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orion-list Hellenism conference call for papers

Crossposted from Classic@panda.mscc.huji.ac.il

Hellenism, History, and Ethnography
in the Early Roman Empire

        Groups often define their members and their collective identity in
opposition to those who are outside the group or do not share the same
system of defining values.  In classical antiquity, this tendency is
perhaps most familiar to us in the various formulations of the
Greek/Barbarian dichotomy - a topos which pervades all genres and all
periods of Greek literature.  This conference seeks to examine the way in
which Greeks of the first few centuries of our era sought to define and
express their identity as Hellenes.  Specifically, we seek to understand
how the concept of Greekness was formulated in light of the political
inclusiveness of the Roman Empire as well as the cultural exclusiveness of
the Greek/Barbarian dichotomy.  We are primarily interested in papers which
address what might be termed "ethnographic tropes" in Greek literature of
the period.  How do the Greeks of the Early Empire write about themselves
and other cultures of the Mediterranean and Near East, both in the present
and in the archaizing past?  In what way may archaism itself function as an
ethnographic trope?  What does it mean to speak of the "Persians" in the
midst of the Parthian Wars or the German campaigns?  Perhaps most
importantly, who are the barbarians and what does this tell us about who
the Hellenes might be?

        Abstracts of no more than 500 words should be received by October
31, 1999. The conference will be held on February 4-5, 1999 at the Franke
Institute for the Humanities at the University of Chicago.  Please address
all submissions to Hellenism, History, and Ethnography Conference, Daniel
Richter, The Department of Classical Languages and Literatures, The
University of Chicago, 1010 East 59th St., Chicago, IL  60637.
        Please direct all inquiries to: dsrichte@acs-popmail.uchicago.edu.
Please include e-mail addresses as responses will be sent out by the
beginning of October.

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