Agency Through the Ancients: Reception as Empowerment
Conference Date: November 9, 2019
Keynote: Dr. Emily Allen-Hornblower, Rutgers University, and Mr. Marquis “I AM” McCray
The Department of Classical Studies at Boston University invites submissions of abstracts for the 12th Annual Graduate Student Conference. This year, the conference will examine how classical literature (broadly defined) is able to impart a profound sense of agency to the disenfranchised, especially in times of turmoil or persecution. Although we acknowledge that many nationalists, over the centuries and into the present day, have invoked the classics in order to advance their exclusionary agenda, we hope to demonstrate that the classics have the potential to heal, unite, and empower the marginalized. Therefore, this conference will explore the myriad ways in which those who have traditionally remained voiceless have discovered a safe harbor and a sense of solidarity through the literature of ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt, Babylon, etc. Special attention will be given to engagement with the ancient world by groups which have been historically underrepresented or outright excluded.
Possible submission topics include (but are by no means limited to) the reception of classical literature by the following groups or individuals:
- Victims of war (e.g.. Milo Rau’s recent production of the Oresteia in Mosul)
- Veterans (e.g. Theater of War)
- Widowed wives (e.g. Alcyone from Mary Zimmerman’s Metamorphoses)
- Prisoners (e.g. The Medea Project, prison teaching programs like NJ-STEP)
- Women/feminist groups (e.g. Emily Wilson’s translation of the Odyssey)
- Racial minorities (e.g. ‘Antigone in Ferguson’)
- LGBTQ+ communities (e.g. Iphis and Tiresias as trans symbols)
- Those living with physical or mental disabilities (e.g. CripAntiquity)
Papers must be original, unpublished, and written by current graduate students. Please send an abstract (500 words or fewer), a paper title, and a C.V. or short bio to Maya Chakravorty, Peter Kotiuga, Alicia Matz, Joshua Paul, and Amanda Rivera at firstname.lastname@example.org. Papers should be 20 minutes in length and will be followed by a short question and answer session. The deadline for submissions is Friday, August 23, 2019. Selected speakers will be notified by the end of September and are expected to accept or decline the offer within a week of notification.