CFP: Between nostos and exilium: “home” in on-screen representations of the ancient Mediterranean world and its narratives (8/1/17; 11/1-5/17)

deadline for submissions: 
August 1, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Film & History



Between nostos and exilium: “home” in on-screen representations of the ancient Mediterranean world and its narratives

An area of multiple panels for the 2017 Film & History Conference:

"Representing Home: The Real and Imagined Spaces of Belonging"

The Hilton, Milwaukee City Center, Milwaukee, WI (USA)
November 1-5, 2017

EXTENDED DEADLINE for abstracts: August 1. 2017


Artists working in screen media have long explored the concept of “home” in ancient Mediterranean narratives. For example, Homer’s Odyssey, the most frequently adapted narrative, depicts a homecoming that will restore the protagonist’s identity within his family, estate, and community, all of which are threatened by a band of outsiders that attempts to destroy that home by claiming his wife, killing his heir, and seizing his property: an ironic replay of Odysseus’ role in the Trojan War. The surviving Trojans end their exile by founding a new homeland, Rome, where shifting alliances within the socio-political network of ancestral houses blur the boundaries of domestic and civic interests until one household subsumes the homeland.


In what ways are modern depictions of e.g. oikos, polis, domus, and patria reflective of these ancient concepts? In what ways is the private sentimentality that “home” entails in contemporary discourse fused with the affective value of such concepts in order to facilitate audience investment in ancient characters’ aspirations and struggles?


This area invites 20-minute papers (inclusive of visual presentations) considering the depiction of “home” as physical or symbolic structure in on-screen interpretations of the ancient Mediterranean world and its narratives. Topics include, but are not limited to:


--articulating family relations within the home: parents, children, spouses, siblings

--gendered roles within the oikos or domus

--the ancestral “house”: individual, familial, and civic functions

--“others” in the home, e.g. slaves, guests, hostages, and illegitimate offspring

--home as patrimony: dramas of property, kinship, and inheritance

--tension between domestic and civic loyalties

--domestic space as public and/or private space

--the significance of the house as mise-en-scène

--the view of home from away, e.g. during military service, pilgrimage, exploration

--narratives of return: the romance and danger of homecoming, challenges of reintegration

--exiles and home: longing and alienation

--the destruction of house or homeland, from within or without

--foundations: the creation of new houses and homelands


Proposals for complete panels (three related presentations) are also welcome, so long as they include an abstract and contact information, including an e-mail address, for each presenter. For updates and registration information about the upcoming meeting, see the Film & History website (


Please e-mail your 200-word proposal by 1 June 2017 for early consideration, and by 1 July 2017 for general consideration, to the area chair:


Meredith Safran

Trinity College (USA)