Call for Papers -- Days of Gold: Nostalgia and the Idealized Past

Aratus Phaenomena 114

The Classics Graduate Student Association of the University of Virginia invites papers for its tenth Graduate Student Colloquium, "Days of Gold: Nostalgia and the Idealized Past", to be held in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday, March 25, 2006.

The keynote speaker will be Christopher Pelling, Regius Professor of Greek at Christ Church, Oxford. Professor Pelling has published primarily and extensively on ancient biography, including Plutarch and History (2002), and historiography, including Literary Texts and the Greek Historian (2000).

As classicists we are constantly in contact with romantic and idealized versions of the past. This colloquium seeks to explore the construction of these ideal pasts by considering the question of how ancient literature and art conceive and represent a "golden" image of antiquity. For instance, what techniques and motifs do poets and prose writers employ, and how are these different from each other or from the strategies used by other artists? What motivations drive authors and artists to create Golden Ages or other idealized views of history? What role does idealization play in philosophy and cult? How does such idealization affect the human and divine past, either together or separately? Are there instances where such an idealized past is resisted or even ridiculed? How and why? In what ways does this tendency continue to have an effect on representations of the classical world in medieval, Renaissance, and modern times -- even in contemporary classical scholarship?

We welcome submissions from classical studies and related fields, including art history, history, philosophy, comparative literature, etc. Abstracts should be one page in length and submitted anonymously to:

Athanassios Vergados
University of Virginia
Department of Classics
P.O. Box 400788
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4788
Fax: 434-924-3062

Submissions by e-mail are encouraged. These should take the form of an anonymous attachment: the body of the e-mail should include your name, address, and the title of your paper. Abstracts should be submitted by January 14, 2005 and all applicants will be informed of their status by February 15, 2006. Questions may be directed to Dan Barber ( This announcement and updates may be found at the colloquium website (