“Landscapes of War” panel at the 10th Celtic Conference in Classics, Montreal, 19–22 July 2017

Organizers: Chris Mackie (La Trobe University), Marian Makins (University of Pennsylvania), and Bettina Reitz-Joosse (University of Groningen)

Deadline for contributions: 1 March 2017

Modern scholarship has seen a significant interest in spatial approaches to place and landscape in the ancient sources. And yet relatively little attention has thus far been paid to intersections of landscape (either real or imagined), war, and memory in ancient Greek and Roman culture. That is the territory we plan to explore with this panel.

Landscape can give rise to armed conflict when two or more groups stake claims to territory possessing special strategic, economic, or even cultural significance. Features of a landscape such as hills, valleys, forests, and streams can also dictate the nature and progress of battles that take place there. At the same time, fighting in a certain landscape—a particularly idyllic or hostile one, say, or one imbued with symbolic importance—can condition soldiers’ experience of war, potentially causing them to imagine the landscape as a participant in the conflict.

Moreover, warfare changes landscapes, both physically and in the way they are later perceived and experienced. Environmental changes—deforestation, water and soil pollution, dammed or diverted watercourses—are just the beginning. Military engagements can make (mental) maps obsolete through the construction of tunnels, trench networks, and roads; the founding or erasure of settlements; the movement of borders; and the generation of new place-names and landmarks. Finally, landscapes of war give rise to new landscapes of remembrance, as survivors create the cemeteries, monuments, tourist itineraries, art objects, and texts in which later generations might form an impression of what the war was like, and what it meant.

“Landscapes of War” follows from and builds on the successful 2016 CCC panel “Landscapes of Dread,” organised by Debbie Felton and Will Brockliss. Whereas the 2016 panel considered “landscapes of dread, desolation, and despair” in a broad sense, this panel focuses specifically on war landscapes, whether real or imagined. We are particularly keen to see interdisciplinary and cross-cultural approaches to war landscapes, and whilst a focus on Greco-Roman antiquity will unite the panel’s discussions, we also invite contributions that focus on modern intersections of war, landscape, and the classical past.

Topics might include, but are not limited to, the following:

-Representations of place and space in literary treatments of war

-Battle landscapes—beautiful and horrid

-War landscapes and ecocriticism

-Classical ‘traumascapes’

-Commemorative and memorial landscapes

-Sites of contested memory (e.g., sites where more than one battle occurred)

-Battlefield tourism, pilgrimage, and conservation

-War landscapes and imperialism

-The landscape imagined as a participant in war

-Battle landscapes in the visual arts

-Modern wartime receptions of classical landscapes

-Classical archaeology in times of war
Confirmed speakers include:

-C. Jacob Butera (University of North Carolina Asheville)

-Virginia Fabrizi (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)

-Debbie Felton (University of Massachusetts Amherst)

-Chris Mackie (La Trobe University)

-Marian Makins (University of Pennsylvania)

-Sarah Midford (La Trobe University)

-Elizabeth Minchin (Australian National University)

-Bettina Reitz-Joosse (University of Groningen)
We invite papers of 35–40 minutes in length, to be followed by 10 minutes of discussion. Please submit abstracts of no more than 300 words (excluding bibliography) to [email protected] by 1 March 2017. Applicants will be notified of the panel’s decision shortly thereafter. We hope to publish a volume featuring a selection of papers from the panel in due course.

About the Conference

The 10th Celtic Conference in Classics will take place at McGill University and the Université de Montréal in Montreal, Canada from 19–22 July 2017. The conference provides each panel with up to fifteen hours of papers and discussion over three days. The languages of the conference are English and French. For more details, visit http://www.celticconferenceclassics.com/.

Please note that the Celtic Conference in Classics is self-funding; all speakers must arrange and bear their own travel and accommodation expenses. However, as part of the NWO-VENI project Landscapes of War in Roman Literature, our panel is able to offer up to two bursaries for (a) postgraduate students currently writing a Ph.D. dissertation on a related subject or (b) contingent faculty, who lack funding to travel to Montreal. Each bursary will cover the participant’s actual travel costs to Montreal, up to a maximum amount of €1,000. To apply for one of these bursaries, please submit a CV along with your abstract and briefly describe in your e-mail your reasons for wishing to participate, other sources of funding available to you, and the estimated cost of travel.