CFP: Enduring Influence: Classical Exemplars from the Medieval to the Modern Era

Deadline: September 30, 2021

The Classics have exerted a profound influence on world culture from the medieval period to the present day. Scores of literary works have drawn upon the intellectual and literary models of Classical authors as well as the rich trove of pagan legends and myths. This appropriation of classical and mythological themes and personalities allows authors to exploit deep hermeneutical potential and invest their works with cultural resonance, often endowing the original exemplar with a novel, vivid representation. The figures of Antiquity, both historical and mythological, have endured to serve as exemplars to many ends. Authors use these exemplars to praise or criticize their literary subjects’ actions, invite their readers to engage emotionally with the text, subvert traditional associations with these figures, and fashion new identities for their literary subjects or for themselves. All of these uses and many more demonstrate the enduring influence of the Classics and the exemplarity of the figures of Antiquity through the modern day.

This panel invites papers that explore the influence and incorporation of classical and mythological figures as exemplars in the post-classical world, drawn from diverse periods and geographic areas. The co-chairs eagerly welcome papers exploring the use of classical and mythological exemplars for the purposes of identity fashioning, subversion, and innovative interpretation; however, all uses of exemplars will be considered for inclusion.

This session is intended to inspire renewed interest in a well-trodden field and to demonstrate the undying vitality of the Classics and myth exemplars. Special preference will be afforded proposals that explore multidisciplinary approaches and underrepresented cultural groups.

Please submit abstracts of 200-300 words by September 30, 2021 to the session portal.

For questions related to this session, please contact Dr. Sherry Maggin at sherry.maggin@westpoint.edu and Dr. John Pendergast at john.pendergast@westpoint.edu .