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

Online Program: June 14-19, 2021

In-Person Program: July 25-28, 2021

Update May 8, 2021: Based on recent developments, we have split the conference into two sections. It will begin with a series of Zoom sessions over June 14-19, then culminate with the in-person conference July 25-28. The post-conference tour has also been moved to July 29-31, ending just before our classical languages summer school begins. We anticipate that COVID restrictions will limit the seating capacity and activities of the conference, and shift some or all of the July program online as well. A basic registration fee of 100 euro will provide online access to all sessions. An additional fee for the in-person activities will be announced at a later date.

The planned seminar on Gorgias of Leontini, has been 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.

(Tentative) Program

Registration form for Online Auditors

Abstracts Accepted

Hospitality and Activities

Travel Information

Post-conference Tour of Greek Sites in Sicily (July 29-31, 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