CFP: Postcolonial Latin American Adaptations of Greek and Roman Drama (APA Panel)

Seen on the Classicists list (please direct any queries to the folks mentioned in the item and not to rogueclassicism):

Postcolonial Latin American Adaptations of Greek and Roman Drama

143rd Annual Meeting of the American Philological Association

January 5-8, 2012, Philadelphia, PA

Organized by Konstantinos P. Nikoloutsos (Saint Joseph’s University)

Research on the reception of classical drama has focused on Europe, Northern America, Africa, and
Australasia, but has ignored, for no justifiable reason, Latin America. Greek and Roman tragedies
regarded as canonical in the West migrated to this region since the early colonial years and have
been rewritten, especially in recent decades, to suit modern social and political concerns. For
example, Griselda Gambaro’s Furious Antigone (1986) and Jose Watanabe’s Antigone (1999), two of
the many Latin American adaptations of Sophocles’ play, appropriate a seminal story of protest
against state oppression to discuss the issue of the desaparecidos, the thousands of "missing"
civilians who were abducted, tortured, and murdered in secret by military and paramilitary forces
during the Dirty War in Argentina and Peru respectively. Similarly, in Medea in the Mirror (1960)
Jose Triana blends motifs from Euripides and Seneca to comment on the social and racial
inequalities in pre-Revolution Cuba, whereas Jorge Ali Triana revisits Sophocles in his film Oedipus
Mayor (1996) to document aspects of the Colombian Civil War waged between the army and
peasant guerillas.

The attention that Latin American adaptations of Greek and Roman drama have so far received
from Anglophone classicists (Nelli 2009, 2010; Nikoloutsos 2010, 2011; Torrance 2007) is
disproportionate to their number and geographical spread. Seeking to raise awareness about this
important area of research, this panel–the first of its kind to be organized at a national level–
solicits papers that examine case studies and approach the topic from a variety of theoretical and
interdisciplinary perspectives. Questions to be discussed include, but are not limited to, the

1. What is the artistic and sociohistorical context for these adaptations?
2. Are they direct derivates of the Greek or Roman original, or are there other texts or traditions
involved in this hybridization?
3. Are these rewritings dominated by or emancipated from the ancient prototype in terms of
narrative structure, character development, and ideology?
4. Does this blending of classical themes with postcolonial experiences leave room for indigenous,
mestizo, mulatto, or other mixed-race identities to be expressed?
5. What conclusions about the migration of ideological topoi and stylistic features across Latin
America can we draw from these adaptations?

Abstracts must be received in the APA office by February 1, 2011. Please send an anonymous
abstract as a PDF attachment to apameetings AT Be sure to mention the title of the
panel and provide complete contact information and any AV requests in the body of your email. In
preparing the abstract, please follow the APA’s formatting guidelines for individual abstracts. All
submissions will be reviewed anonymously. Inquiries can be addressed to
Konstantinos.Nikoloutsos AT

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