Refuse and Reuse: The Challenges of Repurposing and Re-imagining in the Ancient World

full name / name of organization: 
The Department of Classical Studies at Duke University and the Department of Classics at UNC-Chapel Hill

The Department of Classical Studies at Duke University and the Department of Classics at UNC-Chapel Hill are proud to announce this Call for Papers for the 22nd Annual Duke-UNC Graduate Student Colloquium. This year's colloquium is entitled "Refuse and Reuse: The Challenges of Repurposing and Re-imagining in the Ancient World," to be held April 1-3, 2011. The keynote speaker will be Eric Varner of Emory University, who will be speaking on "Ambivalent Identities: Repurposing Roman Portraits."

Concerns about the resources of society, both physical and cultural, as well as their reshaping, reuse, and re-imagining, are ubiquitous in our lives today. From environmental issues to intellectual and cultural originality, we are constantly confronted with the need to balance consumption and production. Did ancient societies face similar concerns? How did burgeoning Mediterranean civilizations manage increasing demand for the limited natural resources at their disposal? How did ancient poets, playwrights, historians, and artisans cope with an ever-increasing abundance of literature and material, and what motivated them to constantly reinvent and re-imagine their cultural heritage? How did ancient societies and individuals maintain a balance between emulation and innovation?

Possible topics may include, but are not limited to:
- The Classical Tradition: reuse of Classical literature and myth in later literature
- Material Culture: reuse of classical architecture styles; the refashioning of ancient structures (e.g. obelisks and inscriptions) in antiquity for other building projects; the repurposing of classical buildings for Medieval and Christian purposes
- Manuscripts and papyri: e.g. the intentional and unintentional transmission of texts from antiquity through the Middle Ages
- The re-use and treatment of non-Greek and Roman literature in the Greco-Roman world
- The reception of the Classical tradition and conceptions of the Classical world in modern times

The abstract submission deadline is February 11, 2011. Abstracts of approximately 300 words for 15-20 minute papers should be sent to:classicscolloquium@gmail.com.