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Postponed: (Re-)Constructing Identities — Culture, Communication and Exchange in the Ancient World

The conference "(Re-)Constructing Identities - Culture, Communication and Exchange in the Ancient World" will take place on April 23-24th at Freie Universität Berlin.

News vom 25.02.2020

Unfortunately, the event has to be cancelled due to the current situation. The conference is to be postponed to the end of the year.

The event is organised by five doctoral students from the BerGSAS and five doctoral students from the University of Oxford, who will give a presentation on their current research. We shall discuss how myth, religion, collective memory, language, material culture, and culinary traditions define cultural identities and enforce cohesion. In this Call for Papers we now ask for additional presentations and contributions to our poster session.

The Topic:

'Identity' qua concept has been fundamental for the scholarly understanding of premodern societies. Communication and exchange have, in turn, been fundamental to how scholars conceive of 'identity': group membership; social identification; communication media; the built environment; interactions with the divine; exchanges with 'others' — all have been key to what it means to have an 'identity' and to how we define it.
Developments within the natural sciences, including paleogenetics and stable isotope analysis, make 'identity' even more urgent by addressing previously insoluble or even inconceivable questions. At the same time, these new approaches risk reviving outdated concepts, like the "Kurgan hypothesis" by Marija Gimbutas, or even views comparable to those of Gustaf Kossinna, himself influenced by the "Kulturkreislehre" and the "Völkisch movement".

Contributions to this conference may address, for example:

  • the self-constitution of ancient societies
  • family- or kin-based traditions
  • the use of "Others" in the past
  • identity-based conflict

We encourage participation from doctoral candidates of different disciplinary backgrounds in order to ensure a variety of perspectives.

We have room for up to 4 more speakers (20 min. talks + 10 min. discussions), or you can present your research during a poster session on the first day. All papers related to the topic of this event are welcome.

Participation to this conference is NOT restricted to BerGSAS students, all doctoral students in Ancient Studies from Berlin are more than welcome to join us!

Those wishing to have their paper or poster considered for inclusion should submit a title and short abstract (no more than ~250 words) to ox-ber.grad.conference2020@berliner-antike-kolleg.org by Friday, March 13, 2020. For the poster session, we can accept applications even after the abovementioned deadline. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at the above email address.

The organising team (BerGSAS):

Mette Bangsborg Thuesen
Stefan Härtel
Xiaozhe Li
Stefano Palalidis
Kai Radloff