September 22, 2011

Call for Papers: Boston University Department of Classical Studies Graduate Student Conference


CFP: The Raw and the Rotten: Perversions of Eating in Antiquity

Boston University Department of Classical Studies
Graduate Student Conference

March 23-24, 2012

Keynote: Alexander Sens, Joseph Durkin, SJ, Professor of Classics, Georgetown University

The graduate students of Classical Studies at Boston University seek abstract submissions for their fourth-annual graduate student conference. We will explore the topic of food, its preparation, “unnatural” eating, and its repercussions in the ancient world. Food, as a basic human necessity, serves an important biological function but can also signify status, wealth, sophistication, culture or lack thereof. Greeks and Romans recognized this and frequently used motifs of unnatural eating to portray foreigners, enemies and literary characters negatively. Even in one of the earliest works of extant Greek literature, Homer uses food to portray the Cyclops as an uncultured barbarian. Historically, employment of private chefs and extravagant dinner parties were ways to display one’s wealth and power, but were often satirized. Gluttony, regurgitation and cannibalism are kinds of perverted eating used as cultural signifiers. Our goal will be to study this topic in the context of the ancient world, and we encourage submissions from all disciplines.

Any current graduate student interested in presenting a paper at the conference should submit a titled abstract of no more than 400 words. Please include your name, email address, institution, and paper title in the body of the email and attach your abstract as a PDF so that they may be judged anonymously. The deadline for submissions is December 1, 2011.

Papers should be 15 minutes in length. Graduate students from Boston-area universities will prepare a 5 minute response for each paper. A draft of accepted papers must be submitted two weeks before the conference in order that responses can be arranged.

Please send abstracts and inquiries to Dustin Dixon and Leslie Lemire at bugradconference at gmail dot com.

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