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Antiquity and Immersivity Conference

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Go to the conference webpage and click on “Register here” for the Zoom links to each session:

Immersive experiences represent one of the highest growth areas within the UK’s cultural industries. Their centrality to the creative economy was recognised in the UK Creative Industries Sector Deal (2018), which estimated that the immersive content market would be worth over £30 billion by 2025 and pledged to invest £33 million in immersive technologies to ensure Britain maintains a competitive role within this lucrative market. Yet despite the frequent use of cutting-edge technologies to facilitate such experiences, the idea of immersion is not new but goes back to antiquity. We can find instances of literature facilitating moments of immersion in texts from the Homeric epics through to Thucydides’ History and the speeches of the Attic orators, and can find regular examples of ancient critics and philosophers theorising about the sensation as well.

Given this shared interest in the idea of immersion, it is perhaps no surprise to find that modern-day immersive experiences frequently look back to antiquity, including but not limited to the immersive museum experiences surrounding the ancient city of Pergamon, the immersive video game Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, and the immersive theatrical experiences of dreamthinkspeak, Shunt, and ZU-UK.

This conference aims to bring together an interdisciplinary and intraprofessional group of scholars and artists interested in exploring and theorising the relationship between antiquity and immersivity. It is hoped that the event will foster discussion about theoretical approaches to immersion, for example through cognitive and narratological strategies, and experiential understandings of immersion as it pertains to live experience. The event will highlight the potential for multidisciplinary knowledge exchange to shed new light on research questions about immersion across time.

This conference is generously funded by the AHRC via the leadership fellowship ‘Punchdrunk on the Classics’, and is organised by Emma Cole, with assistance from Martina Delucchi and Eugenia Nicolaci.

Please note this conference is staggered over several weeks. Each day is booked individually. The programme is available on the conference webpage:

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Organiser Emma Cole

Organiser of Antiquity and Immersivity Conference

Lecturer in Liberal Arts and Classics

AHRC Leadership Fellow (Early Career Route) 'Punchdrunk on the Classics'

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