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SCS Committee Sessions

SCS committees have the option of issuing calls for abstracts for the panels they organize at the annual meeting.  Members responding to these calls for abstracts should be aware that the committee issuing the call must submit all abstracts it accepts for additional review by the Program Committee.  If a member’s paper is accepted by the committee issuing the call, and if the Program Committee accepts the panel, the member may not submit another abstract for consideration for any other session.


Classics and the Great War

Organizer: David Scourfield, National University of Ireland, Maynooth
Sponsored by the APA Committee on Classical Tradition and Reception

The Committee on Classical Tradition and Reception (COCTR) of the Society of Classical Studies invites submissions for a panel to be held at the 145th Annual Meeting of the SCS (Chicago, January 2-5, 2014), on the theme ‘Classics and the Great War’.

The Great War of 1914-1918 marks a watershed moment in European and world history in numerous ways.  The panel envisaged will seek to consider the impact of that conflict on the field of Classics in a variety of respects.  The Committee wishes in particular to invite proposals for papers on (a) literary receptions of classical texts or the classical world during or in the wake of the War, with a purview extending beyond the British war poetry which forms the subject of Elizabeth Vandiver’s Stand in the Trench, Achilles (2010), a study from which the panel draws much impetus, (b) the impact of the War on the scholarly reception of specific classical texts, in Britain, Germany, the United States, or elsewhere; but proposals on any other aspects or forms of reception, or on the cultural contexts within which such receptions were formulated, are also welcome.  The panel will be restricted to receptions not later than the end of the 1920s.

Proposals for papers taking no more than twenty minutes to deliver should be sent via e-mail attachment (in Word format) to Professor Mary-Kay Gamel, SCS Vice President for Outreach (mkgamel@ucsc.edu), by no later than November 15, 2012.  Abstracts should follow the guidelines for the preparation of individual abstracts to be found on the SCS website.  All submissions will be subject to double-blind review by two referees and the panel as a whole evaluated by the SCS Program Committee before notification of final acceptance.  The Committee reserves the right to include in the full panel submission abstracts from invited speakers as well as abstracts selected through this call for papers.


Color in Ancient Drama in Performance

Sponsored by the SCS Committee on Ancient and Modern Performance
Organizer: Timothy Wutrich, Case Western Reserve University

Observers regularly comment upon the importance of color as an element in Aeschylus’s Oresteia. The crimson carpet that Agamemnon treads prefigures the bloody net in which he and Cassandra will lie; this bloody net will later entangle the corpses of Clytemnestra and Aegisthus before crimson robes adorn the transformed Eumenides at the end of the trilogy.

As the example from the Oresteia shows, an author can use color symbolically. When the ancient playwright mentions specific color in a text, modern designers have a direction for their work. Without specific comments in the play, however, designers must make choices about color. Confronted with objects as omnipresent in ancient theater as masks, one wonders whether they should be painted the color of human flesh and if so, what shade, and to what effect? What results when directors such as Tyrone Guthrie in Oedipus Rex or Peter Hall in Oresteia use non-realistically-colored masks?

Color, however, is not restricted to stage properties, costumes, or set design. Ancient drama – tragedy and comedy – calls for the representation of non-Greek and non-Roman characters (barbarians) and non-human characters (Cyclopes, satyrs, frogs, birds, etc.) on stage. How can color, how has color been used to depict the Other on stage? Moreover, in contemporary color-blind casting, what effect is sought and what effect is achieved when non-white actors are cast as Electra or Helen or Lysistrata? Since theater is a composite art that brings together many disciplines, it is also useful to consider the ways in which musicians think of color as an element in sound. Other manifestations of the concept of color may also be fruitful.

In other words, this panel invites papers on the topic of color, in every sense, in the performance of ancient drama. Papers should address the element of color in productions of ancient Greek and Roman tragedy, satyr play, or comedy in any era from antiquity to the present day. Papers might investigate specific historical productions of a single play, or deal with an aspect of color in multiple works by a director or “school” of directors. Creative proposals for new productions (i.e., productions that have not yet been staged) or previews of productions in rehearsal that study color as a major design element in any ancient drama will also be considered, as long as the paper focuses on the role of color in performance.

Please submit abstracts by email attachment to Amy R. Cohen (acohen@randolphcollege.edu) by March 15, 2013 (note revised deadline). Abstracts should be no more than one page in length and must not include the author’s name. In accordance with SCS regulations, all abstracts will be reviewed anonymously. Please follow the APA guidelines for formatting abstracts.

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