This panel (organized by Classics and Social Justice) focused on the question of who “owns” Classics and explored some of the implicit and explicit ways the field has marginalized specific communities. More importantly, the panel discussed the role that Classics can play in discourses about identity and offered suggestions about how classicists can promote inclusivity in their teaching and in the field more broadly.
Papers in this panel represented a range of marginalized perspectives and voices which are not often heard in discussions about “the field.”
Sonia Sabnis (Reed College, USA), The Metamorphoses in the Maghreb: Owning Apuleius in Algeria
The paper explores an Algerian “reclamation” of Apuleius in the country where his hometown, Madauros (M’Daorouch), is now located. The paper highlights how inhabitants of the Maghreb have begun to invoke Apuleius in the process of defending their own indigenous languages and traditions against outside forces. The paper takes begins with Algerian writer Assia Djebar’s praise of Apuleius’ Metamorphoses as “a picaresque novel whose spirit, freedom, and iconoclastic humor show a surprising modernity…What a revolution it would be to translate it into popular or literary Arabic, no matter, surely as a health-bringing vaccination against all the fundamentalisms of all of today’s borders.” By looking at Algerian receptions of Apuleius, the paper concludes that, by claiming Apuleius as their own, locals not only bolster their defense of their indigenous languages against Arabic and French but they also protect their indigenous traditions against powerful new currents of Islamic fundamentalism.
Clara Bosak-Schroeder (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, USA), Cripping Classics: Disability Studies and Realities
Kiran Mansukhani and Nicole Nowbahar (CUNY and Rutgers, USA), “γυμνοὺς κριτέον ἁπάντων τούτων”: A Recap of The Sportula’s Naked Soul Conference 2019
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