‘Classical Displacement(s)’ is an interdisciplinary one-day symposium for graduate and early career researchers on the displacement of marginalised identities through and within the Classics. We gratefully acknowledge the generous support of the London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP).

Friday 23rd November, 2018

G16, Senate House, London, WC1E 7HU

Keynote Speaker: Dr Katherine Fleming, QMUL

Register for free: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/classical-displacements-tickets-51961959620 

Voices that were once kept at the fringes of the Classics have begun to claim a role at the heart of the discipline, particularly through the lens of Classical Reception. Yet antiquity is still appropriated to justify nationalism, misogyny and homophobia. How can we negotiate this crisis of representation surrounding the Classics?

This interdisciplinary colloquium aims to explore the involvement of Greco-Roman antiquity, appropriated by societies throughout history, in the displacement and marginalisation of minority identities. It will also consider the response of those marginalised voices – how groups excluded from and through the Classics have used antiquity to reassert subjectivities. We welcome abstracts for 20-minute papers that consider such questions as:

  • How have the Classics been used as a tool of displacement and marginalisation?
  • How have those who have been marginalised responded to their displacement through the Classics?
  • How have the Classics themselves been displaced?
  • How have marginalised identities and voices within the Classics been repressed or ‘rescued’?
  • How have reactionary narratives used the ancient world to reinforce exclusionary practices?


09.30-10.00 – Registration & Welcome

10.00-11.25 – Panel 1: Gendered Displacements.
Peter Swallow, KCL – The Birds and the Bees: Dis-/Re-/Redis-placement(s) in Aristophanic Performance.

Kathryn Adams, University of Exeter – Elagabalus: The Worst of them All? Why Cultural Attitudes to Gender Caused 18th- and 19th-Century Historians to Brand a Roman Emperor the Worst Figure in all of History.

Oliver Baldwin, KCL – Queer Medea: Construction and Deconstruction of the Gendered Self in Luis Riaza’s Medea is a good boy.

11.25-11.45 – Refreshment Break.

11.45-13.35 – Panel 2: Who Owns Antiquity?

Matthew Mordue, University of Roehampton – The Appropriation of the Classics by the Alt-Right.

Claire Frampton, The Museums Association – Performance of classical stories with traditionally marginalised groups

Karl Goodwin, University of Kent – Ancient Culture and Modern Ethnicity: Regaining Voices through Narratology.

Fiona Hobden, University of Liverpool – Akala’s Hip-Hop Odyssey: The Politics of Race and the Classical Tradition on British Television.

13.35-15.00 – Lunch

15.00-15.05 – Afternoon Welcome.

15.05-16.30 – Panel 3: Displacing Ideologies: Classical Contestations

Virginia Ghelarducci, SAS – Slaves and Masters: Aristotle’s Politics in Valladolid (1550–1551).

Angelica Baker Ottaway, KCL – Identifying with Homer: Simone Weil’s Return to the Trojan War.

Adam Lecznar, UCL – Children of Antaeus: Classical Displacement in Léopold Sédar Senghor.

16.30-16.50 – Refreshment Break.

16.50-17.50 – Keynote Lecture:

Katherine Fleming, QMUL – Classical Absences 

17.50-18:00 – Closing Remarks.

18:00-18:45 – Wine reception (followed by an informal dinner).


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