Call for Papers

We invite expressions of interest and abstracts for ‘Approaching Landscape in the Classical Tradition’, which will form a 3-day panel at the 11th Celtic Conference in Classics, to be held at the University of St Andrews from 11th-14th July 2018. We are actively seeking abstracts from scholars at all stages in their career and from a range of disciplines who are engaged in landscape research from historical and literary perspectives.

The panel will focus on the theories and methodologies underpinning the study of landscape within Classics and cognate fields. ‘Approaching landscape’ in a historical, literary, or critical sense is by no means straightforward. The humanities have come relatively late to the ‘landscape turn’ in cultural research, and researchers of space and landscape have often drawn on self-made toolkits of theories and methodologies collected from disparate disciplines – such as geography, anthropology, and sociology – to form their own approaches to landscape. Prospective speakers are invited to share their own toolkits, and to make explicit the assumptions and ideas underlying their analyses of human interaction with the landscape in past contexts.

Our goal is to assemble a series of 20-30 minute papers that focus especially on theoretical frameworks for analysis, and on the impact of different vocabularies, particularly anachronistic ones, for explicating past engagements with landscape. Broad themes may include, but are by no means limited to: landscape and memory, landscape and power, phenomenological, cognitive, ecocritical, anthropological, narratological and poststructuralist approaches to the representation of landscape.

At the same time, potential speakers are asked to base their discussions on a specific topic from their own research, to ensure that each paper not only offers new methodological insights but is also grounded in the context of a particular text or era. Our aim is to include papers on ancient Mediterranean literature and culture, across a wide geographical range and from archaic Greece through to late antiquity, side by side with others on the reception of ancient ideas about landscape in postclassical culture. Possible topics for discussion include locus amoenus and pastoral traditions, mountain landscapes, urban, sacred, mythical and battle landscapes, and landscape depictions in ancient art.

In addition to individual papers, the panel will feature extensive time for discussion between participants. As one output from the panel, we plan to produce a detailed report which will serve as a working guide to the different methodologies proposed, and the potential they might offer to future research on landscape.

Please contact either Dawn Hollis (dawn.hollis@st-andrews.ac.uk) or Jason König (jpk3@st-andrews.ac.uk) with questions, expressions of interests, and abstracts. Abstracts should be no more than 300 words in length and should be submitted by 31st January 2018. We hope to notify potential participants of decisions regarding their papers by Friday 16th February, if not before.