CFP: Harryhausen and the Classical Tradition

Seen on the Classicists list:


Wed 9 November 2011 at the National Media Museum in Bradford

co-organised by Steve Green (Leeds) and Penny Goodman (Leeds)

Classics at Leeds, in collaboration with the National Media Museum at Bradford, is pleased to announce a one-day conference this November based around the film work of Ray Harryhausen.
Harryhausen’s distinctive brand of film animation of classical myth has captured the imagination of generations of viewers – his animation of skeletons in Jason and the Argonauts (1963) and Medusa in Clash of the Titans (1981) are of course legendary.

This one-day conference seeks to explore reciprocal issues: the creative ways in which the Harryhausen films engage with the classical tradition and, conversely, the influence that the Harryhausen films have had on the visualisation of the classical world in more recent culture.

The conference will take place at the National Media Museum at Bradford to coincide with, and mark a celebration of, the arrival of the Harryhausen animation collection to the Museum. Classically-themed items from the Harryhausen collection will be available for viewing on the day. Moreover, as this date also marks the opening of the Bradford Animation Festival at the Museum, the conference will finish with a drinks reception to mark the occasion.

At this point, the co-organisers of the conference are putting out a call for papers. Confirmed speakers so far are: Penny Goodman (Leeds), Steve Green (Leeds), Helen Lovatt (Nottingham), Dunstan Lowe (Reading) and Gideon Nisbet (Birmingham).

The following areas of focus have been identified as particularly relevant and of interest to both Classics at Leeds and the National Media Museum:

* classical v. contemporary influence in Jason and the Argonauts (1963) and Clash of the Titans (1981)
* the creation of classical landscape/ architecture in Jason and the Argonauts (1960) and Clash of the Titans (1981)
* classical engagement in less-obvious/ less well-known Harryhausen outputs
* the influence of Harryhausen’s classical animations on subsequent visualisations of the classical world in (sub-) culture, esp. art, film, video/computer games
* the ‘remake’ of Clash of the Titans (2010)

Papers should last 20-25 minutes; abstracts should be no more than 300 words. Please send abstracts to both Steve Green ( AT AT by Friday 29 April 2011. If you have any further queries, please feel free to contact the co-organisers.

A dedicated webpage for the conference will be constructed shortly.

and Penny Goodman (

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