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Sixth Annual Undergraduate Classics Conference

This conference will pertain to a wide variety of topics concerning the classical world, with paper sessions being divided by theme based on the papers accepted. Abstracts will be considered from any discipline within classical studies (archaeology, history, philology, art, etc.) or a related field, including interdisciplinary topics or topics in Egyptology and the ancient Near East. Examples range from an analysis of the rhetoric of a Demosthenic speech to a report of the findings of a current excavation to a commentary on the hybridization of style in Pompeian wall painting (this is not an exhaustive list).

Submission of Abstracts

Abstracts are due by November 14, 2016 to You must also fill out and submit an information sheet via Google Forms. The Google Form can be found here. Notifications of acceptance will be sent on December 1, 2016. Click here for a guide for abstract submissions.

Abstract Details

Abstracts should be no more than 250 words double-spaced in Times New Roman font. Please do not include the name of the presenter or university on the abstract. Instead, include a title on the abstract and make sure it matches the title on the information sheet. You must have a preliminary bibliography of at least three sources listed after your abstract.

Conference Date

February 25, 2017
The conference will take place at the University of Tennessee College of Law.

Audio-visual equipment will be available for presenters. Presentations should last no more than fifteen minutes (with five additional minutes for Q&A afterwards).

The keynote speaker for the conference will be Dr. Kirk Ormand of Oberlin College, OH. He will talk about, "Sexualized Violence: The Eurymedon Vase in Context."

The conference will provide hotel accommodations for the night of February 24th for all non-UTK presenters.

There is a $25 registration fee for all presenters, which covers the cost of a catered lunch.

Any additional questions or concerns should be sent to


8:30 am - 9:00 am Check-In and Registration College of Law
9:00 am - 9:15 am Welcome
Dr. Aleydis Van de Moortel, Lindsay Young Professor and Head, Department of Classics, University of Tennessee
College of Law 132
9:15 am - 10:15 am Keynote Presentation

"Sexualized Violence:  The Eurymedon Vase in Context"
Dr. Kirk Ormand, Nathan A. Greenberg Professor of Classics, Oberlin College

College of Law 132
10:15 am - 10:30 am Morning Break College of Law
10:30 am - 11:45 am First Paper Session  

Section #1:  Presider: Dr. Jessica Westerhold

  1. Jamie Wheeler, Baylor University The Grammatical Construction of Time in Latin Love Elegy
  2. Lydia Schriemer, University of Ottawa
    Daedalus, Icarus, and Perdix: Continuity in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Book 8
  3. Matt Mitchell, University of Oklahoma
    The Spatial Rhetoric of Propertius I.3
College of Law 135

Section #2:  Presider: Dr. Justin Arft

  1. Brittany Hardy, Millsaps College
    Veils and their Implications in Odyssey Book 5
  2. Samantha Meyer, Sewanee:  The University of the South
    The Similes of Jason in the Argonautika of Apollonius Rhodius
  3. Catherine Mott, University of Texas
    Aristotelian Beauty as Viewed Through the Poetics
College of Law 136
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm Lunch (Hilton Garden Inn)  
2:00 pm - 3:15 pm Second Paper Session  

Section #3:  Presider: Dr. Stephen A. Collins-Elliott

  1. Sarah Cohen, College of Charleston
    The Roman Mosaics at Sepphoris & Defining the Jewish Figural Style
  2. Elijah Mears, University of North Carolina, Greensboro 
    Writing on the Walls: Graffiti as Evidence for Homoeroticism in Daily Life
  3. David Guffey, University of Tennessee
    Written Revolts
College of Law 135

Section #4:  Presider: Dr. Aleydis Van de Moortel

  1. Austen Van Burns, Swarthmore College
    Apathetic Aphrodite: Classical Ideals and Politicized Sex in Ivo Saliger’s Urteil des Paris
  2. Mia Willis, East Carolina University
    Baalbek & Gerasa: A Brief Analysis of Greco-Roman Paganism in the Architectural Culture of the Southern Levant During the Roman Empire
  3. Abby Durick, University of Tennessee
    Late Helladic Potmarks at Mitrou: Aeginetan Manufacture and Meaning
College of Law 136
3:15 pm - 3:30 pm Afternoon Break College of Law
3:30 pm - 4:45 pm Third Paper Session  

Section #5:  Presider: Dr. Robert J. Sklenar

  1. Madeline Parrish, University of North Carolina, Greensboro
    Defending Velleius’s Tiberius: The Importance of Accepting a Loyal Soldier’s Unique yet Heavily Criticized Interpretation of Emperor
  2. Hannah Edwards, College of Charleston 
    Fortuna and Virtus in Bellum Catilinae
  3. Arian Finley, Austin Peay State University
    Ovid’s Metamorphoses as Fable
College of Law 135

Section #6:  Presider:  Dr. Taylor S. Coughlan

  1. Gwendolyn Gibbons, College of Charleston
    Martial "in 140 Characters": Gender Commentary In the First-Century “Twitter
  2. Brandon Steinke, University of Arkansas
    Julian the Apostate and Pagan Charity
  3. Alanna Heatherly, University of Tennessee
    Ridley Scott's Gladiator: The Accuracy, the Effectiveness, and the Execution
College of Law 136
5:00 pm - 5:15 pm Closing Remarks
Dr. Aleydis Van de Moortel, Lindsay Young Professor and Head, Department of Classics
College of Law 132

Conference Organizers

  • Sarah Parsly
  • Abby Durick
  • Emily Gregg
  • Meera Patel
  • David Guffey
  • Alisha Howington

Faculty Sponsor

  • Dr. John Friend
  • Dr. Susan D. Martin

In addition to the Department of Classics, the following departments and programs at the University of Tennessee are sponsoring the conference:
Chancellors Honors ProgramCollege of Arts and SciencesDepartment of EnglishDepartment of HistoryDepartment of PhilosophyDepartment of Religious StudiesOffice of Undergraduate Research, Office of Research and EngagementSchool of Art

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.