CFP: Space and Spectacle in Antiquity

Call for Papers
The 2020 University of Colorado Boulder Classics Graduate Colloquium: Space and Spectacle in Antiquity
Friday, January 31 – Saturday, February 1, 2020

Keynote address by Sarah Levin-Richardson, University of Washington

In antiquity as today, the circumscription of space, real or imagined, dictated how individuals and groups perceived and reacted to their environment. Politicians, architects, artists, and writers manipulated space as a means of directing responses from their ‘audiences,’ creating artificial environments to help guide experience; viewer response to these surroundings in turn informed the construction of later structures. Spaces built for spectacle are good examples of such environments: they are meant to affect a broader public, and also seek to produce a focused viewer experience. In consequence they enforce the reciprocity of this culture-defining process.

This colloquium will thus explore the relationship between space and spectacle and social and cultural experience. We welcome submissions from graduate students working in any discipline that helps inform our understanding of the ancient world; interdisciplinary approaches too are very welcome. We are interested in topics that consider the manufactured nature of space and spectacle and hope to foster discussion on topics that include but need not be limited to the articulation of space in public buildings; the relationship between spectacle and text; ritual or political performance; and literary ekphrasis. Papers may explore these phenomena as they manifest in any geographical area of the ancient Mediterranean and its surrounding regions, including Egypt, the Near East, Anatolia, Byzantium, the Levant, and the further expanses of the Roman Empire. We are particularly interested in those topics that fall into lesser studied periods.

Relevant areas in which we welcome submissions include:
-Religious performances (ritual, processions, sacrifices, divination, etc.)
-Performance of politics (public works, oratory, triumphs)
-Athletics and spectacle (gladiatorial combat, amphitheaters, circuses)
-Musical performance
-Ceremony in its literary contexts
-Tragedy, comedy, and mime, especially of the Hellenistic and Imperial periods and in the provinces

Please submit abstracts via email to [email protected] by September 1, 2019, with the subject line “Boulder Classics Graduate Colloquium 2020 Submission.” Abstracts should include a title for the paper and be anonymous PDF files, no longer than 300 words. Please include your name, institution, and the title of your abstract in the body of your email. Presentations should be no longer than 20 minutes.

Questions about the conference should be submitted to the same email address.