Friday 27 January 2012

Call for papers: Public and Private in the Roman House and Society

Call for Papers: Public and Private in the Roman House and Society, October 12-13, 2012 New York University Classics Dept.

Abstract deadline: April 15, 2012 E-mail:
Roman houses were designed to suit both the private life of its occupants and the demands of public life. As a result, the division between public and private spaces inside the domus was a complicated topic even for the Romans themselves. Previous scholarship has tended to treat the domus in terms of a rigid division between public and private, with the same division acting as a gender marker for (male) political activities and (female) domestic activities respectively. This strict division within the household now seems outdated. The aim of this workshop, then, is to take a fresh look at notions of public and private within the domus by exploring the public and private spheres of the Roman house from the first century BCE to the third century CE.

We therefore invite papers that explore the complex relationship between public and private in Roman society from a variety of perspectives – historical, archaeological, philological, architectural and anthropological – in order to further the understanding of the domus as a place for social, cultural, political and administrative action.

Potential themes include but are not limited to:

* private spaces as political and cultural arenas

* the person and the house of the citizen and magistrate

* trials and administration within the private Roman house

* the public and private nature of the emperor and the early imperial administration

The workshop is organized by the project Public and Private in the Roman House, which seeks to contribute to the ongoing debate on privacy in the ancient world as well as the issues of how the limits between public and private spaces were drawn. In an attempt to gain new perspectives on these questions, the project seeks to utilize comparative anthropological theories concerning the conceptualization of the public/private interface.

Please submit your abstract (300 words) as a [word/pdf] file to Kaius Tuori to Please include your name, academic affiliation and address in your email.

The deadline for submission of abstracts is April 15, 2012.

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