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CALL. 19.01.2020: The Spatial Turn in Roman Studies: Durham - Durham (England)




LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Durham University (Durham, England)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Amy Russell (Durham University); Maxine Lewis (The University of Auckland)



From the Mediterranean to the cubiculum, epic travels to artefact distributions, and spatial syntax to proxemics, the spatial turn has been felt across the study of the ancient world. This series of events reflects on a generation’s worth of work on the spatial turn in Roman studies and seeks out the best new scholarship arising from it.

The goal of our programme of events is a double one: first, to gain an overview of the directions research has taken, identify underlying themes and trends, and describe successful spatial methodology as a guideline for future work; second, to move beyond what has been done and explore the full potential of spatial approaches, especially by bringing together work that has taken the same body of spatial theory in different directions. The most pressing divide we see is between work on historical and archaeological space on the one hand, and imagined and literary space on the other: they represent two well-developed bodies of scholarship in Roman studies, both often drawing on the same set of 20th-century spatial theory, but not often in conversation with each other. Could more be done to bring them together and pool their insights, or does the problem lie in the way the underlying spatial theories fail to bring together real and imagined space?

The Durham conference will include research papers, seminars with precirculated readings from major thinkers in spatial theory, and participation from scholars including Christopher Dickenson, Catharine Edwards, Dunia Filippi, Annette Haug, Peter Heslin, Daniel Gargola, Elena Isayev, David Larmour, Ali Mandanipour, Lisa Mignone, and Andrew Riggsby. We will open registration for all interested in attending nearer the time. This call is for those interested in delivering 20-minute research papers on any topic related to the spatial turn in Roman studies. Papers should present new research grounded in spatial methodologies; they could be historical, literary, archaeological, philosophical, or all four and more, and could cover any aspect of the Roman Mediterranean from the archaic period to late antiquity, but should reflect the impact of the spatial turn on their scholarly context. Please send a 300-word abstract as an email attachment to BOTH AND by 19 January 2019. We welcome proposals for innovative presentation formats, and are keen to hear from speakers of all career stages and from any discipline.

It is our ambition to pay for travel within Europe and accommodation during the conference period for all speakers. We hope to support virtual attendance for some sessions via Skype or similar, but those giving papers should plan to attend in person.

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