My erstwhile colleague Dr. Yvette Hunt has a blog post on the relationships between St. Valentine’s Day, Lupercalia, Carnivale and Spring, which you should find most interesting reading.
Along with a small cadre of my fellow research postgraduates at the School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics at The University of Queensland, I’m involved in organising a conference, Perspectives on Progress, which will be held in November 2013.
This is our second call for papers. The abstracts are due 31 May 2013. If you can, please consider submitting an abstract. More information about the conference can be seen at our website – http://perspectives2013.org/, but the basic information is reproduced below.
Perspectives on Progress – An interdisciplinary postgraduate and early career researcher conference, at The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. November 27-29, 2013.
The organising committee is pleased announce that Dr. Alastair Blanshard and Dr. Sarah Pinto have each agreed to deliver Key Note Addresses at Perspectives on Progress, 2013.
Dr. Blanshard is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Sydney. His most recent monograph is Sex, Vice, and Love from Antiquity to Modernity (Wiley Blackwell, 2010). In addition to his work on ancient sexuality, Dr. Blanshard is also concerned with examining the role that the classical past plays in the history of ideas.
Dr. Mills’s Futures of Reproduction: Bioethics and Biopolitics (Springer, 2011) is a compelling interrogation of the myriad bioethical issues associated with liberal eugenics and selective reproduction. As the recipient of a prestigious Australian Research Council Future Fellowship, Dr. Mills is currently working on a project concerned with exploring the concept of responsibility as it pertains to issues in reproductive and maternal-foetal medicine.
Call for Papers
In 1968, historian Sidney Pollard defined the Victorian ideal of ‘progress’ as, “the assumption that a pattern of change exists in the history of mankind… that it consists of irreversible changes in one direction only, and that this direction is towards improvement.” Despite the increasingly problematic nature of this ideal, the ‘progress myth’ still remains pervasive in the Western cultural tradition.
This postgraduate and early career researcher conference seeks to promote innovative interdisciplinary dialogues interrogating the concept of progress by bringing together scholars from across the humanities and social sciences.
Contributions are invited from disciplines ranging from history, classics, religion and philosophy through literary, media and cultural studies to anthropology, psychology and political science. Conference delegates will be invited to consider how the idea of progress influences their own work, while being given the opportunity to explore how this intersects with scholarship in other disciplines.
The conference committee invites proposals for papers in the form of an abstract of between 250 and 300 words to firstname.lastname@example.org by 31 May 2013. Paper format is a 20 minute paper with a 10 minute period for questions and answers.
Via @perlineamvalli comes this interesting set of mapping data for the RIB (Roman Inscriptions of Britain) that have been found at Chesters Roman Fort along wall mile 27:
View PLV Inscriptions (Chesters) in a larger map
You can find much more data for many inscriptions found along Hadrian’s Wall at the blog perlineamvalli.wordpress.com – there are great maps and colour-coding as to the precision of the known location of each inscription.
Now the reason this is of particular interest to me is that some years ago now, when I was doing my Master’s degree, I wrote a paper analysing the location of the inscriptions in the RIB classified by deity name. Now I didn’t have the time, resources, or luxury to research to exactly where every inscription was found, so instead I used the county listed in the RIB as an approximate guide to the location, plus any general information I could glean from papers where the inscriptions were either the subject or incidentally, but authoritatively mentioned.
Initially I was looking for patterns in male/female deity distribution, but the major thing I stumbled upon was that the Jupiter inscriptions (along with inscriptions to the imperial genius, &c.) are all mainly found in the region of the wall (generally northern, “military” areas). Whereas inscriptions to Mars especially (this includes the syncretic agglomerations of Mars and other gods which seems to occur more frequently in the RIB than for Jupiter, excluding that were explicitly imperial cult) are in the main found in the southern “civilian” areas. In fact if you turned up an altar with an inscription in Gloucestershire (just to pick a southern county not quite randomly) my guess it would most likely be either to Mars or Mercury (or one in a smaller but still significant group of rather miscellaneous deities). Jupiter is nearly always up in the north (although this may be biased by large and distinct groups of altars to Iupitter Optimus Maximus that seem to have been buried in or near forts on the wall for reasons not quite clear to me).
Now this might be entirely unremarkable except for the fact I kept turning up assertions in the literature that indicated the opposite was occurring in Gaul; i.e. that Mars was a distinctly “military” deity with Jupiter being the “Romanising” god that civilians preferred to pick for local syncretion. So there’s some process of local adaption going on beyond the differences often noted between the Greek East and the Gallic Western/Northern parts of the Empire.
This was my only real venture into any sort of archaeological data analysis, something you’d think I’d be good at given my computer science background, but after dabbling in it for a semester I rather abandoned that type of research for a more literary-historiographical focus for both my Masters dissertation and now my PhD thesis.
. This tweet also confirms that the entire dataset will be available from perlineamvalli.org.uk
. Scare quotes deliberate. This is a loaded and highly contested term which I’m just going to hand-wave away for the purposes of this blog post.
. In the main because my institution doesn’t have a lot of ways it could support such a research focus; also I’ve always been drawn to the classical literature first and foremost.
Greek Myths on the Map
The Sixth Bristol Myth Conference
31st July – 2nd August, 2013
Greek myths were inextricably connected to the physical
environments in which they were set. This connection is
strikingly evident in the use of myths to explain and
communicate the significance of physical and human geography.
Polybius boldly asserts that “in the present day, now that all
places have become accessible by land or sea, it is no longer
appropriate to use poets and writers of myth as witnesses of the
unknown” (4.40.2). Yet mythology was never entirely banished:
myths were incorporated into geographical descriptions
throughout antiquity and across a broad spectrum of genres,
even as activities such as exploration, conquest and scientific
endeavour altered how the world was understood and perceived.
This conference will examine the various practical and
conceptual roles Greek mythology played in attempts to
describe, represent and explain the physical and human
geography of the ancient world.
We invite proposals for papers on topics related to this theme.
Questions that papers might address include: What motivates
writers to incorporate mythical narratives into geographical
descriptions? What can myths communicate about the
environment that purely geographical description cannot? Do
diverse and changing perceptions of the physical world affect the
ways in which stories about the mythological past are told? How
do mythical geographies relate to physical and conceptual
geographies? In what ways do political, religious or social forces
impact on the interplay between mythical and geographical
Please send abstracts (c. 250 words) for proposed 25-minute
papers to email@example.com by Monday, 17th
September, 2012. Informal enquiries may be addressed to the
conference organizers, Jessica Priestley and Greta Hawes, at the same
‘Continuity and Change: Identity in the Ancient World’
Wednesday, 11 July-Friday, 13 July, 2012
University of Auckland New Zealand
Abstract submissions are invited for the second Annual Meeting of Postgraduates in Hellenic Or Roman Antiquities and Egyptology (AMPHORAE), to be held at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, from Wednesday, 11 July until Friday, 13 July, 2012. This conference has run successfully for the last five years as AMPHORA I, II, III, IV; and in 2011 as AMPHORAE V. AMPHORAE is a conference designed for Postgraduate and Honours students from Australia and New Zealand to interact and share their current work among peers in a friendly and stimulating environment. We also invite graduate students worldwide to submit an abstract.
The theme of this year’s conference, “Continuity and Change: Identity in the Ancient World”, is intended to accommodate research from (but not limited to) all of the fields of Classical Philology, Classical Art and Literature, Ancient History, Archaeology, Late Antique Studies, and all other areas of Ancient World Studies. Abstracts addressing any interpretation of the topic are welcome.
Abstract submissions of 200-300 words for papers of 20 minutes duration are requested. Please send your submissions and a brief biography by Friday, 1 June to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to attend the conference, but will not be presenting a paper, please inform us of your attendance, as well as any dietary requirements, by Monday, June 11.
Conference registration is free but there will be a fee to attend the conference dinner on the Friday evening. If you are interested in attending the dinner, more details will be available shortly on our website. Small bursaries will also be available (upon application) for students who will be travelling from Australia.
For more information contact AMPHORAE VI at email@example.com
Brought to you by the Australasian Society for Classical Studies (http://www.ascs.org.au/) and the Department of Classical Studies and Ancient History, University of Auckland, New Zealand.
School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics
University of Queensland, Australia
A Conference on Olympic Athletes: Ancient and Modern
Date: (Friday-Sunday) 6-8 July 2012
Place: University of Queensland, St. Lucia, QLD. Australia. 4072.
Call for Papers
Papers are invited for a conference on ‘Olympic Athletes: Ancient and Modern’, which will be held at the University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Brisbane, Australia, from 6-8 July 2012.
The theme can be interpreted fairly broadly, but there is a particular desire to assemble papers which analyse the Olympic experience of athletes from the ancient and the modern games. What was / is special about Olympic competition and Olympic athletes? Who were / are the great Olympic athletes? Why?
All speaking slots will be 30 minutes in duration (20 for paper, 10 for questions). Please send offers of papers, plus a 100-word abstract, to the organizers by Friday 1 June 2012.
Further details will be available soon at http://www.uq.edu.au/hprc. In the meantime, anyone who would like to offer a paper or attend the conference should contact Tom Stevenson (firstname.lastname@example.org) for the organizers.
From the announcements mail out of the ASCS Hon Sec. Bruce Marshall, comes this call for papers.
South Italy, Sicily and the Mediterranean: Cultural Interactions Conference
The conference will be held at the Museo Italiano in Carlton, Melbourne between 17th and 21st July, 2012.
Hosted by the Centre for Greek Studies and the A.D. Trendall Research Centre for Ancient Mediterranean Studies at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, this conference will focus on the movement of people and interactions of culture in the region of Southern Italy and Sicily from antiquity until the present. This inter-disciplinary conference seeks to foster critical analysis of geographical and chronological interconnections between Southern Italy, Sicily and the Mediterranean. Consideration of cultural interaction, population movements, and changing religious and philosophical ideas over a period of approximately 3000 years will prompt scholarly discussion around continuity and change over time in this region of the Mediterranean.
Abstracts of 300 words are being sought from academics and graduate students. Abstracts should be sent to Sarah Midford at email@example.com before 6th February 2012. Papers will be programmed into 30 minute timeslots and should be no longer than 20 minutes.
South Italy, Sicily and the Mediterranean: Cultural Interactions Conference, Melbourne 17-21st July 2012: http://www.latrobe.edu.au/humanities/about/events/cultural-interactions-conference/
From the CLASSICISTS mailing list.
BODIES OF EVIDENCE: RE-DEFINING APPROACHES TO THE ANATOMICAL VOTIVE
A conference to be held at the British School at Rome, 5th June 2012
Organised by: Dr Jane Draycott (BSR, University of Nottingham), Dr Emma-
Jayne Graham (University of Leicester)
From Pharaonic Egypt to Roman Italy and from Classical Greece to the
Byzantine world, anatomical votives have performed a continuous, if poorly
understood, role in ritual and votive practice. Modern scholarship has
categorised as ‘anatomical’ a range of ex-votos, made largely but not
exclusively from terracotta, which depict parts of the body. These arms,
legs, eyes, fingers, hands, feet, uteri, genitals, internal organs and
other recognisable parts of the internal and external body have attracted
much attention from scholars exploring both past religion and health
alike. Nevertheless, the category of ‘anatomical offering’ remains
noticeably ill-defined and remains to be integrated fully into the study
of ritual, artefacts and the body. This conference will ask how we should
define and interpret the ‘anatomical’ votive. Is a veiled portrait plaque
an anatomical votive? Is a foot or a hand a distinct anatomical votive if
it was constructed in such a way as to allow it to be connected to another
part of the body? Indeed, to what extent can we consider a model of the
whole body an anatomical votive if it was used to request general healing
of a non-specific illness? Whilst feet and ears appear to fall easily into
this class should we perhaps also consider other offerings, such as
statuettes of the entire body and swaddled babies from a similar
perspective? This workshop will bring together scholars working upon the
anatomical offering in its broadest sense from across prehistoric, ancient
and medieval contexts in order to explore and refine our understanding of
this phenomenon. What were anatomical votives for, what did they represent
to those who dedicated, encountered or made them, and what factors
influenced the selection of a particular item? In particular we will be
concerned with what these offerings reveal, not only about past religious
and medical contexts and practices, but also about identity, society,
politics and concepts or constructions of the human body.
We invite papers which address these issues from the standpoint of
archaeology, ancient history, classics and history of medicine, as well as
medieval history and welcome contributions focused upon Italic, Greek,
Near Eastern, Egyptian and other European or Mediterranean contexts.
Topics may include but are not limited to:
- What is an anatomical votive? Are whole bodies anatomical or only
fragments? Can they also be a work of art, an ornament, a keepsake or a
substitute for something else? How might the anatomical be conceived as an
item with multiple levels of meaning?
- The fragmentation, reconstitution or realignment of the body: the
anatomical offering as a proxy for the body or its constituent parts;
miniaturisation; the intact body as an anatomical votive; (re)creating a
body from individual pieces; the relationship between concepts of the body
as expressed by anatomical offerings and the treatment of the component
parts of the cult statue, other representations of the human or divine
form, or the living body.
- Standard forms and individuality: evidence for individualism or artistic
embellishment and its consequences; the process of commissioning an ex-
voto and the potential for customisation; the anatomical votive as a work
of art as well as a religious/medical object; the role of the manufacturer.
- Change through time and space: developing attitudes, practices and
medical concerns; can we treat objects recovered from diverse cultural and
historical contexts as a standard an expression of the same phenomenon?
- Medicine, pathology and retrospective diagnosis: distinguishing between
concerns for general health and specific complaints; when did scholars
begin to use these items to facilitate diagnosis and how has that
influenced academic discourse on the subject and the definition of this
category of object?
- The anatomical offering and the divine: connections with specific
deities; defining the sanctuary through its votives; when is a healing
sanctuary a healing sanctuary and not simply a shrine? How do more nuanced
interpretations of ‘anatomical’ affect these issues?
- The interpretation of discrete collections of material: deposits that
contain restricted forms of anatomical offering; the juxtaposition of
terracotta and metal ex-votos in discrete contexts.
- Reception of the anatomical votive: the impact of modern academic
discourse on their classification and interpretation; have scholars been
too focused on the detail of the traditional anatomical offering at the
expense of the broader picture? Links with the development of other areas
of study such as magic, gender, women, medicine; discovery, publication
Diverse methodologies are encouraged, although proposals should be written
to appeal to a wide range of disciplines.
Dr Ralph Jackson (British Museum)
Prof. Olivier de Cazanove (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)
Dr. Jessica Hughes (Open University)
Papers should be of 20 minutes’ length, and should not have been
previously published or delivered at a major conference. Abstracts of
approximately 250 words should be submitted by Monday 13th February.
Successful contributions may be considered for publication in a peer-
reviewed conference volume.
Jane Draycott (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Emma-Jayne Graham (email@example.com)