WHAT IS THE MEMORIES OF ANTIQUITY WORKING GROUP ?
In this working group on ‘Memories of Antiquity’, we plan to encourage, enable, and coordinate international collaborations between scholars of various disciplines interested in memory studies and the study of antiquity. We are scholars of antiquity (ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, and the Near East) and its reception, and we have found memory studies approaches such as memory schemata, travelling memory, oral memory, memoryscapes, etc. immensely important for our own scholarship. However, as attendants of both the 2017 and the 2019 MSA conferences, we have found that there is no space – digital or physical – in the Memory Studies Association and its conferences in which memories of antiquity can be discussed in a formalised setting. We believe that there is a growing interest in antiquity and its reception, as, for instance, evidenced by the growth of Reception Studies in the field of Classics, which could productively be integrated within the existing networks of the MSA. The benefits of this would be twofold: firstly, having a working group on classical antiquity might encourage more scholars from thus far underrepresented fields, such as Classics, Egyptology, and ancient Near Eastern studies to attend and participate in the MSA conferences. Secondly, this group would give a platform in which existing members of the MSA could discuss research ideas on the reception of antiquity that have thus far perhaps remained secondary to their research outputs and focus.