Spartacus @ 60: A Virtual Conference

Nathan Abrams's picture
Call for Papers
October 1, 2020
Subject Fields: 
Film and Film History

Spartacus @ 60


A Virtual Conference


21 December 2020 


Organised by Nathan Abrams (Bangor University), James Fenwick (Sheffield Hallam University) and Elisa Pezzotta (Bergamo University).


To mark sixty years since the release of Spartacus, this virtual workshop will consider the making and impact of this crucial film. Spartacus has left an indelible mark on our popular culture and is considered to be one of the best of its genre. But its exact position with Stanley Kubrick’s oeuvre has been misunderstood with some critics and academics excluding it from his canon. Consequently, it has not been subjected to the same scrutiny from a wide variety of disciplines and methodological perspectives as his other films. This workshop proposes to bring together scholars and fans from diverse disciplinary backgrounds to explore Spartacus sixty years since its release, discuss its impact and consider its position within Kubrick’s oeuvre and the wider visual and socio-political culture.


Possible angles might include: 


Spartacus -- origins, influences, production, aesthetics, publicity, reception, afterlife, legacy 


Where does Spartacus sit in Kubrick’s oeuvre?


Where does Spartacus sit in Kirk Douglas’ oeuvre? 


Kirk Douglas as producer


What is the cultural/film-making legacy of Spartacus? 


What is the position of Spartacus within the wider visual culture? 


Spartacus and parenthood 


Spartacus and women


Spartacus and race, ethnicity and otherness 


Spartacus and the Cold War 


Spartacus and the Hollywood blacklist 


Spartacus as epic  


Spartacus, audiences, fandom and ‘cult’ 


How to research Spartacus during the lockdown?


The legacy of a piece of dialogue: ‘I’m Spartacus’.


Spartacus and history


Paratexts e.g. Dell comic books


Queer Spartacus


Is Spartacus a Kubrick film?


To submit an abstract, please complete the following form by October 1st, 2020. Early submissions are encouraged.


Please address any queries to Nathan Abrams ( and James Fenwick (, and Elisa Pezzotta (