CFP: Those, Othering, Alterity, Appropriation in Ancient Art

Those. Othering, Alterity, Appropriation in Ancient Art
A digital conference at the Institute of Classical Archaeology, Hamburg University
20 – 21 May 2021

Call for Papers
Concepts of others, othering, self-representation or opposing worlds are topics of well-known conferences and publications over the last decades. Due to the relevance and width of the topic, the announced event would like to continue the investigations and furthermore consider the Greeks and Romans as strangers in other cultures and the location of the ancient world in global history.

Dealing with others and the demarcation of the self is a determining phenomenon of human activity. Contact with others is an integral part of societies and allows each society to locate in a wider context. The disparaging characterization of others has always served to stabilize a group’s identity but not only concepts of enemies, also excessive idealizations of those others.

Antiquity is no exception. The confrontation with a close or distant counterpart serves the construction of social identities and usually exposes more about the ascribing group than about the portrayed. At the same time, the frequent presence of the stereotyped image of the foreign reciprocally constructs further conceptions. Consequently, the impact of depictions on further prejudices is worthy to be studied too.

For this conference, the term others (“those”) is broadly defined; including neighboring and distant, real and mythical foreign peoples, individual populations whose demarcation serves to identify other groups: poor, sick, women, men, religious adherents. This also includes the Greeks and Romans themselves, who found their way into depictions and descriptions as others by their contemporaneous counterparts and later epochs.

The aim of the conference is to consider dealing with others, contexts of othering and alterity, to question about center and periphery and the reversal of this view, while investigating the self-positioning of those presenting others, likewise the positioning of today’s scientific perspectives.

Theoretical approaches to the semiotic aspect of signs for others and others as signs are just as welcome as contributions aiming at cultural theoretical approaches to objectify and defocus ancient studies.
Contributions of no longer than 30 minutes might regard the following themes and related aspects:
-Mythologized foreign
-Greco-Roman representations of others
-Representations of minorities and subalterns in ancient societies
-Representations of Greeks and Romans as others
-Hybridities in border areas

The aim of the open call is to achieve a variety of theoretical, material-based and both combining contributions. Please submit paper proposals (300 – 500 words) until 15 March 2021 to Dr. Lilian Adlung-Schönheit (

Host of this conference is the Institute of Classical Archeology at the University of Hamburg. Due to the current pandemic situation, the conference will take place via Zoom. Therefore, we would like to look forward to bringing together colleagues from different countries and interests.