Call for Papers

Antiquity in Media Studies (AIMS)
Our International Online Conference
Early December 2022

The Kaleidoscope of Antiquity
Shifting Perspectives on the Ancient Mediterranean World and Its Modern Receptions


Americas, UK & EU

Regular Conferencing Days

  • Thursday–Friday, December 1–2
  • Friday–Saturday, December 9–10

Special Events

  • Saturday–Thursday, December 3–8

Australasia

Regular Conferencing Days

  • Friday–Saturday. December 23
  • SaturdaySunday, December 1011

Special Events

  • SundayFriday. December 49

Each year’s new wave of receptions of Mediterranean antiquity in global media reinforces how influential this deep past remains in popular imaginations around the world. Despite the many “other worlds” in which narratives may be set, and the shrinking footprint of ancient Mediterranean studies in most educational institutions, this past continues to fire the imagination of creators, comfort the balance sheets of companies, and draw audiences in droves.

And yet, these receptions of Mediterranean antiquity may not carry the same meanings or associations for all participants, including where individuals’ responses may be informed by various aspects of identity. Like an image in a kaleidoscope, both the antiquity that one sees, and the agency of the viewer in creating that image, change depending on how one twists the scope. Creators may remix various ancient and modern narratives, aesthetics, and ideologies to create something novel. People on the business side of entertainment and culture industries generate their own rubrics for gauging what “antiquity” is worth to their bottom line, which can also be reflected in how promotional departments market such projects. Audience members may relate to the representation of antiquity in ways that were not intended by the creators, even identifying with characters other than the protagonists.

There is value in multi-faceted antiquities, as well as in the multifaceted perspectives for viewing them. And yet, if perspectives on antiquity as a historical entity, and the meanings of antiquity in modernity, are kaleidoscopic, inquiries into the meanings of these perspectives are complicated by varying degrees of interest in factuality. What attracts people to a given reception of antiquity is not necessarily rooted in informed knowledge about the past or the cultural politics of ancient reception in modernity—even when consultants were hired to bring such knowledge into a production. Such variables complicate how scholars might conceive of the future of informed knowledge about antiquity and its reception as a cultural force in contemporary societies around the world.

For this year’s annual meeting, AIMS welcomes submissions that explore the kaleidoscopic nature of antiquity and its receptions in a wide variety of media, including but not limited to the products and production of film, television, analog and video games, novels/genre fiction, fan fiction, comics, manga, anime, animation, fashion, music, theater, dance, cooking, and social media.

We will accept a variety of proposed formats for the presentation of research, pedagogy, and creative responses to the reception of antiquity, including but not limited to individual 20-minute papers, three-paper panels, roundtables, workshops, poster sessions, lightning sessions, play-throughs, live multi-player games, technical demonstrations, creative showcases, creator interviews, and other activities that can fit within a 60-90 minute time slot and be delivered remotely at this online conference. NOTE: Research papers will be prerecorded and available with captioning in advance of the conference, while discussions of these papers will be live.

For links to guiding questions for formulating proposals, instructions on how to submit proposals, and information on the structure of this year’s conference, please see below. AIMS is committed to creating an environment that supports participants of diverse backgrounds and perspectives, and we encourage submissions from scholars from underrepresented backgrounds. Submissions are due by Thursday, September 15.

Please direct questions to AIMS President Meredith Safran at <presidentaims@antiquityinmediastudies.org>. 


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