Authority in creating contemporary narratives about the Classics

https://www.ncl.ac.uk/hca/events/item/authorityincreatingcontemporarynarrativesabouttheclassics.html

Date/Time: 21-22 February 2019, School of History, Classics and Archaeology

Venue: Newcastle University

The current boom of works and media about the Ancient World, aimed at a general audience, is a product of some converging circumstances: the rethinking of meaning and value of the Classics among scholars, in need of justifying our very own existence in contemporary academia; a market-driven demand for either recalling Western tradition and exempla from the ancients – on the conservative side, or questioning the multiple facets of elite privilege – on a progressive approach; and ultimately as a consequence of the “explosion of information” in the hyper-connected XXI century. In this last regard, narratives from non-scholars ranging from fairly accurate Wikipedia articles to “fake news” tweets are now competing with classicists for space and authority.

This new “shared authority”, a term coined by public historian Michael Frisch, calls for reflection. We invite papers on topics related to the topics above, inviting discussion on themes such as:

– What is the role of the scholar in determining narratives for the general audience?
– How to understand and respond to the public’s demand on topics, old and new, about the ancients?
– Forms of dialogue with non-scholar producers of knowledge about the Classics, especially online;
– Political and global aspects of conservative and progressive approaches to Ancient World.

We invite abstracts for 20-minute papers, which will be followed by debates led by assigned commentators. Presenters will be requested to participate as commentators in at least one other presentation. The conference will be published in a proceedings volume, including the resulting debate. Please send abstracts (PDF format) of no more than 350 words, including 3-5 keywords to authorityinclassics@gmail.com. Submissions from PhD students are welcome.

Deadline: 30 October 2018. The event will have no submission or attendance fees.

Keynote speakers:
Neville Morley (University of Exeter)
Sarah E. Bond (University of Iowa)
Rebecca Futo Kennedy (Denison University)

Conference organisers: Juliana Bastos Marques (Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro) and Federico Santangelo(Newcastle University). This conference is supported by a Newton Advanced Fellowship funded by the British Academy.


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