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CFP Annual Meeting of the Association of Ancient Historians

April 19, 2018 - April 21, 2018

College of William & Mary
PO Box 8795
Williamsburg, VA 23187 United States

Call for Papers Deadline: December 4, 2017

Call for Papers

We seek papers that raise broader issues and themes that will engage all AAH attendees regardless of their primary specialization. As always with the AAH, all sessions are plenary.   Papers will be 20 minutes in length, with time for discussion.

Please send abstracts (.pdf or .docx) of no more than 500 words to by Monday, December 4, 2017. Limited references may be provided in-text only; no bibliographies please. Name your submission file in a way that indicates the panel to which you are applying.

We anticipate holding sessions on the following themes:

  • Travel in Ancient History

Recent decades have seen a growth of interest in the study of travel in antiquity, a topic that is integral to geography and cartography and was itself an important strand in many literary genres. This panel will attempt to draw together the threads of this trend by examining the phenomenon of travel in antiquity from as broad a range of perspectives as possible. Some of the topics that papers might address are the logistics of ancient travel, cartographical tools that helped guide travel, the role of travel in historical and biographical events, the role of travel in interstate politics and economy, travel as a means of acquiring social capital and defining identities, ideologies of travel and their relation to reality, travel and pilgrimage in the practice of ancient religions, the historiography of travel, and travel as an element of historiographical methodology.  

  • Colonialism and Ancient Mediterranean Religions

Historical and cultural studies over the last few decades have embraced the study of colonialism in the ancient world.  Theoretical approaches to this concept have included colonial and post-colonial theory, empire theory, as well as ethnicity and other types of identity studies.  The impact of colonialism on religious practices of the ancient Mediterranean world, however, has not yet been thoroughly explored.  Questions to be considered in this panel may include the following.  How are the religious practices and beliefs of a colonizing state viewed by the indigenous population and vice versa?  To what degree are the religious practices of the colonizing state affected by indigenous practices? How do the religious practices of a colony relate to those of its “mother” state?  Is there evidence for “resistance” to colonialism in religious practice?  This panel aims to bring together scholars of religion, history, philology, and archaeology to explore case studies and theoretical models for understanding the impact of colonialism on ancient Mediterranean religions.

  • Ancient Democracy

We seek papers that explore all aspects of ancient democracy.  Topics might include (but are not limited to) the use of non-literary sources, such as epigraphy and papyri, to understand ancient political systems, the evolution of democracy in the Hellenistic and Roman periods, or the intersection of democracy and economics.  Papers that focus on areas and time periods beyond the scope of Classical Athenian democracy are especially welcome.

  • Food, Drink and Identity

In recent years scholarly contributions in the area of ancient food culture have begun to provide fresh perspectives on social, political, military and religious identity in the Greco-Roman world. We seek papers that will continue to build upon these recent advances by viewing ancient food, drink and identity through a wide interpretative lens, from the Greek Bronze Age to the Late Roman Empire, including the ancient Near East. Comparative approaches with other cultures and time periods will be especially welcome, as will be papers that treat the topic through any number of sources, including, but not limited to, historiographical, inscriptional, legal and archaeological.

  • New Directions in Achaemenid Persian Studies

The study of the Achaemenid Persian empire has grown into a thriving field of ancient history, with fruitful connections to related disciplines including Assyriology, Egyptology, Judaica, and Greek history.  This panel seeks to stimulate conversations on the future of Achaemenid Studies, and welcomes papers on new evidence, approaches, and projects of importance to the field.  Topics may include (but are not limited to) the evidence of the Persepolis archives, Babylonian temple archives, the archaeology and art history of the Achaemenid empire, and the textual evidence for Persia’s relations with Mediterranean neighbors.

  • Imperial Encounters in Ancient Anatolia

Ancient Anatolia was a meeting place of empires, the site of complex encounters between the political, cultural, religious, and economic systems of foreign conquest-states and diverse local populations.  This panel will explore the interactions between imperial powers and the people and landscapes of Anatolia in the longue durée, and welcomes papers on aspects of this theme from the Hittite Bronze Age to the Persian, Hellenistic, and Roman eras.

  • Archaeology and Epigraphy

Recent years have witnessed a sea-change in the way we access and make use of inscriptions from antiquity – from the digitization of material (e.g. The Herculaneum Graffiti Project), to mapping (Imperium Romanum on Googlemaps), to crowd-sourcing that helps produce critical editions (the Ancient Lives project). This panel invites submissions that employ or publicize new approaches to inscriptions, illustrating the benefit of new methodologies and practices. We also invite interdisciplinary papers, especially archaeological inquiries that provide context on the display, meaning, and function of inscriptions as monuments.

Call for Posters

This year’s AAH meeting will also have space and time set aside for posters. Please send abstracts as above. 

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April 19, 2018
April 21, 2018
Event Category:


John Donahue


College of William & Mary
PO Box 8795
Williamsburg, VA 23187 United States
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