From I, Claudius, to Private Eyes: the Ancient World and Popular Fiction
Sponsored by The Lana Schwebel Foundation, The Lechter Institute for Literary Research, The Lewis Family Foundation for International Conferences in the Humanities, The Department of Classical Studies, Bar-Ilan University, The Faculty of Humanities, Bar-Ilan University
Monday, June 16, 2014 to Wednesday, June 18, 2014


CFP Deadline: 
Tuesday, December 31, 2013

ANCIENT GREECE AND ROME HAVE LONG FEATURED IN WORKS OF POPULAR FICTION. Over the last few years work, has begun on the subject of classics and children's fiction, with conferences being held in Lampeter (Hodkinson and Lovatt, 2009) and Warsaw (2012), and three publications presently forthcoming on this subject.  Yet  there has been surprisingly little sustained consideration of adult fiction and the ancient world, or indeed of children's literature within the wider context of popular fiction, despite the fact that this is a vast and rich field.  The forthcoming conference, therefore, by way of setting about rectifying this situation, will be the first serious consideration of the full range of receptions of classics in popular fiction. It will bring together scholars from a range of disciplines (classics, English and other modern languages, comparative literature etc.) with popular modern authors, in order to acquire a range of perspectives on the subject.

Proposals are invited for papers (20 minutes in length) on any aspect of the reception of the ancient world in popular fiction.  Papers may focus on broader issues and overviews of the subject in general or more specific reading and interpretations of individual texts or collections.

Possibilities of subjects include, but are not limited to the followingquestions and issues:

·         What role does popular fiction play in contributing to general

           impressions of  the ancient world? What (other) roles should it play?

·         What makes ancient Greece and Rome attractive as a setting for

           popular fiction?  What are the difficulties inherent in utilising the ancient world?

·         What differences are there between Greece and Rome in popular


·         What role do ancient Greece and Rome play in popular fiction in

          different societies and countries in the modern world?

·         Studies of individual authors and their contribution to the genre.

·         Changing trends in historical fiction concerning the ancient


·         The overlap between historical fiction set in the classical world

          and other genres: detective novels, mystery novels, romance etc.

·         Classical mythology and popular fiction.

·         How does popular fiction interact with other media (film,

          television, computer games, the internet etc.)?

·         How does juvenile fiction about the ancient world differ from, or

          overlap with, adult fiction in the same field?

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS:  Edith Hall (Kings’ College, London) (*skype), Nick Lowe (RHUL) AUTHORS CONFIRMED AS PARTICIPATING: Steven Saylor (Gordianus the Finder), Caroline Lawrence (The Roman Mysteries)

Please send proposals to arrive by December 31st, 2013. Paper proposals should be no more than 300 words, and should be accompanied by contact details.

For further information please contact the person listed below. 

Contact Information

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