The programme had no panel on anything explicitly resembling Political Thought – a situation to be remedied in 2013 at Reading, of course. Not many network members seemed to be in attendance at the conference, so we shall be interested to hear from those who were.
There were some intriguing panels on cultural memory which definitely connected to our concerns, and in the panel in which I participated, there was a fascinating paper on land redistribution in ancient Rome and contemporary Zimbabwe. As well as parallels such as attendant political violence, we heard that Mugabe’s colleagues might justify land appropriation by appeals to the Gracchi and Caesar – and be applauded by the crowd. I’m aware that many African ex-colonies have substantial classical traditions, but this came as a real surprise.