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A Perfect Death? Historical, Literary, and Philosophical Reflections on Life, Death, and Remembrance in Greco-Roman Antiquity

We are pleased to announce the two-day conference “A Perfect Death? Historical, Literary, and Philosophical Reflections on Life, Death, and Remembrance in Greco-Roman Antiquity”, which will take place in person on 15-16 October 2024 at KU Leuven (Belgium).

We invite scholars and researchers working on Greek and Latin literature, ancient history, and ancient philosophy to submit paper proposals exploring the theme of the conference. By fostering an inclusive dialogue across disciplines, this conference seeks to unravel the multifaceted layers of the ancient Greco-Roman view on and approach to the concepts of life, death, and remembrance.

We encourage submissions that examine:

– The socio-cultural aspect of death (e.g., burial rites, mourning rituals) and historical accounts that illuminate the cultural nuances and societal values attached to the manner of one’s demise in antiquity;

– the different ways of dying (e.g., suicide, obligatory death, death by sacrifice) and the value that was attributed to them;

– the literary representations of death in diverse genres;

– the philosophical inquiries into the nature of a well-lived life, the pursuit of virtue, the acceptance of mortality, and the fear of death;

– the perspective of the other (e.g., remembrance) and the literary or cultural legacy one wanted to leave behind;

– other related topics.

Each presentation will last for approximately 20 minutes, followed by a 10-minute discussion. Keynote lectures will be offered by Prof. dr. Han Baltussen (University of Adelaide) and Prof. dr. Monica Gale (Trinity College Dublin). There will be no conference fee. We anticipate publishing the conference papers in a collected volume.

Submission guidelines:

– Deadline for submission: February 20, 2024.

– Please send your abstract (as a WORD e-mail attachment; up to 300 words) to Ide François (ide.francois@kuleuven.be) and Wim Nijs (wim.nijs@kuleuven.be) with the subject line: “A Perfect Death – Abstract Submission”. The abstract should be in English, as this will be the communication language of the conference.

– Please include your name, institutional affiliation, and contact details in your email. We welcome submissions from researchers from all career stages and from a variety of disciplinary homes.