Call for Papers 2021


The Classics Department of the University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign is delighted to announce that it will be hosting the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Association of Ancient Historians (AAH). This year’s meeting will take place in on online format from Thursday through Saturday, May 6 - 8, 2021.


The keynote speakers will be Prof. Solange Ashby and Prof. Carolina López-Ruiz.


Those interested in giving a paper are invited to submit a 300-word abstract and short bibliography consisting of 3-5 items, using the online conference submission form available here. Deadline for submission of abstracts is December 15, 2020, and applicants will be notified of acceptances by January 31, 2021.


All papers will be pre-recorded, but panelists will be available live to answer questions.


Registration and Membership: all attendees and panelists need to be AAH members by the time of the conference. There is a registration fee of $25 for full-time employed participants, but no registration fee for students or contingent faculty.


Papers on the following themes are especially welcome at this year’s conference:


Recovery and Rebuilding: Crises that periodically beset communities (e.g. war, natural disaster, plague, famine) often entail lasting changes ranging from modest adjustments in governmental strategy to shifts in cosmology or even system collapse. As societies face the challenge of moving on, they must reshape themselves to navigate their new reality. How do communities decide what to keep and what to discard? What technological and intellectual innovations arise to accommodate such changes? How do social structures evolve? How can we leverage the insights of the past to chart a course through our own changing circumstances?


Diplomacy in the Ancient Mediterranean. Relations between kin groups, communities, states, and empires largely defined the political and economic life of Ancient Mediterranean peoples. The legacy of this interconnectedness has greatly informed diplomatic, colonial, and governmental traditions in modern Euro-American culture. We invite papers that address ancient diplomacy in its Ancient Mediterranea n and Near Eastern contexts. Papers that seek to trace diplomatic heritage through the millennia until today thereby touching on modern uses of the past are also welcome.


New Activities and Assignments for Gen Ed Students. While our research is founded on expert knowledge of the languages and textual and material culture s of the ancient Mediterranean , much of our undergraduate teaching is designed for students fulfilling general education requirements. In these circumstances, many instructors find traditio nal assignments such as research papers to be in appropriate for the specific learning objectives of this kind of teaching. We invite papers that share innovative assignments and activities for classes in ancient history, archaeology, and civilization condu cted entirely in translation. Papers on classes in all areas of the ancient Mediterranean are welcome, including North Africa and the Middle East, as well as classes on late antiquity and the early middle ages, and reception.


Power Relations and Popular Unrest. Popular protest and unrest is a topic especially relevant to today’s global political and social atmosphere. We seek papers that explore these themes in an ancient Mediterranean context. Papers about both violent and non - violent forms of protest/unr est are welcome , as well as papers addressing responses (or lack thereof) by the powerful in their attempts to quench turmoil. As unrest took many forms in the ancient world and had many roots, talks will vary widely and might focus on - but need not be limited to - military, political, social, or economic cases and causes.


Monuments and their Reception. Monuments -- understood broadly to include statues, tombs, triumphal arches and other structures – were a central feature of ancient Mediterranean landsca pes, especially but not only in urban settings. Many of them were erected by or in honor of individuals ranging from monarchs to private persons, who were visually represented by the monuments themselves or honored in accompanying inscriptions. We invite p apers which discuss contemporary or subsequent responses to such monuments, whether in words (reverent, neutral critical) or in actions (honoring, adapting, repurposing, defacing, destroying), especially those which consider possible motivations and implic ations of those responses.


Sports in the Ancient Mediterranean. The grand victory odes of Pindar, numerous artistic depictions, and Juvenal’s bitter panem et circenses all attest to the important and multi-faceted role that sporting events and athletic competitions played in ancient Mediterranean societies. We invite papers that explore this role, adding to our understanding of both ancient sports and the people who par ticipated in, watched, and wrote about them. Submitted papers may discuss the ways in which athletics interacted with established power structures, the use of games as a means to construct civic identity, and the role of sports in times of crisis, among ma ny other possibilities. Comparative papers or those that examine the impact of ancient sports on modern - day competitions are also welco



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