Identity Past & Present - 8th ANNUAL MEETING & MASTER CLASS
C R A S I S - Culture, Religion And Society - Interdisciplinary Studies in the Ancient World
8th ANNUAL MEETING & MASTER CLASS
Identity Past & Present
7-8 March 2019, University of Groningen, The Netherlands
KEYNOTE & MASTER Dr. Louise Revell (Southampton)
In the last two decades, identity has emerged as a core approach to the study of the ancient world. Yet, identity as a concept has not always been addressed explicitly, but instead used as a safe term to deal with problematic concepts, such as the substitution of ‘cultural identity’ for ‘Romanization’. The term ‘identity’ is not always carefully defined, and the background to the theoretical approach not stated explicitly (is it drawn from sociology or philosophy or feminist studies). Instead, it has too often become part of a ‘common-sense’ or presentist view of the past. In other quarters, there has been a questioning of the applicability of such modern concepts to the ancient world, whether due to the elision of identity and individualism, or to a hesitancy in ascribing identity in the absence of an explicit statement of self-identification.
- Modern vs. ancient. The meaning of identity now and then. Did the ancients have an articulated concept of identity and if so how did they articulate it? The difference between modern and ancient conceptions of ‘identity’. The question of anachronism and contemporary models of explanation for studying identity in antiquity.
- ‘Internal vs. ‘external’ identity. The issue and possibility of personal or internal identity in the ancient world as opposed to ‘belonging to’ or ‘sameness’ to others, i.e. external identity.
- The importance of public and domestic space for understanding identity, community, and group formation. Different means of expressing and constructing identity, such as language and literature, the adoption of certain customs, associations, networks, and building styles.
- Social values and structures. The role of social values in governing identities in Graeco-Roman, Mediterranean and Near Eastern societies and its possible relations to the individual. The power of social structures and identity formation.
- The question of similarity and difference. The impact of imperialism on identity formation, imperial and ‘global’ vs. provincial and ‘local’ identities. Boundaries and fixation of identity as opposed to fluidity.
- Bodies of evidence (literary, epigraphic, archaeological). Methodological problems and solutions vis-à-vis the handling of these bodies of evidence in relation to studying questions of identity in the ancient world.
- PhD and Research Master Students are invited to submit a title and abstract (500 words) for the Master Class (March 7, 2019), which explains how their own research relates to the theme.
- We invite established scholars and postdocs to submit a title and short abstract (250 words) for a lecture of 35 minutes on the conference day (March 8, 2019).
- Please accompany your application for either part of the event with a brief (~75 words) academic background and deliver both parts in a single Word document to facilitate processing.