Athens to Aotearoa: Greece and Rome in New Zealand Literature and Society, 4-6 September 2014

full name / name of organization: 
Simon Perris, Classics Programme, Victoria University of Wellington (NZ)
contact email: 

Athens to Aotearoa: Greece and Rome in New Zealand Literature and Society
Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand), 4-6 September 2014

Keynote speaker: Prof. Witi Ihimaera (author of The Whale Rider)
Convenors: Prof. Jeff Tatum and Dr. Simon Perris (Classics Programme, V.U.W.)

First deadline for abstracts: Monday 5 May, 2014
Final deadline for abstracts: Monday 2 June, 2014

The Classics Programme at Victoria University of Wellington is delighted to announce a conference on the reception of antiquity in New Zealand, to take place in Wellington on 4-6 September 2014. This conference seeks to explore New Zealand's relationship with its Greco-Roman heritage both through a critical appraisal of its effects but also by glimpsing into the creative experiences of New Zealand's writers and artists. To that end, we solicit presentations from students of antiquity as well as New Zealand culture and society, and from New Zealand writers, artists, and performers who have engaged with texts, themes, and ideas from antiquity. We also invite all of those interested in the subject, even if not offering a paper, to consider attending the first-ever conference devoted wholly to this topic. In particular, we hope for a mix of scholars, practitioners, and others, both in the audience and at the podium: we welcome abstracts for academic papers as well as presentations, from practitioners, of a more applied nature. Our common goal will be the elucidation of New Zealand's distinctive appropriation of the classics.

Possible topics include, but are in no way limited to, the following: poetry; fiction; graphic novels; drama; film and television; myth; architecture; education. Please submit a brief abstract (200-250 words), including a title and description of the contents of your paper, to Simon Perris ( With a view to facilitating travel arrangements, we will begin assessing abstracts received, and notifying participants, immediately after the first deadline of Monday 5 May. Though preference will be given to abstracts received before that deadline, we will consider abstracts until the final deadline of Monday 4 June.

The conference will begin with a welcome reception and the keynote lecture by Witi Ihimaera on the evening of Thursday 4 September, followed by two full days of presentations on Friday 5 and Saturday 6 September. The conference dinner is scheduled for the evening of Saturday 6 September.

Registration for the conference is now open online:

Standard registration is $180 (full)/$80 (student), with day rates available. 'Earlybird' registrations for both days before 30 June 2014 will be charged at a discounted rate of $160/$60. A conference website with information about the conference, Victoria University, and the city of Wellington will appear in due course.

In the meantime, please send abstracts and requests for information to Simon Perris: