Oysters and Snails: Love & Sex in the Ancient World on Screen (11/1/09; 11/11-14/10)

full name / name of organization: 
Cynthia Miller/Film & History
contact email: 

Call for Papers
"Oysters and Snails: Love & Sex in the Ancient World on Screen"
2010 Film & History Conference: Representations of Love in Film and Television
November 11-14, 2010
Hyatt Regency Milwaukee
Second-Round Deadline: November 1, 2009

AREA: "Oysters and Snails: Love & Sex in the Ancient World on Screen"

Films and television programs about the ancient Greek and Roman worlds have long served as useful sites for investigating love and sexuality. How, for example, do Quo Vadis (1951), Ben-Hur (1959), Spartacus (1960) and Cleopatra (1963), and I, Claudius (1976) probe issues such as homosexuality, male bonding, female sexual aggression, the eroticized display of the human body, sex and religion, or sex and class? Why do representations of ancient Rome so often test our ideas about decadence, "perversion" and otherwise "broken" sexual mores? Where do sex and empire really intersect? Do film depictions of ancient Greece—or Egypt or Persia—test our perspectives on sexuality in different ways? Recent films—such as Gladiator (2000), Alexander (2004), Troy (2004), and 300 (2007), as well as the TV series Rome (2005-07)—present matters of love and sex with modern cinematic devices (special effects, digital production) and mores (graphic violence, nudity, and sexual acts), but where are these films traditional, even conservative—and why?

This area, comprising several panels, welcomes papers and panel proposals exploring the many ways that love and sex are represented in films and television programs about the ancient world. Possibilities include, but are not limited to, the following topics:

• Exposed Masculinities: Hercules & the Muscleman films
• Cleopatra, Orientalized Sexuality & "the Other"
• Heterosexual Love, Faith and Redemption in the Religious Epics
• Roman Deviant Sexualities: from Homosexuality to Incest
• Slaves, Sex and Class
• Greek Sex: is it Sexy?
• Ancient World films & Camp
• Girls Gone Wild: from Cleo to Xena

Please send your 200-word proposal by e-mail to the Area Chair:

Professor Monica S. Cyrino
University of New Mexico
Email: pandora@unm.edu

Panel proposals for up to four presenters are also welcome, but each presenter must submit his or her own paper proposal. For updates and registration information about the upcoming meeting, see the Film & History website (www.uwosh.edu/filmandhistory).