Inspired by and Invigorating Myth and Literature: Contemporary Literature and the Classics

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Northeast Modern Language Association
contact email: 

Margaret Atwood’s Penelopiad, Madeline Miller’s Circe, Natalie Haynes’s A Thousand Ships, Luigi Malerba’s Ithaca Forever, Chigozie Obioma’s An Orchestra of Minorities, and Colm Toibin’s House of Names are just a small sample of contemporary works of literature that engage with and re-tell Classical literature and mythology. Drawing upon ancient subject matters, these new works demonstrate that the Classical tradition remains lively and relevant, even as they pull in new histories, points of view, and contexts. At the same time, Classics departments are being cut, and the field is called upon to investigate its own relationship to racism and misogyny, as works like Donna Zuckerberg’s Not All Dead White Men: Classics and Misogyny in the Digital Age argue. This panel invites papers to explore retellings of Classical myth in contemporary works to examine how and why Classically inspired stories contribute to and add new dimension to our current cultural moment. At this time when Classical mythology and literature is being re-examined, this panel invites papers that explore the ways in which the Classics can be presented anew. How do these retellings or adaptations of Classical mythology and literature contribute new takes on their sources, and do these new works point to a way of understanding Classics in the future?

This panel invites papers that focus on contemporary works that use Classical literature and mythology as their inspiration, and it suggests using these newer works as a way to consider how these sources make meaning now and in the future.

This panel for the 2022 Northeast Modern Language Association conference is accepting abstracts. NEMLA’s 2022 annual conference will be held in Baltimore, Maryland from Thursday, March 10 – Sunday, March 13, 2022.  Please visit this site to submit your abstract:

Please submit paper proposals of 250-300 words by Thursday, September 30, 2021.

For more information, please visit the NEMLA website: