Lyric Beyond Lyric: ‘Submerged’ traditions, generic interactions, and later receptions
King’s College London, 24th May 2018
Organisers: Chiara Ciampa, Antonio Genova, Francesca Modini
As early as the Hellenistic period, the study of ancient Greek lyric poetry was identified most predominantly with the study of the nine, major canonical lyric poets and their texts. This process saw the redefinition of lyric as genre and the crystallisation of a lyric canon. The postclassical condition of lyric also influenced its Latin reception and adaptation, as it became an authoritative model for Roman poetry. The existence of an established canon, however, has often pushed to the side-lines of the lyric realm other ‘minor’ poets and song traditions. At the same time, the incorporation of lyric in other genres has been primarily acknowledged in order to detect quotations of poems or as a source of biographical information about poets. More recent scholarship, however, has broadened these narrow views of lyric by exploring the performative context and the socio-political dimension of lyric genres. Archaic song culture has been studied more and more with attention being paid both to the broader cultural discourses that lyric negotiated and to its interactions with other performative occasions and textual traditions. Equally, marginal lyric poets and texts have increasingly attracted scholarly attention.
In the wave of this trend, this postgraduate workshop seeks to further investigate Greek and Latin lyric poetry by focusing on some of its still under-explored aspects, in an attempt to go beyond what has been most traditionally conceived as ‘lyric’. In order to broaden the conception of lyric, we aim at considering texts other than the canonical ones, as well as at exploring ancient receptions and reciprocal influences of lyric in other genres. On the one hand, we are interested in the fascinating variety of song traditions and ‘peripheral’ authors thriving in archaic and classical times, as well as in the development of lyric culture in the post-classical period. On the other, we are willing to consider how lyric poetry interacted with different literary genres, both synchronically and diachronically. We would like to look at the various ways in which lyric could overlap with contemporary genres such as philosophy and historiography, sharing not only literary patterns and motifs but also filtering thoughts and beliefs of the surrounding cultural and intellectual context. At the same time, we are interested in how lyric authors and poems have been the object of later receptions, acting as models and touchstones while being transformed and reshaped to fit new contexts and functions.
Confirmed keynote speaker will be Prof. Pauline LeVen (Yale University).
We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Department of Classics at King’s College London, the Classical Association and the Gilbert Murray Trust. A number of postgraduate bursaries will be available to cover part of the travel expenses and/or accommodation.
We invite postgraduate students and early career researchers (within three years from PhD completion) to submit proposals for 30-minutes papers, to which academics from the Department with research interests in lyric poetry will respond chairing the discussion. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:
- ‘Submerged’ song traditions: e.g. Carmina popularia; anonymous hymns and cult songs of the classical, Hellenistic, and Roman periods
- Relationship between the nine poets of the canon and ‘minor’/non-canonical poets and texts
- Synchronic interactions with other genres: e.g. lyric poetry and the philosophical tradition; lyric poetry and historiography; lyric and rhetoric
- Later receptions of lyric in antiquity: e.g. quotations, appropriations of lyric themes, attitudes, and gestures
Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be sent to lyricbeyondlyric2018@gmail.