"Writing Ancient and Medieval Same-Sex Desire: Goals, Methods, Challenges"
June 30-July 2, 2020
Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
This call for papers is for a conference to take place June 30-July 2,
2020 at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, on the topic
of writing about same-sex desire in ancient and medieval societies.
Derek Krueger (UNC Greensboro), Mark Masterson (Victoria University of
Wellington), Nancy Rabinowitz (Hamilton College), and Shaun Tougher
(Cardiff University) will be providing plenary addresses.
For several decades now, scholars have devoted attention to same-sex
desire in both ancient times and the centuries that followed. Not
surprisingly, there have been vigorous debates over how to go about
it. These debates have been framed in various ways. Here are some
* essentialism VERSUS constructivism;
* Foucauldian discourse analysis VERSUS approaches inspired by
* (the impossibility of) objective history VERSUS (overly)
* perception of commonalities across time VERSUS rigorously
historicizing insistence on the past's alterity;
* positivism VERSUS imaginative reconstruction of contemporaneous
These dichotomies, which are both reductive and don't exhaust the
possibilities, continue to crackle with contention. They also continue
to undergird and even disturb current scholarly endeavours. We are
looking for papers (30 minutes in length) in which scholars not only
speak about primary source material but also reflect explicitly on the
theoretical orientation of their work (see the dichotomies above for
examples) and the purpose(s) of (their) scholarship on same-sex
desire. An additional objective of this conference will be an edited
volume of papers that will aim to showcase a variety of approaches to
this important topic.
Please send proposals (c. 500 words) to Mark Masterson
by 1 December 2019. If you have any questions, please send them to him
at this address also.
In your proposal include
1) the primary source material/historical milieu to be discussed, and
2) the general theoretical basis of the work