Special Issue on Memories of Antiquity

deadline for submissions: 
December 1, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Memories of Antiquity Research Group (in affiliation with the Memory Studies Association at https://www.memorystudiesassociation.org)

CFP: Special Issue on Memories of Antiquity 

We invite prospective contributions for a special journal issue centred around modes of remembering antiquity (including the reception of ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt, the Near East, and other cultural contexts). 

While the study of antiquity and its reception has always been a subject of scholarship, there still exists relatively little theoretical work on the ways in which reception operates in practice. In the West, classical works, images, narratives and characters have an extremely long- and wide-ranging diachronic and synchronic reception history, which should be approached with a set of tools that does not lose track of the ways in which reception histories shift with the times – with the meanings that are created anew at each point of reception, to paraphrase Charles Martindale’s well-known dichtum from Redeeming the TextLatin Poetry and the Hermeneutics of Reception (1993).  

Both within and outside of the academy we are currently witnessing a growing interest in antiquity and its reception, evidenced both by the growth of Reception Studies as a discipline as well as the exploding catalogue of works in popular culture that engage with (especially Graeco-Roman) antiquity. Antiquity is everywhere – from the books in various university libraries, to the bestseller lists at Waterstones, to our TV screens and even gaming consoles. They are so prominent, and have been for such a long time that, as Astrid Erll already outlined in 2018, ‘[c]lassical receptions are essentially a form of cultural memory. There is a great and as yet largely untapped potential for a dialogue between the two fields’ (‘Homer: A relational mnemonhistory’, Memory Studies, p.283).

This special issue aims to get this dialogue started by approaching the study of classical reception through the lens of memory. We are not limiting the time periods or locations we are considering. Instead, we are interested in collecting a set of case wide-ranging studies that understand antiquity as a set of cultural memories, to explore the ways in which reception operates when considering the longue durée histories of classical myths, figures, and narratives. 

We are particularly interested in the following areas of scholarship:

  • Classical Reception Studies 
  • Longue durée reception histories
  • Memory Studies
  • Egyptology
  • Biblical Studies 
  • Ancient Near Eastern Studies 
  • World literature
  • Contemporary culture and literature 
  • National and Transnational histories

We hope to collaborate with a range of scholars whose work is preoccupied with modes of remembrance (narrative topoi, memoryscapes, archaeologies of remembrance, travelling memory, oral memory, lieux de mémoire, etc.). We welcome traditional academic journal articles for a special issue that we are aiming at the Memory Studies Journal, which is affiliated with the Memory Studies Association that our research collective is part of.  (https://www.memorystudiesassociation.org)

If this project interests you, we ask that you submit an abstract of 250-400 words with a provisional title via email to memories.of.antiquity@gmail.com by December 1, 2022.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions or comments.


Prospective editors: 

Madeleine Scherer; University of Warwick and University Centre Askham Bryan

Relevant publications: 
Classical Memories: The Underworld in the Twentieth Century (DeGruyter, 2021) 

A Quest for Remembrance: The Underworld in Classical and Modern Literature (Routledge, 2020)

Jakob Schneider; Humboldt University  

‘Tiefe Brunnen und kein Ende: Notizen zur Rezeption und Wandlung der Gedächtnistheorie’(Aegyptiaca - Journal of the History of Reception of Ancient Egypt, 2020)