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CALL. 05.01.2016: Imagining the Afterlife in the Ancient World - Birmingham (England)



LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: University of Birmingham ; Newman University (Birmingham, England)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Juliette Harrisson ; Tom Hunt ; Niall Livingstone

INFO: call - web -


We invite paper proposals for an inter-disciplinary conference on the theme “Imagining the Afterlife in the Ancient Mediterranean World”, to take place in Birmingham, UK at the University of Birmingham and Newman University, 21-23 June 2016.

When people in the ancient world imagined the afterlife they invested it with their hopes and fears. Across the Mediterranean world these imagined afterlives took various forms, occupied different places, and did peculiar things to the people who would reside in them. As they did so they became integrated into broader narratives of selfhood, social life and cosmology. Talking about life after death necessarily meant reflecting on the social, cultural and political world in which people lived their lives before death. This conference invites paper proposals that engage with the roles of the afterlife in the imagination of ancient and late ancient people.

Topics might include (but are not restricted to):

– afterlife and cosmology;

– afterlife and selfhood;

– the politics of the afterlife (what will happen to “us” – and “them”?);

– material traces of afterlife belief;

– the afterlife of afterlives (the reception of imagined afterlives);

– afterlife and Christianity;

– afterlife as speculative fiction;

– afterlives and geography;

– the law and the afterlife.

We welcome proposals from all relevant disciplines, including but not limited to Classics, Ancient History and Theology. We welcome papers which cross, or call into question, boundaries between disciplines. Please e-mail abstracts of 300 words for papers of 20 minutes (please note the unusual spelling of Harrisson – 2 s’s!) by 5 January 2016. We are primarily looking for individual paper proposals, but also happy to consider panel proposals.

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