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Refuge and Refugees in the Ancient World - 11-12/11/2016, New York (NY, USA)

In light of the recent upsurge in work on ancient Mediterranean migration and exile, as well as current events, new questions arise: What heuristic value does the term “refugee” have for our understanding of the ancient equivalent? How do we define refuge and refugees? Where do we look for the voices of refugees among the ancient evidence? What and where are the sites of “refuge” attested across the ancient Mediterranean world?

FECHA/DATE/DATA: 11-12/11/2016

LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Columbia University (New York, USA)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Karin Christiaens (Art History & Archaeology) ; Maria Dimitropoulos (Classical Studies) ; Amelia Eichengreen (Classical Studies) ; Elizabeth Heintges (Classics) ; Zachary Herz (Classical Studies) ; Evan Jewell (Classical Studies) ; Carina de Klerk (Classics) ; Christopher Jones (History) ; Alice Sharpless (Classical Studies) ; Jeremy Simmons (Classical Studies) ; Joseph Woldman (Art History & Archaeology)

INFO: web -


PROGRAMA/PROGRAM/PROGRAMMA: disponible también aquí/also available here/anche disponibile qui

Friday, November 11

9:00-9:15am Introductory Remarks by Evan Jewell

9:15-11:15am Tracing Refugees – Moderator: Alice Sharpless

  • Marcus Ziemann (Ohio State University) – “Refugees, Expatriates, and Mercenaries and the Creation of an East Mediterranean Literary Koine in the Archaic and Classical Periods”

  • Mateo González-Vázquez (Universitat de Barcelona) – “Refuge in a Hole: The Spread of siroi in Northeast Iberia (2nd century BCE)”

  • Raffaella Da Vela (University of Bonn) – “Homeland is Where my Heart is: Cultural and Social Identities of Refugees in Hellenistic Central Italy”

  • Joe Sheppard (Columbia University) – “Escape from Pompeii”


11:15-11:30am Coffee Break

11:30am-1:00pm Reflections on Exile – Moderator: Christopher Jones

  • William Reed (Johns Hopkins University) – “Bestowing the Weapon of God: Trauma and Acculturation in Ezekiel’s Refugee Identity”

  • Ralph Lange (Universität zu Köln) – “I’m Not There: Distance and Identity in Cicero’s Exile”

  • Mark Francis Mariani (University of Notre Dame) – “Longings of the Heart: Baruch’s Reflections (and Receptions!) on Exile and Return”

1:00-2:00pm Lunch

2:00-3:30pm Refuge in the Hellenistic World – Moderator: Elizabeth Heintges

  • Deirdre Klokow (University of Southern California) – “Power, Refuge, and the Negotiation of Identity in the Seleucid Colonies”

  • Eliza Gettel (Harvard University) – “Refugees of the Achaean League? Writing Violence into Ancient Networks”

  • Daniel Healey (Princeton University) –“Isiac Refuge: A Painted Ptolemaic Aetion in Pompeii’s Temple of Isis.”

3:30-3:45pm Break

3:45-4:45pm Spatial (In)stability in Late Antiquity – Moderator: Joseph Woldman

  • Dan Salyers (Fuller Theological Seminary) – “Flee to the Church: Chrysostom, Eutropius, and Asylum”

  • Krista Dalton (Columbia University) – “The Wandering Traveler as Ani: Transient Poverty in Rabbinic Literature”

4:45-5:00pm Break

5:00-6:00pm Keynote Address: Elena Isayev (University of Exeter) – “Refugee Agency: the Potency of Re-Invention”

Saturday, November 12

10:00-11:30am Narratives of Flight – Moderator: Jeremy Simmons

  • Fiona Sweet Formiatti (Australian National University) – “Theoklymenos, the ‘Overlooked’ Homeric refugee”

  • Maxwell Stocker (Texas Tech University) – “Flight, Exile, and Homecoming in Greek and Egyptian Narrative Poetry: Depictions of Home and the Other in Homer’s Odyssey and the Tale of Sinuhe”

  • Florencia Fustinoni (University of British Columbia) – “Cultivating Success Abroad: A Comparative Study of Finding Refuge in the Tale of Sinuhe and the Joseph Novella (Gen. 38-50), and the Communities that Generated them”

11:30-11:45am Coffee Break

11:45am-12:45pm Suppliants in the Ancient World – Moderator: Karin Christiaens

  • Ruggiero Lionetti (Scuola Normale Superiore) – “Moral Obligations towards Refugees: Herodotus and the Ancient Mediterranean Practices of Supplication”

  • Sarah Eisen (Columbia University) – “The Ancient Greek Idea of Supplication: Cult Statues, Asylia, and Ritual Protection”

12:45-2:30pm Lunch

2:30-3:30pm Refuge in Greek Drama – Moderator: Carina de Klerk

  • Tristan Bradshaw (Northwestern University) – “Utility and Refuge in Sophocles’ Oedipus Plays”

  • Alessandra Migliara (CUNY Graduate Center) – “Ancient and Modern Refugees: A Sicilian Adaptation of Aeschylus’ Suppliants”

3:30-3:45pm Break

3:45-4:45pm Keynote Address: Demetra Kasimis (University of Chicago) – “The Metic in and out of Theory”

4:45-6:15pm Round Table Discussion – Moderator: Maria Dimitropoulos

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