​​​​​​2016 ISSEI conference 

The University of Lodz, Poland

Chair: Jakub Filonik
Department of Classics, University of Warsaw, Poland

jakub.filonik@uw.edu.pl

Workshop: What’s Not New in the New Europe: Ancient Answers to Modern Questions

The political, social, and economic challenges Europe faces today appear to many people as utterly new and unprecedented, but most of them had their parallels in the ancient world. Throughout antiquity, members of Greek states and communities were confronted with numerous threats to their life and livelihood, and felt the need to defend the social and political entities that defined them. They lived in a world of constant economic crises, wars, destruction of entire cities, immigration, and social instability. The remedies for these pressing issues and their causes were the subject of public deliberation and theoretical reflection, constantly in search for a more stable and viable political order.

            Instead of simply idealising the ‘wisdom of the Greeks’, this workshop seeks to identify those of the ancient experiences that can be fruitfully compared with the challenges lying ahead of modern Europe, along with their causes and proposed solutions. How, then, did the Greeks confront their own crises? Given their political assumptions and realities, how would they have dealt with the ‘European experience’ today, and would their solutions be acceptable to us? Is there anything in particular in their answers that may now be followed or, to the contrary, avoided?

            Scholars are invited to submit proposals on topics relating to the ancient Greek states and communities from the archaic to the pre-Byzantine period, with a particular focus on their practical, ideological, and philosophical response to crisis and change. These may include: 

- shifts in political power and the threat of losing political autonomy;

- economic and humanitarian crises, immigration, and regional instability;

- alliances, peace treaties, and interstate agreements;

- social, political, and legal innovation, changes in status of individuals and groups;

- regime change and coups d’état;

- the effects of (civil) wars, social conflicts, and large-scale enslavement;

- the threat of annihilation. 

            Panellists are encouraged to adopt an interdisciplinary approach to linking the past to the present in line with the general theme of the conference. The workshop is open to scholars of all disciplines who can provide in-depth readings of ancient history, politics, and/or the primary sources. 

Please submit a 250-300 word abstract and a tentative list of references and main sources by 31 March 2016 to Jakub Filonik, at jakub.filonik@uw.edu.pl.