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Meeting Program Units

2017 Annual Meeting

Boston, MA

Meeting Begins11/18/2017
Meeting Ends11/21/2017

Call for Papers Opens: 12/19/2016
Call for Papers Closes: 3/7/2017

Requirements for Participation

Society for Ancient Mediterranean Religions

Program Unit Type: Affiliate
Accepting Papers? Yes

Call For Papers: Gods of our fathers: restoration, archaism and nostalgia in Greco-Roman religions. What are the historical, social functions of the return to ancient tradition – real or imagined – in ancient Mediterranean religions? The re-materialization of the archaic is a familiar phenomenon in a range of Greek and Roman rituals, including the religious reforms of Augustus, Hellenistic archaizing, and the antiquarian enthusiasms of the second sophistic (Alcock 2001; Nasrallah 2005; Spawforth 2011). Theoretical frameworks emphasize the challenges and potential of these fabrications, for both the ancient participants who lived the cultures we study and for the scholars who seek to understand these phenomena. Significant theoretical foundations have come from Hobsbawm and Ranger, who explored the significance of fabricated pasts for the emic realities of national and cultural self-identity (Hobsbawm and Ranger 1983; Linnekin 1991; Babadzan 2000; Briggs 1996). Bourdieu’s work among the Kabyle famously examined how generations of cultural change transformed the ‘pure’ Kabyle house into an object of ‘structural nostalgia’ - simultaneously receding from, and created by, the investigator’s lens (Goodman 2009; McCutcheon 1997; Silverstein 2004). Studies of religion and cultural memory have explored ritual practices through the lens of memory as a social phenomenon (Assman 2005; Galinsky 2016). This panel invites papers which ground these theoretical questions in specific case studies from ancient Mediterranean contexts, including Greek, Roman, Near Eastern, Jewish, Christian, or Islamic. We are especially interested in papers which employ comparative approaches, and which integrate the study of material and textual sources. For further information and references, see the SAMR blog:

Program Unit Chairs

Nancy A. Evans

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