truths, etc. (e.g. imperial art and architecture as propaganda; Plutarch’s On the Malice of Herodotus)
  • Reuse, erasures, and/or destructions of media to support ‘alternative facts’
  • Political or philosophical theory concerning the preconditions of civic disorder/chaos
  • Religious or ritual interventions (e.g. curse tablets, incubation/healing cults, oracular questions, the Lydian confession stelai)
  • Ancient reception that serves to either reveal inherent disparities in or alter its source material (e.g. Plutarch’s Lives, Pausanias’ consideration of alternative versions of the same narrative)
  • The power of nonsensical/untrue performative utterances

Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be emailed to cuconference2019@gmail.com no later than May 4th, 2019. In the body of your email, please include your name, institution, contact information, and the title of your abstract. The abstract should be anonymous and sent as an attachment. Papers should be no longer than 20 minutes in length in order to accommodate questions.

For more information visit AncientWorldUpsideDown.com
Connect with us at facebook.com/The-World-Upside-Down
For questions contact CUConference2019@gmail.com

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

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"In a scene out of Monty Python’s Life of Brian, John Cleese’s character asked: “Apart from the sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?” Turns out the plebeians and freemen of ancient Rome had it pretty good, at least compared to today’s “working” class in the United States. A pair of historians recently concluded that the richest 1% of the population in the Roman Empire controlled about 16% of the wealth. Here in America, that deep-pocketed sliver of society owns some 40% of it."

Read more at Marketwatch.

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Thu, 12/22/2011 - 1:58pm by Information Architect.

The Academy Vivarium Novum is offering four full tuition scholarships for high school students of the European Union (16-18 years old) and five full tuition scholarships for University students (18-24 years old) of any part of the world. The scholarships will cover all of the costs of room, board, teaching and didactic materials for courses to be held from January 10, 2011 until June 16, 2012 on the grounds of the Academy’s campus at Rome (Via Corrado Barbagallo, 20).

Application letters must be sent to info@vivariumnovum.it by January 5th in order to receive consideration.

A good knowledge of the fundamental of Latin and Greek is required (students must have covered at least the contents of the first 20 chapters of Ørberg’s Familia Romana and of the first 7 chapters of Balme’s and Lawall’s Athenaze).

The courses will be as follows:

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Mon, 12/19/2011 - 10:18pm by Adam Blistein.

Following is the schedule for the APA Office for the next few weeks.  Our regular hours are 8:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

December 23, 2011                                        Office Open

December 24-26, 2011                                   Office Closed

December 27-29, 2011                                   Office Open (see Note A)

December 30, 2011-January 2, 2012               Office Closed

January 3, 2012                                              Office Open

January 4-8, 2012                                           Office Closed (see Note B)

January 9-13, 2012                                         Office Open (see Note C)

January 14-16, 2012                                       Office Closed

January 17, 2012                                            Normal Office Operations Resume

Note A:  The building where our offices are located at the University of Pennsylvania (220 S. 40th Street) will be locked, and the University will not be delivering mail during this period.  Courier services may be able to make deliveries, but the best ways of communicating with us will be via telephone and e-mail.

Note B:  All staff will be at the annual meeting in Philadelphia

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 12/19/2011 - 3:35pm by Adam Blistein.

October 11, 2011 was a remarkably beautiful afternoon to celebrate a  remarkably beautiful soul at the Community Arts Auditorium at Wayne State University in Detroit. And I was honored to be there to speak, not only on behalf of Wayne State University and the Department of Classical and Modern Languages Literatures and Cultures, but also on behalf of the  American Classical League, the American Philological Association, the Classical Association of the Atlantic States, the Classical Association of the Middle West and South, the Classical Association of New England, the Classical Society of the American Academy in Rome,  the Michigan Classical Conference and the classics honor fraternity, Eta Sigma Phi: each of which asked me to present  their condolences.

View full article. | Posted in In Memoriam on Wed, 12/14/2011 - 8:05pm by Adam Blistein.

A limited number of rooms are still available at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel at the convention rate.  Click here for information about the Hotel.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 12/13/2011 - 8:06pm by Adam Blistein.

The American Philological Association (APA) will present the following awards at the Plenary Session of its 143rd Annual Meeting. 

Charles J. Goodwin Award of Merit (for an outstanding contribution to classical scholarship published by a member of the Association within the preceding three years)

Lawrence Kim, Trinity University, Homer between History and Fiction in Imperial Greek Literature (Cambridge University Press)

Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Classics at the College Level

William C. Stull, Colgate University

Awards for Excellence in Precollegiate Teaching

Anna Andresian, Regis Jesuit High School, Aurora, Colorado

Sherwin Little, Indian Hill Exempted Village School District, Cincinnati, Ohio

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Fri, 12/09/2011 - 3:57pm by Adam Blistein.

The Pennsylvania Classical Association has kindly agreed to offer Pennsylvania Act 48 credits for primary and secondary school teachers attending the APA and AIA annual meetings.  Complete this form during the meeting and submit it (postmarked no later than January 11, 2012) to the address listed at the bottom.  Copies of the form will also be available in the registration area.  If regulations in their states permit it, teachers from outside of Pennsylvania may also be able to use this form to obtain credits.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Thu, 12/08/2011 - 9:42pm by Adam Blistein.

The American Philological Association is pleased to present this special event sponsored by the Gatekeeper to Gateway Campaign for Classics at the upcoming APA Annual Meeting

Thursday, January 5, 2012

9:00 p.m.

Grand Ballroom H (fifth floor), Philadelphia Marriott Hotel

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Thu, 12/08/2011 - 9:12pm by Adam Blistein.

According to U.S. News and World Report, "Med school officials say it's all Greek to them that classical language skills help aspiring doctors." Read the article, which quotes Cynthia Bannon and Charles McNelis, online.

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Wed, 12/07/2011 - 7:45pm by Information Architect.

Many thanks to Chuck Jones for pointing out that back issues of Illinois Classical Studies are available in open access. See his entry on the subject at AWOL—The Ancient World Online.

View full article. | Posted in Websites and Resources on Wed, 12/07/2011 - 2:19pm by .

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