Film & History 2013 Conference
Making Movie$: The Figure of Money On and Off the Screen

Old Money:
The Economics of the Ancient World on Film

Deadline for Abstracts: July 1, 2013

The splendors of Greece, the glories of Rome, and the riches of Egypt have long captured the imaginations of artists, scholars, and fans. And the representation of wealth, money, and prosperity has been a critical feature of film and television recreations of the ancient world from their earliest inceptions (The Last Days of Pompeii, 1913) to their more recent incarnations (HBO’s Rome, 2005-07). How have on-screen visions of the ancient world used wealth or poverty as a tool for thinking about social inequality (Intolerance, 1917), the construction of power and authority (Troy, 2004), or ancient regimes themselves (Caligula, 1979)? How have Hollywood studios used cinematic representations of the ancient world to shape the audience’s own sense of wealth and prosperity? To what extent does Hollywood see itself as Old Money? How, for example, is the size of the cast and set (Land of the Pharaohs, 1955) or the deployment of new technologies—Technicolor (Quo Vadis, 1951), CinemaScope (The Robe, 1953), MGM Camera 65 (Ben Hur, 1959), and CGI (Gladiator, 2000)—connected to our economic perceptions of the ancient world, to its class structures or its racial and gender divisions? When and how is money, whether as medium or message, a lesson in ancient history?

This area, comprising multiple panels, will treat all aspects of money, wealth, and prosperity in films and television programs about the ancient world. Papers may explore the representation of wealth in antiquity, or the economics of representing antiquity in film and television. Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

Proposals for individual papers should include a 200-word abstract and the name, affiliation, and contact email of the presenter. Proposals for complete panels (three related presentations) are also welcome, but they must include an abstract and contact information, including an e-mail address, for each presenter.

Deadline for Abstracts: July 1, 2013

For updates and registration information about the upcoming meeting, see:

Please send submissions or queries to the area chair:

Lorenzo F. Garcia Jr., Area Chair
University of New Mexico


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