“What Has Antiquity Ever Done for Us?”  

The Vitality of Ancient Reception Studies, Now 

An international virtual conference
presented by Antiquity in Media Studies

15-18 December 2021

About the Conference

To register for the conference, click here.

Pre-conference registration closes on Wednesday, December 15, at 6 a.m. EST.

Thereafter, during the conference, registration will be accommodated and welcome. But delivery of log-in information may be less timely.

Wednesday, December 15

9:30–10:30 am EST

Research panel: Worldbuilding & historicity (Forum A)

Moderated by Dan Curley, Skidmore College & AIMS Vice President (bio)


Hellenistic empires, population, and cultural assimilation in grand strategy video games

Eduardo García-Molina, University of Chicago (abstract) (bio)

“What is a Roman like you doing in a place like this?” The Forgotten City: Antiquity in video games

David Serrano, University of Santiago de Compostela (abstract) (bio)

Ancient aliens and Soviet science in the animated film “Phaethon, the Son of the Sun” (1972)

Ekaterina But, School of Philosophy and Cultural Studies, HSE University, Moscow (abstract) (bio)

10:45 am12:45 pm EST

Workshop: Greek mythology comics writing (Forum B)


Laura Jenkinson-Brown, Independent Scholar

Amanda Potter, Open University (bio)

Hannah Sackett, Cartoonist, writer & researcher

Natalie Swain, University of Bristol (bio)

1:002:30 pm EST

Livestream: The test of time: streaming and discussing The Forgotten City

This event takes place on the game-streaming platform, Twitch, which may be viewed without an account. If you’d like to ask questions or leave comments, but are not a Twitch member, a concurrent Zoom session with an active chat is provided.


Hamish Cameron, Victoria University of Wellington (bio)

Kira Jones, Emory University and Agnes Scott College (bio)

Alexander Vandewalle, University of Antwerp & Ghent University (bio)

3:004:00 pm EST

Creator interview/roundtable: Ancient inspirations, new fiction: discussion with authors (Forum B)


Thomas J. West III, AIMS Board Member (bio)

Beverly J. Graf, Pepperdine University (bio)

Amanda Potter, Open University (bio)

4:305:30 pm EST

Research panel: Bodies transforming space (Forum A)

Moderated by Janice Siegel, Hampden-Sydney College (bio)


The pregnant body politic: Screening pregnancy and power in Domina (2021)

Misa Nguyen, University of California at Santa Barbara (abstract) (bio)

The queer reception of Orpheus in two recent French films

Em Roalsvig, University of California at Santa Barbara (abstract) (bio)

Happy Ever After in Hades: Space and Story in Video Game Mythology

Sarah Mark, University of British Columbia (abstract) (bio)

6:007:00 pm EST

Creator interview: Roads to Rome: an interview and Q&A with series creators Ryco Newton-Black and Joe Powell (Forum B)

Meet the creators of the adult animated series Roads to Rome.


Chiara Sulprizio, Vanderbilt University (bio)

Thursday, December 16

9:3010:30 am EST

Research panel: The poetics of worldbuilding (Forum A)

Moderated by Robert White, Western Reserve Academy (Hudson OH)


Ten tongues, a bronze heart, and a voice without pause: Oral tradition and the design of A Total War Saga: Troy

Adam Rappold, Brock University (abstract) (bio)

Down the elevator to Hades: From Vergil to The Magicians

Anthony Smith, University of Florida (abstract) (bio)

Epic poetics in popular fantasy franchises: Worldbuilding from Vergil to Star Wars

Koen Vacano, University of Amsterdam (abstract) (bio)

10:4511:45 am EST

Research panel: Blackness & classicisms (Forum B)

Moderated by David Wright, Furman University


Medusa black: The politics of Afro-Caribbean identity in Dorothea Smartt’s Medusa poems

Phillip Zapkin, Pennsylvania State University (abstract) (bio)

Casting Black Athenas: non-White representation of ancient Greek goddesses in modern cinema and beyond

Aimee Hinds Scott, University of Roehampton and Maciej Paprocki, University of Wroclaw (Poland) (abstract) (bios)

Reclaiming classics: Classical allusions and racial equity in HBO’s “Watchmen” (2019) and “Lovecraft Country” (2020)

Kirsten Day, Augustana College (Rock Island, IL) (abstract) (bio)

12:001:00 pm EST

Book launch: Ancient Epic in Film and Television  (Edinburgh University Press, 2021) (Forum A)

A discussion of epic in classical reception and popular media today.

Editors & hosts

Amanda Potter, Open University (bio)

Hunter Gardner, University of South Carolina (bio)

1:152:45 pm EST

Live game play: D.E.S.Troy: Connecting a Classics community through a Zoom-based gaming experience (Forum B)



Mark Damen, Utah State University (bio)

Brad Littler, Independent Scholar (bio)

Charles Oughton, Brigham Young University (bio)

3:004:00 pm EST

Research panel: Streaming as framing (Forum A)

Moderated by Anise Strong, Western Michigan University


Queering Aristophanes’ Wasps

Laura A. De Lozier, University of Wyoming (abstract) (bio)

Orientalism through social media: Does modern YouTube present accuracy with the reception of ancient Egypt?

Tristan Johnson, Saint Louis University (abstract) (bio)

Now via Patreon: A reception of a reception — The Jocasta-centered “Night Journey with Annotation by Martha Graham”

Ronnie Ancona, Hunter College and CUNY Graduate Center (abstract) (bio)

4:305:30 pm EST

Research panel: Reimagining remains of the past (Forum B)

Moderated by Amy Norgard, Truman State University (bio)


Archaeology as a foundation for lore-building in the MYST video game series

Briana Jackson, Pratt Institute (abstract) (bio)

Malthi in Media: Gaming the Bronze Age

Rebecca Worsham (bio), Sarah Kam (bio), Nora Sullivan (bio), and Annika Lof (bio), Smith College (abstract)

Back and Forth: Re-assessing ruins of the past for the sake of the future

Evan Jones, University of North Carolina (abstract) (bio)

6:007:00 pm EST

Special demonstration & discussion: Kitchen reception: Greek and Roman food, YouTube, and the classroom (Forum A)


Jessica Romney, MacEwan University (bio)

Friday, December 17

9:3010:30 am EST

Research panel: Labyrinths & their travelers (Forum A)

Moderated by Rocki Wentzel, Augustana University


Autistic, Blind, and socially anxious Minotaurs: Post-modern monstrosity in the fiction of Steven Sherill, Ruth Rendell, and Peter Goldsworth

Hamish Williams, Polish Institute of Advanced Studies (Warsaw) (abstract) (bio)

The Homeric Hymn to Demeter and the mysteries of Eleusis as existential psychotherapeutic guide map in working with cancer

Angelique Vagopoulou, DipPsych, MSc (abstract) (bio)

Techno-labyrinths and female empowerment in two labyrinth receptions

Alicia Matz, Boston University (abstract) (bio)

10:4511:45 am EST

Research panel: National identity & antiquity (Forum B)

Moderated by Jaclyn Neel, Carleton University


Carry on, wayward sons: Roman Fortuna & American exceptionalism in TV’s “Supernatural”

Jennifer A. Rea, University of Florida (abstract) (bio)

The plundered footage of a fascist film in Sohrab Modi’s anti-Colonialist Sikander (British India, 1941)

Seán Easton, Gustavus Adolphus College (abstract) (bio)

“Le Mythe Dior”: Greek & Roman antiquity and fairy tales for autumn-winter 2020–21 haute couture

Alison Poe, Women’s Art Journal (abstract) (bio)

12:001:00 pm EST

Book launch: Screening Love and War in Troy: Fall of a City (Bloomsbury: January 2022) (Forum A)

A discussion of the enduring appeal of Troy in screen media.

Editors & hosts

Antony Augoustakis, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (bio)

Monica Cyrino, University of New Mexico Albuquerque (bio)

1:152:15 pm EST

AIMS Business meeting (Forum B)


Meredith Safran, AIMS President (bio)

Dan Curley, AIMS Vice President (bio)

Roger Macfarlane, AIMS Secretary-Treasurer (bio)

2:00300 pm EST

Special crossover event with the Save Ancient Studies Alliance (SASA)

Join us for the finale of a six-part livestream of the game Hades!

NOTE: This event takes place on the game-streaming platform, Twitch, which may be viewed without an account. If you’d like to ask questions or leave comments, but are not a Twitch member, a concurrent Zoom session with an active chat is provided.


Kate Minniti, The University of British Columbia (bio)

Alexander Vandewalle, University of Antwerp & Ghent University (bio)

— with special guest Greg Kasavin, Creative Director and Writer of Hades

3:004:00 pm EST

Research panel: Recasting figures of power (Forum B)

Moderated by Annette Baertschi, Bryn Mawr College

The Evil that men do: the Taviani brothers’ Cesare Deve Morire and Paul Schoolman’s Jail Caesar

Christopher M. McDonough, University of the South (Sewanee) (abstract) (bio)

Caesar’s Vercingetorix: from defeated warrior to media icon

Marsha McCoy, Southern Methodist University (abstract) (bio)

‘Romanticised, and to a great extent, utterly wrong images’: The impact of cinematic antiquity on heavy metal music 

Jeremy Swist, Brandeis University (abstract) (bio)

4:306:00 pm EST

Roundtable discussion: Virtual antiquity in the classroom – Benefits and pitfalls – A mixed presentation roundtable (Forum A)


Hosted by Faculty & Staff from the University of Newcastle (Australia)

Marguerite Johnson (bio)

Paul McDonald (bio)

Tanika Koosmen (bio)

Timothy Nancarrow (bio)

Madelaine Sacco (bio)

Zi Siang See (bio)

Tom Sharples (bio)

Connie Skibinski (bio)

6:307:30 pm EST

Creator interview: “Just suppose, just imagine, if it had been different”: Reception and the art films of Andrea Eis (Forum B)

A retrospective of Eis’ work on Clytemnestra and Penelope, and the world premiere 0f Iphigenia Breathes.

Films on Vimeo

Penelope’s Odyssey (2015) — 14:00

Perhaps (2017) — 3:59

Iphigenia Breathes (2021) — World Premiere! — 11:53


Dan Curley, Skidmore College & AIMS Vice President (bio)

Andrea Eis (bio)

Saturday, December 18

11:00 amnoon EST

Research panel: Japanese classicisms (Forum A)

Moderated by Roger Macfarlane, Brigham Young University (bio)

Saint Seiya: Reception of Classics in Japanese comics

Emerson Aparecido dos Santos Bezerra, Federal University of São Paulo (abstract) (bio)

The Mechanics of gaze and view in Longus’ Daphnis and Chloe and Mishima’s The Sound of Waves

Brinda Sarma, Ashoka University (abstract) (bio)

Athletics and exploitation in Olympia Kyklos: Mari Yamazaki’s latest reception of Classical antiquity

Sierra Schiano, The Getty Villa Museum (abstract) (bio)

12:151:15 pm EST

Roundtable discussion: Current research in gaming (Forum B)

Hosted by the AIMS Special Committee on Gaming


Kate Cook, Durham University (UK) (bio)

Ross Clare, University of Liverpool (bio)

Hamish Cameron, Victoria University of Wellington (bio)

Natalie Swain, University of Bristol (UK) (bio)

1:302:30 pm EST

Plenary session: “What has antiquity ever done for us?” Advocating for the study of antiquity and its reception in today’s social, political, and industrial contexts (Forum A)

3:004:00 pm EST

Roundtable discussion: Integrating games into pedagogy (Forum B)

Hosted by the AIMS Special Committee on Gaming

Moderated by Polly Hoover, Wilbur Wright-City Colleges of Chicago


Julie Levy, Independent Scholar (bio)

Michael Nerdal, Bowdoin College (bio)

Jeremiah McCall, Cincinnati Country Day School (bio)

Katherine Beydler, University of Iowa (bio)

4:305:30 pm EST

Research panel: Female reinventions through Lore Olympus (Forum A)

Moderated by David Delbar, University of Chicago

Persephone revived: Modern myth in Lore Olympus

Patricia Morland (bio) and Kirsten M Jaqua (bio), University of California, Santa Barbara (abstract)

Debating love in the Underworld: How Lore Olympus explores relationships in the Persephone myth

Amy K. Vandervelde, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (abstract) (bio)

Demeter and motherhood in modern receptions of Hades and Persephone

Zoé Elise Thomas, University of Texas at Austin (abstract) (bio)


2:00 pm EST

Classics Twitter Movie

Life of Brian (available for streaming on Netflix; available to rent and/or buy on Amazon, GooglePlay, and YouTube).

For more information on Classics Twitter movie, please click here.


Gregory Stringer, Burlington Public High School (MA) (bio) and AIMS

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