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Classicisms in the Black Atlantic is an event to bring together scholars of classics, classical reception studies as well as cultural and intellectual historians of Africa and African diasporas to discuss transnational dialogues and debates on classical traditions (both traditional European classics and traditions founded on African antiquity).
A heterogeneous world of writers, intellectuals and political figures in Africa and in African diasporas created new classicisms in their transformation and contestation of European textual traditions founded on ancient Greece and Rome, and in their engagement with the traditions of African antiquity. Few would hold that there was or is a singular black Atlantic classicism – each author has her or his historical moment of engagement with “the classical.” Nevertheless, the historical frame of African/diasporic cultural construction has long been understood as transnational, mobile and interconnected. This conference seeks to explore precisely these transnational dimensions of classicism in the work of intellectuals and artists of the Black Atlantic. We seek to bring classicists and scholars of classical reception into conversation with cultural and intellectual historians of Africa and African diasporas to trace conjunctures and disjunctures of the classicisms created in the Black Atlantic, as well as the historical circuits and trajectories of the ideas and thinkers that created them.
Cosponsored by the Department of Comparative Literature and Contexts for Classics