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Call for Papers: ICAN VI

Sixth International Conference on the Ancient Novel

Roads Less Travelled

Ghent University (Belgium), 21-24 September 2022


Proposals are hereby invited for papers and panels for the Sixth International Conference on the Ancient Novel (ICAN VI) with the theme ‘Roads Less Travelled’. The conference is open to all areas of study related to the ancient novel.

ICAN in (post?-)covid times: Venue

The conference will take place from 21st to 24th September 2022 and will be hosted in hybrid form.

Its physical venue will be Thagaste Augustinian monastery, Academiestraat 1, 9000 Gent, Belgium. This venue is located in the heart of the medieval town of Ghent, within walking distance of accommodation options. We will of course adhere to any covid measures applicable at that time.

We appreciate many colleagues interested in attending the conference might not yet know whether they will be able to travel to Belgium at that time. We therefore welcome speakers and participants both in person and online (the latter by means of an accessible platform). For the purpose of submitting an abstract, you do not yet need to make a decision regarding the shape of your attendance. Any questions, feel free to contact us.

Submission guidelines

Papers and panels

Papers at ICAN VI will be 20 minutes long with 10 minutes of Q&A at the end. 

Papers: If you wish to present a paper at ICAN VI, you are requested to submit an anonymized abstract with a maximum of 400 words. Please submit your abstract in PDF format only.

Panels: If you wish to host a panel at ICAN VI, you are requested to submit anonymized abstracts of individual papers (following paper submission guidelines above) and one abstract outlining the overall rationale behind the panel. Panels can consist of a maximum of four papers. Please submit all papers together in one file and in PDF format only.

Proposals for papers and panels will be reviewed by members of the International Advisory Committee.


Suggested topics

In the tradition of ICAN, the conference is open to all areas of study related to the ancient novel. We particularly invite papers on the following topics:

  • Crosscultural exchanges, e.g.
    • Contributions to novelistic and/or fictional traditions in ancient languages other than Greek or Latin
    • Medieval vernacular
    • Byzantine, Jewish, early Christian, or Near Eastern traditions
    • Greek and Latin interactions
  • Reception of ancient novels, e.g.
    • Late antique and medieval reception
    • Afterlives of fragmentary novels
    • Concepts of reception relevant to our understanding of the novel
  • Textual reception and transmission (e.g. material culture of the novel, sociology of reading)
  • Multimediality, e.g. novels in material culture and visual arts
  • Intra and intergeneric intertextuality
  • Conceptualizations of genre and fiction in novels, hagiography and/or other narrative
  • Innovative theoretical approaches
  • Rhetoric and the novel



The default language of the conference is English, but German, French, Italian, and Spanish are accepted. However, the person reading a paper in one of those languages should email an English-language summary to the conference organizers beforehand so it can be distributed to members of the audience.


Submit a paper or panel abstract

  • Abstracts for papers and panels will only be accepted via the programme Easy Chair. SUBMIT YOUR ABSTRACT/S VIA THIS LINK.
  • It should be straightforward to create an account on EasyChair and submit your abstract. You can find instructions here. If you encounter any issues, please do contact us.
  • Submission deadline: 30 November 2021 at 5pm CET.
  • Decision on acceptance of paper: February 2022



All questions about submissions should be emailed to Dr Evelien Bracke (icanvi@ugent.be).

Stay in touch on social media (Facebook and twitter): @NovelSaints #ICANVI

Facts about ICAN

  • This picture of #ICAN5 makes us wish ICANVI was here already! Whom can you recognize?

  • B.P. Reardon reports that #ICAN2, at Dartmouth College in 1989, was held - to the surprise of almost everyone - in the heat. Many found relief by swimming in the Connecticut River. #Classicsconferences are never dull!
  • Gareth Schmeling on #ICAN1: 'In an after-dinner paper Stephanie West (with a straight face) reported on the discovery of new fragments of a novel on papyri, which, however, she had made out of whole cloth. Some in the audience accepted her imaginings as fact.'