Cleopatra and the Celebrity of Infinite Vareity (edited collection)

deadline for submissions: 
February 15, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Dr. Courtney A. Druzak (DigiPen Institute of Technology) and Margaret J. Yankovich, M.I. (Independent Scholar), editors



According to Stacy Schiff in her acclaimed 2010 biography of Cleopatra VII, Egypt’s last queen was “A goddess as a child, a queen at eighteen, [and] a celebrity soon thereafter.” That is to say, Cleopatra has lived on in the imaginations of scholars, artists, and storytellers to the effect that her multifaceted legacy– as, per Schiff, “an asteroid, a video game, a cliche, a cigarette, a slot machine, a strip club, a synonym for Elizabeth Taylor”--has long overshadowed her brief life as a mortal, and catapulted her into the stratosphere of celebrity. In the almost 2,000 years of history that have unfolded since her death in 30 BCE, her life and her person have been consistently appropriated and reappropriated, her celebrity and larger-than-life legacy performed in countless artistic imitations and interpretations. That Cleopatra has defeated the obsolescence of death and the passing of time to become one of greatest celebrity figures of both the Western and Eastern worlds is a subject that begs for further scholarly interrogation. 


It is with this framework in mind that we invite scholars of diverse academic disciplines–literature, art, cultural studies, history, and more–to submit papers for inclusion in Cleopatra and the Celebrity of Infinite Variety, an edited collection of works on Cleopatra and legacy/performance of her celebrity in the popular imagination. We have strong interest from a publisher for this project. 


Some topics for this interdisciplinary edited collection include, but are not limited to:


-Cleopatra as agentic subject


-Objectified Cleopatra / Cleopatra reproduced as object 


-Intersections of race and sexuality in her portrayals in art and literature


-Cleopatra in children’s literature


-Western vs. Eastern perceptions of Cleopatra, particularly through a historical lens 


-Readings of recent biographical works on Cleopatra (such as Schiff’s biography as well as Alberto Angelo’s 2021 biography)


-Commodifications of Cleopatra and her legacy


-Representations of Cleopatra in artistic/visual media (painting, sculpture, print, design, film, theater, video games)


-Cleopatra in fashion / fashion inspired by Cleopatra


Interested scholars should submit abstracts of approximately 300 words, along with brief author bios, to by February 15, 2022 for review. Emerging and experienced scholars are both encouraged to apply. A decision regarding all submitted abstracts will be made no later than early March, with notifications sent by March 15, 2022. If an abstract is accepted for inclusion in the collection, the first draft of the proposed work will be due October 1, 2022. Works should be between 5,000-7,000 words, and citations should be in Chicago Notes-Bibliography style. A total of no more than five images can be used per essay, and contributors are responsible for attaining all rights and paying all fees for images used in their essays.




Courtney A. Druzak holds a PhD in English from Duquesne University. She currently works as an Assistant Professor of English at DigiPen Institute of Technology in Redmond, WA, where she teaches writing and literature. Her work is focused on the early modern period and ecofeminism, although she also holds a special interest in Cleopatra as both historical figue and celebrity. She can be reached at


Margaret J. Yankovich is a graduate of Rutgers University School of Communication and Information where she received a M. I. in Library Science. A public librarian, she is employed as the Head of Information at the Dorchester County Public Library in Cambridge, Maryland. Margaret also publishes and presents as an independent scholar of horror media.