AMPRAW is an annual conference that is designed to bring together early-career researchers in the field of classical reception studies, and will be held for the tenth year. It aims to contribute to the growth of an international network of PhDs working on classical reception(s), as well as to strengthen relationships between early career researchers and established academics.

AMPRAW 2021 will be held at Columbia University in the City of New York (USA) from Thursday, November 11 to Saturday, November 13, 2021, in collaboration with the Department of Classics at Columbia University, the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society (ICLS), the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and Columbia University Libraries Journals.

Due to the unpredictability caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, organisers are not yet able to confirm that the conference will take place in person. They are also making plans to accommodate a hybrid or online-only event. As noted in the Call for Papers announcement, if the conference will be in person, they are unable to guarantee travel reimbursements to speakers, but might be able to offer support on a need basis.

Confirmed keynote speaker:
Dr. Patrice Rankine (University of Richmond, Virginia)

Ellen McLaughlin (Playwright and Actress)

This year’s theme will be Center & Periphery in the Classics: Theory, Practice and Turning Points. The liminal features of the US (and of New York City in particular) inspired us to focus on this topic. Reception Studies in Classics are still treated as “peripheral” in many places, including this country, in spite of their increasing importance. In particular, they have been sidelined both by those who advocate the study of Classics as an unquestionable discipline, and those who wish to do away with the classical heritage completely. Framing the discussion in terms of center and periphery has the effect of illuminating the ways in which this dichotomy has historically inhabited – and haunted – academia.

Conversations about how the Classics contributed to create the myth of a pure and privileged Western culture against which all attempts at intervention have been delegitimized are becoming more and more frequent within North American universities. Hosting AMPRAW at Columbia will facilitate a most important and timely dialogue around how we define what gets treated as a center and why, and who is left out. Moreover, the concepts of center and periphery need not be understood strictly as geographical or sociopolitical ideas; central to the discussion about the discipline of Classics and its future is the question of its methodologies. Peripheral receptions would also encompass works realized through innovative methodological approaches, both at the research and at the pedagogical level. The theme we propose will open up some areas within the discipline as it is traditionally conceived of: in particular, it could call into question the primacy attributed to the Classical canon, allowing for voices generally disregarded to regain a central place within the scholarly world. Not least, Columbia is stimulated and inspired by its own location – New York City being a historical crossroad of cultures, it makes such a renegotiation even more compelling than elsewhere. The city would provide a perfect setting for this meeting, insofar as it showcases the attractiveness of the center, while also revealing how the periphery exists within and is in tension with it.

Invited are papers of 20-25 minutes dealing with any aspect of Classical Reception(s). Possible topics might be related, but are not limited to, the following areas:

-Classics Inside and Outside the Canon; Classics Inside and Outside Academia
-Decolonizing the Classics
-Classics & Activism
-New Pedagogical Strategies in Classics
-Translation Studies
-Classics and Gender, Sexuality and Queer Studies
-Classics as Public Humanities

The organising committee encourages proposals in the fields of, but not limited to, archaeology, literary studies, linguistics, (art) history, media studies, religious studies, cultural studies, history of law and political science, dealing with all time periods. The conference will be held in English, for the sake of convenience and accessibility. The organisers acknowledge that this choice is in itself political and problematic, as it betrays a certain history of cultural hegemony and power. They will also encourage their speakers to think explicitly about their own relationship with this issue.

Moreover, they are working with the Columbia University Libraries to create a digital publication containing the proceedings of the conference, hoping that this will make participating to AMPRAW an even more productive and exciting opportunity for graduate students and early researchers in the field.

If you would like to present a paper at AMPRAW 2021, please send an abstract of around 200 words to [email protected] by June 15th 2021, together with a short biography stating your name, affiliation, and contact address. Please indicate in your submission whether you would like to apply for a travel reimbursement. Applicants will be selected and notified by the first week of July.