Historical Consciousness and Historiography (3000 BC–AD 600)

International and Interdisciplinary Conference

Merton College, University of Oxford, 17–19 September 2014

Conference Theme

Despite ancient and modern critical attempts to separate formal historiography from other conceptions and representations of the past (e.g. myths, legends, folktales), the interpenetration between these strands of historical thinking has been observed in many fields of antiquity. For example, mythological and legendary materials are often present in historiographical sources, while historical events or characters are frequently mythologized in literary traditions. Yet, much remains to be explored in early relations and ongoing interactions between formal historiography and other cognitive and interpretative registers of human reckoning with the past, as well as in the implications of these interactions.

This conference brings together twenty experts, representing twelve research institutions, from Anthropology, Assyriology and Sumerology, Biblical and Jewish Studies, Classics, East Asian Studies, Egyptology, Hittitology, and Indo-European Studies to address three main issues: 
(1) the ways different traditions of historical consciousness informed or contributed to the rise of formal historiography; 
(2) the ways formal historiography and other traditions of historical consciousness interacted during their transmission; and 
(3) the implications of such interactions for cultural heritage, collective memory, and later understandings of history.

Full details and registration here.

Speakers Include:

Nick Allen (Anthroplogy, Oxford), John Baines (Egyptology, Oxford), Emily Baragwanath (Classics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill), Richard Buxton (Classics, Bristol), Ken Dowden (Classics, Birmingham), Amir Gilan (Hittitology, Tel Aviv), Jonas Grethlein (Classics, Heidelberg), Christina Kraus (Classics, Yale), Alasdair Livingstone (Assyriology, Birmingham), Peter Machinist (Hebrew Bible/Assyriology, Harvard), Dirk Meyer (Chinese Studies, Oxford), Piotr Michalowski (Sumerology/ Assyriology, Michigan; Na’aman Nadav (Jewish Studies, Tel Aviv), Christopher Pelling (Classics, Oxford), Tim Rood (Classics, Oxford), David Schaberg (Chinese Studies, UCLA), Rosalind Thomas (Classics, Oxford),  Henriette van der Blom (Classics, Glasgow/Oxford), Tim Whitmarsh (Classics, Oxford/ Cambridge), Roger Woodard (Classics & Indo-European Studies, University at Buffalo, SUNY).

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