by Jean Marie Carey on June 3, 2013

13-14 November 2014, The Warburg Institute, London.¬†Early modern Europe found new fascination in the classical past, but¬†how that past was conceived varied widely. This conference will¬†explore diverse notions of antiquity across Europe in the early modern¬†era, challenging assumptions about a Greco-Roman past and a¬†‚ÄėRenaissance‚Äô that were both universal and monolithic. It is already¬†well known that multiple ‚Äėantiquities‚Äô informed the artistic and¬†literary culture of Rome, Florence and Venice and much recent work has¬†been done on the reception of antiquity in France, Germany and the¬†Netherlands. Our conference will consider how this research has¬†fundamentally changed the perception of European antiquarianism and¬†further explore the reception of the classical past on the local and¬†regional level.¬†European communities considered local antiquities as living testaments¬†to their antique origins, whether real or fictive. They looked not¬†only to Greco-Roman antiquity, but also to the culture of pre-Roman,¬†indigenous populations. Cities and regions shaped their notions of the¬†‚Äėantique‚Äô not only from a classical heritage but also that of more¬†recent past, as when medieval objects or texts were believed to be¬†ancient or purposely re-fashioned as such. Real or fictive ruins,¬†inscriptions, or literary works could be used to demonstrate a¬†particular idea of the ancient past or as a statement of civic pride.¬†Described in poetry or other texts, antiquities were central to the¬†literary traditions of local communities; works of art and¬†architecture either redeployed¬†spolia¬†of recognizable local provenance¬†or were characterized by a regional concept of the antique. Adopting¬†an interdisciplinary and comparative method, the conference aims to¬†investigate such issues.¬†We seek abstracts for papers that explore local concepts of the¬†antique in the form of archaeological excavations, works of art,¬†architecture, or texts. How were local antiquities used to construct a¬†sense of identity for civic bodies or individuals? How did imported¬†modes of classical revival merge or clash with local idioms? How did¬†local communities respond to or attempt to rival Rome and other heirs¬†to antique traditions?¬†Papers might address issues of competing ‚Äėantiquities‚Äô, the character¬†and priorities of local concepts of the antique, or relationships¬†between concepts of antiquity in various regions. They might also consider wider aspects of the local reception of antiquity, such as¬†patterns in myths of origins that recur in different areas of Europe.¬†We would welcome any topic dealing with the impact of local concepts¬†of antiquity in early modern literature, antiquarianism or the visual¬†arts.¬†This 2-day conference organized by Kathleen Christian¬†(The Open University, Department of History of Art) and Bianca de¬†Divitiis (ERC/HistAntArtSI project, University of Naples¬†Federico II) will be held at the Warburg Institute in London on¬†Thursday November 13‚ÄďFriday November 14, 2014. We expect to fund¬†airfare and three nights accommodation in London for speakers who are¬†unable to request support from their own institutions. We plan to¬†make a video of the conference available online and to publish the¬†proceedings.¬†Please send 350 word abstracts in a Word or PDF attachment¬†to both¬†Kathleen Christian¬†and Bianca de Divitiis. Deadline 31 July.

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