CFP: Center for Ancient Studies at the University of Pennsylvania

The Center for Ancient Studies at the University of Pennsylvania welcomes submissions for its first annual graduate student conference, “Ancient Cultures in Contact: Catalysts for Change”, scheduled for 20-21 March 2009. When interactions between ancient cultures are characterized as confrontations with inevitable ‘winners’ and ‘losers’, one group emerges to dominate political, cultural, and historical discourse. However, such a view tends to overlook or oversimplify the extent to which cultures and ethnic groups influence one another. This interaction often mutually influenced each culture in areas as broad as economy, material culture, literature and the arts, and government.
This conference aims to discuss the appearance and results of cultural contact broadly, as found throughout the ancient world. While the term ‘ancient’ has different connotations in every discipline and can imply different chronological parameters, nevertheless, its fundamental connotations are relatively stable: e.g., a period of considerable remoteness of time and radical changes in cultural paradigms in such basic areas of human activity and experience as technology, economics, and epistemology. These common principles that underlie conceptions of ‘ancient’ are the focus of the Center for Ancient Studies. To this end, submissions are encouraged from graduate students working in the fields of Anthropology, Archaeology, Art History, Assyriology, Ancient History, Classical Studies, East Asian Studies, Egyptology, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, and pre-Columbian studies. Submissions are welcome from, though not limited to, the following focuses:
• Trade (influence on material culture and religion, exchange of information and ideas, etc)
• Warfare
• Language influence and language change
• Religious syncretism
• Law
• Colonization (both internal and external)
• Travel and exploration
• Diaspora
• Development of identity (from disparate groups, vis-a-vis The Other, etc)
• Memory
• Authority and Kingship
• Empire-building
• Technological acquisition
• Literary borrowing and influences
• Theoretical and methodological perspectives
Keynote speaker TBA.
March 20-21, 2009
University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
Philadelphia, PA
Interested speakers should submit a 300-word, double-spaced title and abstract by January 16, 2009 to ancient@sas.upenn.edu . Any inquiries regarding the conference may be sent to the same address.