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Details of 2016 Seminars

Thursday, January 7, 2016
1:45 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Session #29
Responses
to Homer’s Iliad by Women Writers, from WW2 to the Present
Carolin Hahnemann (hahnemannc@kenyon.edu), Kenyon College, and Barbara Gold (bgold@hamilton.edu), Hamilton College, Organizers

Recently female classical scholars working on Homer have increasingly turned their attention to the Iliad. This trend has been fueled in part by a development outside of Classics: since WW2, a handful of influential women writers have used the Iliad as a way of making sense of their own historical, personal, and cultural contexts. The seminar will be based on five papers focusing on a selection of these authors, who come from distinct political and cultural backgrounds but whose works often show similar concerns: Barbara Gold’s paper centers on Simone Weil, who published her essay “The Iliad, or the Poem of Force” (1940-41) during the Nazi occupation of France; Seth Schein elucidates a competing interpretation of force offered by Rachel Bespaloff in her book On the Iliad (1943); Nancy Rabinowitz discusses the East German author Christa Wolf, whose depiction of the Trojan War from a woman’s perspective in the novel Cassandra (1983) is informed by developments in her homeland; Sheila Murnaghan explores short poems by recent American poets, like Louise Glück (“The Triumph of Achilles” [2004]) and Adrienne Rich (“Reading the Iliad (As If) for the First Time” [2009]), who turn to the Iliad in order to probe into questions of heroism and loss; Carolin Hahnemann seeks to uncover a feminist agenda in the poem “Memorial. An  Excavation of the Iliad” (2011) by the English poet Alice Oswald. In order to help facilitate a wide-ranging discussion, participants are encouraged to share comments and questions in a one-time email addressed to both organizers (bgold@hamilton.edu and hahnemannc@kenyon.edu) by Dec. 15th.
There will be a five-minute question period after each paper.

Carolin Hahnemann, Kenyon College, Introduction (5 mins.)

  1. Barbara Gold, Hamilton College, Simone Weil’s Iliad: Misunderstanding Homer? (10 minutes)
  2. Seth Schein, University of California, Davis, Reading Homer in Troubled Times: Rachel Bespaloff’s On the Iliad (10 minutes)
  3. Nancy Rabinowitz, Hamilton College, Christa Wolf’s Cassandra: Different Times, Different Views (10 minutes)
  4. Sheila Murnaghan, University of Pennsylvania, “Everything Here is Conflictual”: American Women Poets Read the Iliad (10 minutes)
  5. Carolin Hahnemann, Kenyon College, Feminist at the Second Glance: Alice Oswald’s Memorial (10 minutes)

Break (15 mins.)
Barbara Gold, Hamilton College, Review of Points Made in First Half of Session (5 mins.)
Roundtable Discussion (80 mins.)

Friday, January 8, 2016
1:45 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Session #57
Beyond the Case Study: Theorizing Classical Reception

Organized by the Committee on Classical Tradition and Reception
Rosa Andujar, University College London (r.andujar@ucl.ac.uk) and Konstantinos P. Nikoloutsos (mailto:konstantinos.nikoloutsos@sju.edu), Saint Joseph’s University, Organizers

The seminar aims to engage participants in a dialogue about theorizing classical reception studies beyond the case study, which currently forms the backbone of this burgeoning subfield. Discussion questions include: What happens when western European models of classicism are exported beyond the traditional geographical boundaries? What happens to a classical object, figure, or text when it is produced for a mass audience whose knowledge of the ancient world cannot be assumed? Can the fragmentary nature of classical literature justify the polyphony of modern responses? How can temporality and the historicity of the act of reading affect classical reception?

Rosa Andujar, University College London, and Konstantinos P. Nikoloutsos, St. Joseph’s University, Introduction (10 mins.)

  1. Simon Goldhill, Cambridge University, Reception and Staying in the Field of Play (10 mins.)
  2. Vanda Zajko, University of Bristol, Affective Interests: Ancient Tragedy, Shakespeare and the Concept of Character (10 mins.)
  3. Laura Jansen, University of Bristol, Borges’ Classical Receptions in Theory (10 mins.)
  4. Leah Whittington, Harvard University, Theorizing Closeness in Classical Reception Studies: Renaissance Supplements and Continuations (10 mins.)

Shane Butler, The Johns Hopkins University Response (20 mins.)
General discussion (120 mins.)

Friday, January 8, 2016
1:45 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Session #58

Rethinking Roman Imperialism in the Middle and Late Republic (c.327 - 49 BCE)
Jonathan R. W. Prag (mailto:jonathan.prag@merton.ox.ac.uk), University of Oxford, Organizer

This session is prompted by a continuing dissatisfaction with the state of Roman imperialism studies: unhelpful periodizations and questionable dichotomies have gained ground in recent years, and ancient and modern historiographic patterns continue to exercise undue influence on interpretative models. The papers in this panel consider Roman imperialism from multiple perspectives, reflecting a number of possible avenues of approach (including empirical, evolutionary, conceptual and economic). In addition, several preliminary data-sets illustrating aspects of Roman imperial activity will be made available to participants to facilitate a discussion based in the first instance on examining patterns of behaviour.

  1. John Ma, Columbia University, Seeing the Elephant: Beyond the Querelle of “Roman Imperialism” in the Hellenistic World (10 mins.)
  2. Jonathan R. W. Prag, University of Oxford, Beyond Polybios: Quantifying Roman Imperialism East and West (10 mins.)
  3. William V. Harris, Columbia University, Rome at Sea: The Beginnings of Roman Naval Power (10 mins.)
  4. Carlos F. Noreña, University of California, Berkeley, Law’s Imperialism: Conceptions of Empire in Republican Statutes (10 mins.)
  5. Nathan Rosenstein, The Ohio State University, Bellum se ipsum alet? Financing Republican Imperialism (10 mins.)

General discussion (120 mins.)

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