Call for Papers: Transdisciplinary Conference on Distributed Authorship

"author.net"

a transdisciplinary conference on distributed authorship

UCLA, October 5-7 2018.
Co-Organizers, Francesca Martelli and Sean Gurd

DEADLINE FOR ABSTRACTS: January 15, 2018

Long associated with pre-modern cultures, the notion of “distributed authorship” still serves as a mainstay for the study of Classical antiquity, which takes 'Homer' as its foundational point of orientation, and which, like many other disciplines in the humanities, has extended its insights into the open-endedness of oral and performance traditions into its study of textual dynamics as well. The rise of genetic criticism within textual studies bears witness to this urge to fray perceptions of the hermetic closure of the written, and to expose the multiple strands of collaboration and revision that a text may contain. And the increasingly widespread use of the multitext in literary editions of authors from Homer to Joyce offers a material manifestation of this impulse to display the multiple different levels and modes of distribution at work in the authorial process. In many areas of the humanities that rely on traditional textual media, then, the distributed author is alive and well, and remains a current object of study.

In recent years, however, the dynamic possibilities of distributed authorship have accelerated most rapidly in media associated with the virtual domain, where modes of communication have rendered artistic creation increasingly collaborative, multi-local and open-ended. These developments have prompted important questions on the part of scholars who study these new media about the ontological status of the artistic, musical and literary objects that such modes of distribution (re)create. In musicology, for example, musical modes such as jazz improvisation and digital experimentation are shown to exploit the complex relay of creativity within and between the ever-expanding networks of artists and audiences involved in their production and reception, and construct themselves in ways that invite others to continue the process of their ongoing distribution. The impact of such artistic developments on the identity of 'the author' may be measured by developments in copyright law, such as the emergence of the Creative Commons, an organization that enables artists and authors to waive copyright restrictions on co-creators in order to facilitate their collaborative participation. And this mode of distribution has in turn prompted important questions about the orientation of knowledge and power in the collectives and publics that it creates.

This conference seeks to deepen and expand the theorising of authorial distribution in all areas of human culture. Ultimately, our aim is to develop and refine a set of conceptual tools that will bring distributed authorship into a wider remit of familiarity, and to explore whether these tools are, in fact, unique to the new media that have inspired their most recent discursive formulation, or whether they have a range of application that extends beyond the virtual domain.

We invite contributions from those who are engaged directly with the processes and media that are pushing and complicating ideas of distributed authorship in the world today, and also from those who are actively drawing on insights derived from these contemporary developments in their interpretation of the textual and artistic processes of the past, on the following topics (among others):

·       The distinctive features of the new artistic genres and objects generated by modes of authorial distribution, from musical mashups to literary centones.
·       The impact that authorial distribution has on the temporality of its objects, as the multiple agents that form part of the distribution of those objects spread the processes of their decomposition/re-composition over time.
·       The re-orienting of power relations that arises from the distribution of authorship among networks of senders and receivers, as also from the collapsing of 'sender' and 'receiver' functions into one another.
·       The modes of 'self'-regulation that authorial collectives develop in order to sustain their identity.
·       Fandom and participatory culture, in both virtual and traditional textual media.
·       The operational dynamics of 'multitexts' and 'text networks', and their influence by/on virtual networks.

Paper proposals will be selected for their potential to open up questions that transcend the idiom of any single medium and/or discipline.

Please send a proposal of approximately 500 words to gurds@missouri.edu by January 15, 2018.

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(Photo: "Handwritten" by A. Birkan, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

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Call For Abstracts: 2nd Meeting of the North American Workshop in Platonic Philosophy

Hamline University, Aug 14-15, 2018

Special theme:
The Timaeus and its Reception

Abstracts of 400-500 words on Plato and the Platonic tradition will be accepted until June 15, 2018. Proposals on the theme of the Timaeus and its reception will be given special consideration, as well as papers on related topics like natural philosophy and cosmology in the Phaedo, Statesman, Laws, and other dialogues; in other contemporaneous Socratic authors such as Xenophon and Aeschines; or in the writings of Platonists from antiquity to the modern period. Papers on any aspect of the philosophy of Plato or the Platonic tradition are however encouraged and welcome.

A limited number of low-cost, on campus accommodations are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Hamline University is located in the vibrant twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Workshop registration is $30 and an optional closing banquet is $35.

Please submit abstracts to Conference organizers:

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Wed, 05/16/2018 - 9:09am by Erik Shell.
Sousse Mosaic, CC BY-SA 3.0, Ad Meskens

Our second post from the SCS’ Committee on Ancient and Modern Performance (CAMP) explores how to bring a translation to life on the stage through interdisciplinary work.  

Classics is an amazingly fertile ground for interdisciplinary collaboration. As I like to say to colleagues, we are the personification of the liberal arts – where else does one find historians, philologists, art historians, archaeologists, environmentalists, and more, all in one department? Trying to determine a sabbatical project, I landed on the notion of taking my first stab at translation, and I decided that I wanted to tackle Plautus’ Truculentus, a play featuring a clever meretrix (prostitute) deftly playing three relatively foolish men. I wanted to find a quick way to get that translation out into the public. I discovered that collaborating with the Theatre Department at Butler University was precisely the way for me to do that.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 05/14/2018 - 4:38pm by Christopher Bungard.
Figure of the heavenly bodies - Illuminated illustration of the Ptolemaic geocentric conception of the Universe by Portuguese cosmographer and cartographer Bartolomeu Velho (?-1568). From his work Cosmographia, made in France, 1568 (Public Domain).

In April, Reed College decided to revamp their year-long core humanities course, Humanities 110.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 05/11/2018 - 5:58am by Sarah Bond.
Microphone

Multiple proponents of Spoken Latin in the classroom - Edward Zarrow, Tom Morris, and Jason Pedicone - were recently featured on the "America the Bilingual" podcast.

"How has a presumably dead language become such a disruptor? Because Latin certainly seems to be just that. It’s one of the most frequently taught languages in American schools."

You can listen to the podcast in-browser here: http://www.americathebilingual.com/in-case-you-thought-latin-was-dead/

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(Photo: "Audio Bokeh" by Alan Levine, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Tue, 05/08/2018 - 2:06pm by Erik Shell.

This is a reminder for upcoming deadlines for SCS Awards and Prizes. Follow the linked URLs for more information on the nomination materials and the prizes themselves.

Excellence in the Teaching of Classics at the College Level: June 1, 2018

SCS Outreach Prize: September 14, 2018

Excellence in Teaching at the Precollegiate Level: October 2, 2018

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(Photo: "library" by Viva Vivanista, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Mon, 05/07/2018 - 12:31pm by Erik Shell.
Composite RGB image of manuscript E3, Escorialensis 291 (Υ.i.1): overview of folio 32 recto Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

The Homer Multitext (HMT) has something in common with the poetry it documents: They are both monumental and impressive works whose gradual evolution over many years by many hands has left traces of its past; it exists in several forms that present the same information in slightly different ways, and its development through changing technologies has left occasional redundancies. Like the Iliad, it lives up to its title, but perhaps not in the way one expects. And like its poetic source text, it richly rewards those who plumb its depths.

View full article. | Posted in on Sun, 05/06/2018 - 1:02pm by Bill Beck.

The Classical Association of the Middle West and South recently put out a call for action concerning the proposed discontinuation of the Classics program at the University of Montana.

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Fri, 05/04/2018 - 10:00am by Erik Shell.
Portrait of an elderly Roman matron (40-20 BCE, Image via the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC, CC0 License).

I am a professional hairdresser with a BA degree in Drama. My only other significant job experience was a brief career in Academic Computer Database Administration in the 1980s, managing the Dartmouth Dante Project. I have no formal training in Archaeology or Classics, except for my dismal performance in high school Latin — but somehow this didn’t prevent me from becoming the authority on technical recreation of ancient Roman hairstyles.

I am a textbook case of doing things backwards: my topic found me. A chance encounter with a statue of Julia Domna at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore where I live, set me on the path of scholarship. The Walters had set this portrait out in the middle of the room where I could see the back of her head. At first I saw just a pretty updo I could sell to brides. But I failed completely when I tried to recreate it using modern, U-shaped wire hairpins. As I searched for information about how these styles were constructed, I found my professional hairdressing expertise at odds with canonical explanations of ancient Roman hairstyles—they all agreed that they were impossible without wigs and false hair.

View full article. | Posted in on Wed, 05/02/2018 - 4:26pm by Janet Stephens.

The deadline for members to volunteer for SCS committees and leadership positions is today, May 2nd.

These positions include many current SCS committees including the curriculum and preparation for a variety of teaching, research, and other careers. Descriptions of various positions and offices can be found here.

To volunteer, you can fill out the form linked on the Members Only page of our website. You must log in to the site to access this page. Appointed committee members will begin their terms in 2019.  Most elected offices will begin in 2020. 

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(Photo: "_DSC7061" by rhodesj, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 05/02/2018 - 9:55am by Erik Shell.

Ἀρχή and origo: The Power of Origins

(Newcastle University, 2-4 May, 2019)

Origins have a particular power. Arguments referring back to the first beginnings and relating them to the present tend to be especially attractive. When we’re in a new place or confronted with new phenomena, we have a natural urge to learn about their origins. Stories of this kind – the so-called aitia – can convey a sense of education, of venerable antiquity, of continuity, of religious awe, or they can just be entertaining. In any case, they are as prominent nowadays as they were in antiquity.  

In this interdisciplinary conference we want to shed light on the fascination with origins from different perspectives: how is the power of origins employed in historiography, in literature ancient and modern, in art, in religious contexts, in philosophy, or in political debate? We are interested in exploring a wide range of case studies, in order to reflect on our overarching question: what is it that holds the different forms of aitia together? How can we understand this phenomenon in general terms? What is it that makes the origin such a fascinating and powerful form of discourse? 

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Mon, 04/30/2018 - 2:33pm by Erik Shell.

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