ISAW Announces Graduate Conference Series: I Saw the Futures of the Past

By Isabella Edgeworth

I Saw the Futures of the Past
Encountering the Past: Reflections on an Interdisciplinary Ancient World
March 7-8th, 2024 

Keynote address by ISAW Vice-Director Prof. Roderick Campbell, “We’ve Never Been Ancient: (or the intra-connectedness of spooky antiquities and haunted presents).”

The ISAW Student Council invites submissions for the inaugural session of a graduate conference series ‘I Saw the Future of the Past.’ This first conference, to be held in March 2024, is titled ‘Encountering the Past: Reflections on an Interdisciplinary Ancient World.’ The study of the human past takes many forms, from close readings of texts to visual analysis to archaeological excavation. Traditional disciplinary boundaries are becoming increasingly blurred, however, opening up new questions and offering a greater appreciation for the interconnectedness, diversity, and complexity of people living in ancient societies— not to mention how we engage with representation and other forms and styles of academic writing. In this spirit, this conference aims to bring together the next generation of scholars of the ancient world for a dialogue about how and why we study the past.

Effective papers should build on students’ existing research and engage with specific examples or case studies from antiquity to meditate on broader interdisciplinary questions including, but not limited to, the following themes:

● Individual and collaborative research spanning geographic and temporal boundaries
● Cross-cultural transmission of materials and ideas
● Comparative studies of ancient societies and/or ancient and modern societies
● Receptions and appropriations of the ancient past
● Narrativity and modes of representation in writing
● Teaching and pedagogy
● Diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in studying the ancient world

The conference will be hosted in person at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, in New York City. Responses to the graduate papers will be offered by ISAW Visiting Research Scholars. It is anticipated that presenters will be able to submit their papers for consideration for inclusion in conference proceedings to be published through ISAW Papers.

Submissions are open to graduate students at any level. Each presenter will have 20 minutes to speak. Abstracts should be no more than 250 words. Please email your submissions as PDFs to by December 20th, 2023.