A Call for Papers:
“Writing Ancient and Medieval Same-Sex Desire: Goals, Methods, Challenges”
June 30-July 2, 2020
Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
This call for papers is for a conference to take place June 30-July 2, 2020 at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, on the topic of writing about same-sex desire in ancient and medieval societies.
Derek Krueger (UNC Greensboro), Mark Masterson (Victoria University of Wellington), Nancy Rabinowitz (Hamilton College), and Shaun Tougher (Cardiff University) will be providing plenary addresses.
For several decades now, scholars have devoted attention to same-sex desire in both ancient times and the centuries that followed. Not surprisingly, there have been vigorous debates over how to go about it. These debates have been framed in various ways. Here are some examples:
- essentialism VERSUS constructivism;
- Foucauldian discourse analysis VERSUS approaches inspired by psychoanalysis;
- (the impossibility of) objective history VERSUS (overly) subjective history;
- perception of commonalities across time VERSUS rigorously historicizing insistence on the past’s alterity;
- positivism VERSUS imaginative reconstruction of contemporaneous receptions.
These dichotomies, which are both reductive and don’t exhaust the possibilities, continue to crackle with contention. They also continue to undergird and even disturb current scholarly endeavours.
We are looking for papers (30 minutes in length) in which scholars not only speak about primary source material but also reflect explicitly on the theoretical orientation of their work (see the dichotomies above for examples) and the purpose(s) of (their) scholarship on same-sex desire. An additional objective of this conference will be an edited volume of papers that will aim to showcase a variety of approaches to this important topic.
Please send proposals (c. 500 words) to Mark Masterson (email@example.com) by 1 December 2019. If you have any questions, please send them to him at this address also.
In your proposal include
- the primary source material/historical milieu to be discussed, and
- the general theoretical basis of the work
This conference is underwritten by the Marsden Fund/Te Pūtea Rangahau A Marsden of the Royal Society/Te Apārangi of New Zealand
We are putting together an MRECC panel proposal for CAAS 2019 which will take place October 10-12 in Silver Spring, MD. The panel topic will be Antiracism and Action in Classics. We welcome papers on any related subject including training, pedagogy, departmental restructuring, policy changes, activism, etc. We are looking for at least 1 or 2 more presenters to join the proposal. If you are interested in joining the panel, please email me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) with a 150 word abstract by Monday March 11th at the latest (the sooner the better as the panel proposal is due March 18th). Faculty and students of color and anyone from traditionally underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to present on our panel. Thank you!
Call for Papers – Theater of Displacement: Ancient Tragedy and Modern Refugees, Immigrants and Migrants
CAMP Panel, 2020 SCS Meeting in Washington, D.C.
Organizers: Seth A. Jeppesen, BYU; Chiara Aliberti, BYU; Cecilia Peek, BYU
In Euripides’ Trojan Women, Hecuba and her fellow captives use a wide array of verbs for speaking and singing as they struggle to make their voices and stories heard in the face of repeated attempts by the men in the play to silence them and relegate them to the status of possessions rather than persons. Similar attempts to silence or disregard the plight of modern refugees and migrants are apparent all around us, from the newly energized nationalist movements in Europe to the tear gas canisters lobbed at women and children along the U.S.-Mexico border. As Nadia Murad has shown (The Last Girl,2017), one of the most powerful ways of combatting this oppression is to open a dialogue and listen to the voices of those displaced by war as they tell us their stories. Bryan Doerries (The Theater of War, 2016) has shown how Greek tragedy can be used to initiate conversations regarding combat trauma, mass incarceration and end-of-life care and encourage recognition and healing for those involved. Luis Alfaro, in turn, has demonstrated in his recent play Mojada how well adaptations of Greek tragedy can address issues facing modern migrants and immigrants. Many Greek tragedies deal with displacement caused by war and characters who seek asylum from other cities and governments (e.g. Aeschylus’ Suppliants, Euripides’ Trojan Women, Hecuba, Andromache, Helen, Suppliant Women, etc.) There is much potential for scholarship and performance that uses Greek tragedy not only to elucidate the current refugee crisis but also to raise awareness and provide healing and understanding to communities. This panel invites papers that explore themes of cultural and physical displacement in Greek Tragedy and potentially draw connections between ancient literature and the current worldwide refugee/migrant crisis. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:
- The language of displacement and/or silencing in Greek tragedy
- Greek tragedy and historical displacement in 5th century Greece
- The effects of war and violence in Greek tragedy
- Modern reception of Greek tragedy in the context of refugees, migrants, and immigrants
- Greek tragedy and public humanities projects that deal with issues facing refugees, migrants, and immigrants
Abstracts should follow the SCS guidelines for individual abstracts and can be sent by email to email@example.com. Review of abstracts begins March 1, 2019. Abstracts received by March 15 will receive full consideration. Please ensure that the abstracts are anonymous. In accordance with SCS regulations, all abstracts for papers will be read anonymously by the panel organizers, who will serve as referees. Those selected for the panel will be informed by March 30.
The prison teaching subgroup of the Classics and Justice Affiliated Group of the SCS has been presenting work in a variety of venues over the last several years. We are now editing a volume on “Teaching Classics to the Incarcerated” for publication in the Routledge Focus Series. We are asking for the submission of brief abstracts (350 words) by March 15. If you are currently teaching in a prison or have done so in the past, we welcome your participation. We want explicitly to invite submissions from the incarcerated or formerly incarcerated.
Our hope is that the volume will offer a comprehensive overview (or at least one as comprehensive as possible) of the wide range of incarcerated individuals – male, female, or gender non-conforming; young or old; serving long sentences or about to be released; etc. – who are reading and discussing classical texts and of the different ways in which they are approaching and reinterpreting them. The essays that we are envisaging will have a length of ca. 4000 words and will present either a practical or theoretical approach.
We have already had a very positive conversation with the press, and once we have all the abstracts in, we expect to be able to submit our proposal quickly, at least by the end of April. Full essays would be due at the end of October.
If you are involved in prison teaching but do not want to write an essay, we would like to know about the program you are in. And again, submissions from the incarcerated or formerly incarcerated are especially welcome.
Emilio Capettini (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Nancy Rabinowitz (email@example.com)
I ask your help in inviting Classics students to participate in the Michigan Humanities Emerging Research Scholars (MICHHERS) program. MICHHERS is one piece of a much larger set of initiatives that we have developed to promote and increase diversity in the Humanities at U-M. This all-expense-paid program is designed to interest and inform students about the research opportunities available for Humanities scholars at U-M.
The MICHHERS program will run from Monday June 10 to Saturday June 22, 2019. Participants will have the opportunity to work on a research project under the guidance of U-M faculty and current graduate students. Additionally, they will participate in department seminars, hear from graduate students about their experience and socialize with members of the program. A graduate admissions workshop and social gatherings will round out the event.
Our fourteen day program will host talented students (juniors, seniors and those currently in terminal MA programs), particularly those from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in graduate education who are interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in Asian Languages and Literatures, Classical Studies, English, History, Linguistics, Romance Languages and Literatures, qualitative Sociology and any humanities field in Women’s Studies.
For more information, and to apply to participate in this program, please go to:
The application deadline is February 8, 2019. Travel, lodging, and on campus meals of students attending will be fully paid. Participants will also receive a modest stipend of $1,000. In addition, students who subsequently apply to U-M will receive application fee waivers.
Michigan’s Department of N.N. and the Rackham Graduate School are committed to diversity in graduate education. I would be grateful if you could forward this information and the attached announcement to interested and eligible students, as well as colleagues who may be aware of students who would be interested in participating.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
This was a roller-coaster of a meeting, starting with a high of the Luis Alfaro lecture, ending with the very powerful prison workshop. But in between the SCS was the site of some very public racist incidents. Thus CSJ can’t rest on its laurels.
But here I want to accentuate the positive. Following the very successful appearance of Rhodessa Jones and the Medea Project at the San Francisco SCS, it seemed like a good idea to have such an event in San Diego. Luis Alfaro was the perfect choice for this Southern California meeting.
A Chicano born and raised in the Pico-Union district of downtown Los Angeles, Alfaro is the recipient of a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation fellowship, popularly known as a “genius grant”, awarded to people who have demonstrated expertise and exceptional creativity in their respective fields. He is the first Playwright-in-Residence in the 84-year history of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the largest repertory theatre company in the United States, serving for six seasons (2013-2019).*
*Cited from Luis Alfaro.
The SCS and Onassis Foundation USA enthusiastically co-presented the Luis Alfaro lecture on opening night, From the Ancient to the Streets of L.A.: Imagining the Greek Classics for Communities Today. Alfaro is a committed activist, poet, performance artist, playwright and faculty member at USC. Of special interest to us at Classics and Social Justice, he unites both the terms in our name. He has used the Greek tragedies (Oedipus, Sophocles’ Electra, and Medea) as the basis for his own plays, Oedipus el Rey, Electricidad, Mojada. The event was electrifying (pun intended) as Alfaro discussed the ways in which he envisions his plays creating community. Born in E. LA, many of his scripts are set in the barrio, but they are also produced nationally. In those cases, he told us, he spends up to a year in the cities where they will be performed, engaging local people in the project. This means that the actual performance truly represents the voices of the people. In listening to the concerns of those who will be in the audience, Alfaro’s work demonstrates what real “diversity” can look like. He illuminates the importance of the arts and the classics in social change. He ended with a peroration to the importance of love and family in the myths. The event was an inspiration for the standing-room only audience as to how the materials in the Classics curriculum can be used for radical purposes.
A panel the following morning (with presentations by Mary Hart, Amy Richlin, Tom Hawkins, Rosa Andújar, Jessica Kubzansky, and Melinda Powers) examined Alfaro’s work from both scholarly and artistic points of view. It introduced his plays to some who had perhaps never heard of him and gave insight to those of us who teach his work regularly.
Finally, on the last day, the Classics and Social Justice Prison Group sponsored a workshop on “Teaching the Incarcerated.” Chaired by Elizabeth Bobrick, there were five other very brief papers (presented by Nancy Felson [in absentia], Alex Pappas, Nancy Rabinowitz, Sarah Rappe, Jessica Wright), followed by a very full discussion of the issues that the opening statements brought up. It soon became clear that there is no one model for teaching in prison, any more than there is one model for college teaching itself. The workshop participants will be posting resources on the Classics and Social Justice blog, as they become available. The Classics and Social Justice Group will continue to try to bring together those who are doing this work.
To return to the roller coaster, however, these events are a drop in the bucket. We cannot, as the song says, simply eliminate the negative without hard work. There is much to be done, and thanks to colleagues who are leading the struggle to bring Classics into the present and perhaps into the future.
Nancy S. Rabinowitz,
Hamilton College, Clinton, NY
Editor’s addition: Luis Alfaro’s opening night lecture, and the panel the next day on his work were live tweeted by Benjamin Stevens (@beldonstevens) and Hannah Čulík-Baird (@opietasanimi) respectively. See below: