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CALL. 31.10.2016:'A Quest for Remembrance': The Descent into the Classical Underworld"-




LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: University of Warwick,(Coventry,England)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Madeleine Scherer (Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies, University of Warwick)

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Katabasis, the descent into the underworld, is an often literary genre whose earliest examples go back to classical antiquity, including the epics of Mesopotamia, ancient Greece and Rome. Since Rachel Falconer's influential Hell in Contemporary Literature (2007), examining katabatic themes has become a popular strand of research. However, particularly in the 20th century, the descent to the underworld has been engaged with in a number of different art forms, such as the epic of Derek Walcott, the poetry of Eavan Boland, and the paintings of Romare Bearden. This conference aims to provide an interdisciplinary perspective on the potential uses of katabasis and its relationship to memory, encapsulating methodological approaches from departments as varied as Literature, Philosophy, History, Classics, and History of Art.

We invite abstracts of up to 250 words, plus a brief biography, for papers of no more than 20 minutes or panels of three associated papers. Abstracts should be sent to by 31 October 2016. Submissions can cover but are not limited to the following themes:

Katabasis and Literature

1. Katabasis in the poetry of Wilfred Owen 2. Katabasis in Derek Walcott's Omeros 3. Katabasis in T.S. Eliot's “Wasteland” 4. The Classical Underworld in Dante's Inferno 5. The Classical Underworld in Milton's Paradise Lost

Katabasis and Art

1. The Classical Underworld in the paintings of Romare Bearde 2. Depictions of the Classical Underworld in Romantic Paintings

Katabasis and Film

1. Katabasis in Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey 2. Katabasis in Marcel Camus' Black Orpheus 3. Katabasis in Disney's Hercules

Katabasis and Video Games

1. Underworld References in Hidetaka Miyazaki's Dark Souls 2. The Classical Underworld in Jonathan Knight and Stephen Barry's Dante's Inferno 3. The Classical Underworld in David Jaffe's God of War Series

Postcolonial uses of Descent Narratives

1. Descent Narratives in the Caribbean 2. Descent Narratives in Ireland 3. Descent Narratives in South Africa

The Reception of specific katabatic narratives

1. The Reception of Odyssey XI 2. The Reception of Aeneid VI 3. The Reception of Plato's Myth of Er 4. The Reception of the Orpheus Myth

Katabasis and War

1. Katabasis and Traumatic Memory 2. The Battleground as Underworld Metaphor 3. Katabasis and World War I/II

- Metaphors of Descent Narratives in historical narratives - Metaphors of Descent Narratives in philosophical texts (i.e. Plato's Republic) - Theoretical overlaps: Memory Studies and Classical Reception

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