2021 Interdisciplinary Symposium on Arete

Sixth Interdisciplinary Symposium on the Heritage of Western Greece

with special emphasis on

ἀρετή aretē: virtue, excellence, goodness

plus a post-conference tour of Greek sites in Sicily

Exedra Mediterranean Center

Syracuse, Sicily June 14-17, 2021

Update 2/27/2021: Since the situation is so difficult to predict, we are planning a hybrid model.  It will begin with a series of intermittent Zoom sessions beginning the week of June 7 and culminate with the in-person conference scheduled June 14-17. The post-conference tour, June 18-20, will be changed to remain in Sicily. We anticipate that COVID restrictions will limit the seating capacity and activities of the conference, and may even shift some or all of the June 14-17 program online as well. A more definite announcement about the format of the conference and the schedule of fees for various forms of participation will be made before the end of May. The planned seminar on Gorgias of Leontini, will be moved to November as part of a full conference on the Sicilian orator and the Platonic dialogue named after him.  This Gorgias/Gorgias conference will take place over Thanksgiving break (22-27), providing those unable to travel this summer with a second opportunity to visit Siracusa this year.

Registration Form (available once the format is formalized)

(Tentative) Program

Abstracts Accepted

Hospitality and Activities

Travel Information

Post-conference Tour of Greek Sites in Sicily (June 18-20, 2021)

Call for Papers

The cultural and intellectual legacy of Western Greece—the coastal areas of Southern Italy and Sicily settled by Hellenes in the 8th and 7th centuries BCE—is sometimes overlooked in academia.  Yet evidence suggests that poets, playwrights, philosophers, and other maverick intellectuals found fertile ground here for the growth of their ideas and the harvesting of their work.  The goal of the Fonte Aretusa organization is to revive the distinctive spirit of Western Greece by exploring it from a variety of disciplinary perspectives including art history, archaeology, classics, drama, epigraphy, history, literature, mythology, philosophy and religion.

Our conference takes place at the Exedra Center in Syracuse, Sicily—the cultural center of Western Greece known by Epicharmus, Empedocles, Plato, Aeschylus, Sappho, Theocritus, Archimedes, Cicero and many others.  It includes guided tours of local archaeological and cultural sites, communal meals, and the possibility to witness live performances in the ancient Greek theater by the National Institute for Ancient Drama.  An optional post-conference tour to important sites is also offered.

The official languages of the conference are English, Italian, and Greek – though the vast majority of participants have historically been Anglophone.  Proposals for individual paper presentations, panel discussions, and creative presentations related to any aspect of the cultural heritage of Western Greece are welcome.  This year, we are especially interested in proposals discussing aretē in its various forms.  Abstracts for papers should be 150-300 words in length and prepared for blind review in .docx or .rtf format (not .pdf).  Proposals for panel discussions should include contact information for all participants.  Presentation times range from 20 minutes for individual papers to 90 minutes for panel discussions.  Abstracts received by November 15, 2020 will be considered for early acceptance.  Final deadline for abstracts is February 15, 2021.

Selected proceedings will be published in our series, The Heritage of Western Greece, which is indexed in JSTOR.

Please send abstracts and direct questions to Heather L. Reid fontearetusa1@gmail.com