Call for Papers

Call for Papers: Fifth Edition (2020) of the Distant Worlds Journal (DWJ)

„Ideology and Organisation"

Comparative Studies of Ancient Societies


With the formation and promulgation of any state, matters of ideology and societal organisation are ubiquitously subjects of intense discussion and critique. This is as true for modern discourse as it is for that of bygone periods. Yet, whilst these phenomena in contemporary societies can be quite readily traced with the vicissitudes of cultural, economic, and political affairs, for ancient societies this is not always the case.

Seeking to address these issues, the goal of this fifth edition of the Distant Worlds Journal is to investigate the underlying ideological and organisational structures of societies in the ancient world. In particular, it seeks to examine the extent to which individual social systems can be compared and where the value in such a comparison may lie—an assessment achievable both within the confines of a single article that details more than one case study or through the presentation of different cases across several articles within the volume.

We invite contributions from young scholars of all disciplines that deal with the geneses and organisational structures of societies in the ancient world. Each paper should focus on the values and processes that occur in the development of social coexistence; discussing, for instance, theoretical or methodological approaches to studying the formation of ancient societies, or examining specific state-like structures and ideologies as the bases of power relations and associated societal effects. In particular, we regard the dependencies, interactions, and reciprocal coexistences of discrete social strata, and the differing roles and functions they served within a given state, as representing profitable avenues of investigation.

Possible topics may include:diachronic / synchronic comparisons of interactions between actors in a social fabric – interrelations between ideology and the genesis of a society / social structure — forms of dependencies in societies — monumental buildings / the architecture of settlements as indicators of inhabitants' ideology – spatial construction as an expression of ritual practice — the significances of hierarchy and / or legitimacy within a Society — theocracies — structures of tribal organisations — the influence of religion on a society — nomadism.

For your paper to be considered, please submit a short abstract and provisional title of 300-400 words by 09.08.2019! The article itself should contain between 3000 and 6000 words (deadline for the essay: 27.11.2019) and can be written in either German or English. For further details of the submission and peer review process please visit our website at

Submit your abstracts (300-400 words) by 09.08.2019 to



Catharina Baumgartner, Patrizia Heindl, Marie-Hélène Lindner, Julia Preisigke, Sarah Schlüter

Doctoral Fellows of the Munich Graduate School for Ancient Studies ´Distant Worlds`


Download the Call for Papers Here