CFP: Reception of Greek and Roman Culture in East Asia

seen on the Classicists list:

The Reception of Greek and Roman Culture in East Asia:

Texts & Artefacts, Institutions & Practices

Thursday, 4 July 2013 – Saturday, 6 July 2013

Venue: Freie Universität Berlin

Over the past decade, scholars have examined the reception of the ancient Greek and Roman cultures around the globe. This has been done by analyzing the role of ancient Mediterranean culture in a variety of cultural instances; for example post-antique texts and images, ideology and institutions, as well as rituals and practices. The research has been wide-ranging, including examinations, for instance, of Greek tragedy in 20th-century African theatre and Latin poetry in colonial Mexico. Still there has not yet been a project dedicated solely to the reception of Greece and Rome in East Asia, despite tantalizing clues concerning the wealth of material available for investigation: from the Isopo Monogatari (伊曾保物語), a 16th-century Japanese edition of Aesop’s Fables, to a theatrical season in Beijing in July 2012 directed by the famed Li Liuyi that included both Sophocles’ Antigone (安提戈涅) and the Tibetan epic King Gesar (格萨尔王).

This conference will explore the reception(s) of Greek and Roman culture in East Asia from antiquity to the present. In particular, we are interested in the question of how and why ancient Greek and Roman texts, images, and material cultures and the knowledge and ideas contained within them have been adapted and refigured in East Asian texts, imagery, and cultural artefacts. We are also, however, eager for papers on the teaching of Greek and Latin in schools and the history of ancient studies at universities as well as other institutions. In addition, we welcome papers on historical examples of intercultural contact from the early precursors of the Silk Road to the arrival of Jesuit missionaries; as well as on the impact of ancient beliefs and ideas on cultural practices in East Asia including, for example, religious communities of recent origin which incorporate ancient gods and heroes. The conference will seek to further the dialogue of Reception Studies to include not only past and present but also “East” and “West.”

The ever-growing complexity of the relationship (economically, politically, and culturally) between East Asia and the “West” makes the study of the reception of Greco-Roman antiquity in East Asian cultures particularly relevant and timely. Since “Western” culture’s self-conception begins in Europe with ancient Greece and ancient Rome, the reception of ancient Greco-Roman cultures in East Asia provides an excellent point of reference for current intercultural and interdisciplinary dialogues in an increasingly globalizing world. This conference aims to explore this point of reference by bringing together an international and interdisciplinary group of scholars and practitioners (performing artists, writers, visual artists, and those working in theatres and museums) to analyze the many diverse aspects of the reception of Greek and Roman culture in East Asia.

We invite papers from a variety of disciplines, especially: • Ancient and Modern History and Philology; • Literary Studies, Cultural Studies, Religious Studies; • Theatre, Film and Media Studies, Art History; • Philosophy, Theology, and Political Science.

In addition to papers from scholars, we welcome contributions by those working in the arts and cultural sector. Papers are expected to be 20-25 minutes in length with 5-10 minutes for questions immediately following. The conference will be held in English. We aim to publish selected papers from the conference in an anthology.

To be considered, please submit a proposal of no more than 300 words and a biography of no more than 50 words to the below email address by 30 January 2013. Please note that text in non-Latin script should be accompanied by a transliteration alongside in the body of the proposal. Any further questions can be directed to the following email address: greeceandromeinasia AT

We are looking forward to an inspiring conference and lively discussion!

Prof. Dr. Almut-Barbara Renger (Freie Universität Berlin) & Dr. Katie Billotte


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