Anchoring Innovation Theory Meeting 2023

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As the Anchoring Innovation programme enters its concluding phase, it is time to see whether we can pull some of the threads together. PhDs and Postdocs have been doing terrific work within their respective ‘work packages’ and disciplines (Greek, Latin, History, Archaeology, Philosophy), taking the concept of Anchoring Innovation and applying it to their own fields of interest. It is now time also to reverse direction and consider what our individual work so far has contributed to our joint endeavour of defining and applying the concept of Anchoring Innovation for the Humanities.

We propose to call together all AI PhDs and Postdocs – and especially those who started during the second phase of the project – to jointly consider this question. For some time now, researchers who are relatively new to the team have been asking for some more theoretical background to the concepts with which we all work. Exploring that background was central to the first phase of Anchoring Innovation and especially to several of the expert-meetings that were organised. Now that the programme has been joined by many new faces, it is time to take up that exploration once more in this final phase where things should come together.

The first part of the day will be devoted to brief introductory lectures (by LH and MJV), followed by discussion, about two core issues in Anchoring and two core issues in Innovation, aimed at clarifying these concepts and placing them in a wider intellectual context. For each topic, we ask participants to do some advance reading (see the programme below).

The second part of the programme we go over to you: we hope for three volunteers who will present to us in 10 minutes how their work contributes to our understanding of Anchoring Innovation. So, the idea is that you do not present a case study, applying AI to your own material, but that you reflect on how your material can be used to come to a better understanding of Anchoring (and/or) Innovation.

We very much look forward to seeing you in Amsterdam. To register, please write to before October 21. If you wish to give write separately to and (before October 21, and on a first come first serve basis).

Luuk Huitink and Miguel John Versluy


We ask all participants to read in advance: Sluiter I. (2017), Anchoring Innovation: a Classical Research Agenda, European Review 25(1): 20-38.

9:45: Introduction

On Anchoring (lectures followed by group discussion)

10:00-10:45: Canonization as Anchoring Mechanism (MJV) Please read:

10:45-11:30: The Social Psychology of the Ancient World (LH) Please read: D. Cairns, ‘Distributed Cognition and the Classics’ in The Edinburgh History of Distributed Cognition

11:30-:12:00: Coffee break

On innovation (lectures followed by group discussion)

12:00-12:45: What is Innovation and Why Does it Matter (LH) Please read: B. Godin, Innovation Contested: the idea of innovation over the centuries. London 2015 (chapters on Greece and Rome, pp. 19-57) (the relevant pp. will be made availabe)

12:45-13:30: The Contexts of Innovation (MJV) Please read:

13:30-14:30: Lunch break

Beyond the Case Study: Presentations by PhDs and Postdocs

14:30-16:00: 3x 15 minutes of presentations, with 15 minutes discussion after each

16:00-16:30 Break

16:30-17:30: ACASA lecture by Theresa Fuhrer (P.C. Hoofthuis room 1.05): Filling Narrative Gaps in (Pseudo-)Senecan Tragedy

18:15 - … : drinks and dinner (offered by the various AI work packages)