Call for Papers

Historiography and Antiquarianism

12-14 August 2011, University of Sydney, Australia

Convenors: Frances Muecke (CAH, Sydney) & John Gagné (History, Sydney)

Sponsors: Centre for Classical and Near Eastern Studies of Australia and School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry, University of Sydney

Organising Committee: Dr. Jenny Spinks (Postdoc, History, Melbourne); Dr. Gary Ianziti (Centre for the History of European Discourses, Queensland); Dr. Amelia Robertson Brown (CAH, Queensland); Prof. D. Potts (Archaeology, Sydney); PG rep.: Christian Callisen (QUT)

Titles and 150-word abstract due 15 January 2011

This conference aims to expand a discussion on approaches to the past from Greco-Roman antiquity to the 17th century, and to assemble scholars interested in the relationship between history and antiquarianism in the ancient and pre-modern worlds. While antiquarian studies have expanded significantly in early modernist circles in the last 30 years, earlier centuries of antiquarianism (up to the 16th century) are only now beginning to attract interest. Was Arnaldo Momigliano right in 1950 that historians write narratives and solve problems, while antiquaries build systems and collect material remains? What has changed in our view of historiography and antiquarianism? Must we reconsider the disciplinary value of antiquarian methods? One historian has even recently argued: ‘in the twentieth century antiquarianism conquered history.’ The hope at this conference is to cross the boundaries between ancient and early modern historians and to provide new ideas for the study of culture in both fields.

Paper length 20 or 30 minute

Periods of Focus:

  • Antiquity
  • Late antiquity / Byzantine period
  • Middle Ages
  • Early Modernity

Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Historians, historiography
  • Antiquaries, institutions, systems
  • The history of research and methods
  • The history of scholarship on lost cultures
  • The study of earliest origins
  • Collection, organisation, empiricism
  • Artifacts, media, art
  • Antiquarian societies
  • Religious history
  • Problems of genre (history, chronicle, antiquary)
  • Compendia, florilegia, anthologies, epigraphy

Please send all correspondence and inquiries to: