23rd Annual Joint Postgraduate Symposium on Ancient Drama

Thursday, June 29, 2023 - 9:00am to Friday, June 30, 2023 - 6:00pm

Precarity, Vulnerability, and Power in the Theory and Practice of Greek and Roman Drama

Precarity, Vulnerability, and Power in the Theory and Practice of Greek and Roman Drama

The 23rd Annual Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama (APGRD) / University of London Joint Postgraduate Symposium on the Performance of Ancient Drama will take place on Thursday 29 June (Oxford) and Friday 30 June 2023 (Royal Holloway).

About The Symposium

This annual symposium focuses on the reception of Greek and Roman tragedy, comedy, satyr play, epic, lyric, and other texts in performance, exploring their afterlives through re-workings by both writers and practitioners across all genres and periods. This year’s theme seeks to explore the relationship between precarity/vulnerability and power, asking what the interaction between them might mean in the context of the reception of the ancient past. We invite participants to consider any of the following questions: What constitutes ‘precarity’ in the context of ancient drama and its reception, and where in this precarity may power lie? Is the often fragmentary survival of ancient drama itself a precarious phenomenon? Is there ever any power in precarity, and power in vulnerability? How does ancient drama explore the precarity of power, and in what ways has this theme been explored in modern receptions of Greek and Roman theatre? How integral a role does vulnerability play in ancient drama and its adaptations? Does vulnerability add power to a performance? How might generic transgressions, counter readings, and other means of reception exploit the power, precarity, and vulnerability of classical drama?

The guest respondent on Day 1 in Oxford will be Dr Giovanna Di Martino (UCL), and Dr Rosa Andújar (KCL) will be our guest respondent on Day 2 at Royal Holloway.

Day 1 will include a guest lecture by Dr Estelle Baudou (APGRD).


Postgraduate students from around the world are welcome to participate, as are those who have completed a doctorate but have not yet taken up a post. The symposium is open to speakers from different disciplines, including researchers in the fields of classics, modern languages and literature, and theatre and performance studies. Practitioners are welcome to contribute their personal experience of working on ancient drama. Papers may also include demonstrations or recorded material. Undergraduates are very welcome to attend. This year’s symposium will be hybrid, although we encourage participants to attend in person where possible (we hope to be able to offer a small bursary for travel from afar).

Those who wish to offer a short paper (20 mins) or performance presentation on ‘Precarity, Vulnerability, and Power in the Theory and Practice of Greek and Roman Drama’ are invited to send an abstract of up to 200 words outlining the proposed subject of their discussion to by Friday 31 March 2023 (if applicable, please include details of your current course of study, supervisor, and academic institution).
There will be no registration fee. Please indicate in your application whether you would like to be considered for a travel bursary.

Contact Us

For all enquiries, please email the Symposium Team at: