CFP: Society for Classical Studies 2019

Panel proposal: Classics and Social Justice Affiliated Group

Chair: Amy Pistone

Who “owns” classics?  Who is the field of classics for?  Defining the field/diversifying the field. 

Many initiatives, many possibilities come to mind when we think of Classics and Social Justice.  But as we pursue these initiatives, or even before, an important early task for us, is that of self-reflection. Classics traditionally has been the preserve of elites, and has served to exclude individuals and groups from power, institutions, and resources thereby perpetuating their definition as inferior.  Let us examine and confront this element of our history carefully, and more particularly our behaviors. Is Classics white? In the light of the appropriation of classical themes and motifs by the alt right, we need to think about how we ourselves have presented the field so as to render such (mis)appropriations possible.  At the same time “ownership” of classics has always been contested–and the classics deployed– by those very same groups who have been defined as outsiders. What are we doing when we say “classics for all” or teach these ancient materials to members of marginalized groups? Why do we do what we do?

We solicit 650-word abstracts by Feb. 20, 2018, for 15-20 minute papers. Paper topics might include but are by no means limited to questions such as the following:  the “gatekeeping” and imperialist traditions of classics; the pedagogy of canons and unchanging tradition; the challenges from perceived outsiders to the discipline, for instance working class individuals, people of color, women. How do such individuals fare in our national meetings? Or in our discipline?

Please submit anonymous abstracts of less than 650 words to Kaitlyn Boulding (boulding@UW.EDU).

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