CFP: Affect, Intensity, Antiquity

CfP: Affect, Intensity, Antiquity (Online Conference)

Organizers: Chiara Graf and Adrian Gramps (St Andrews)

Confirmed Speakers: Aaron Kachuck (Trinity College, Cambridge / UCLouvain), Alex Purves (UCLA), Ben Radcliffe (Loyola Marymount), Mario Telò (UC Berkeley)

sed cur heu, Ligurine, cur
manat rara meas lacrima per genas?

Horace, Odes 4.1.33-34

Recent years have seen a collective turn in the study of Greco-Roman antiquity, and in the humanities and social sciences more widely, toward the matter of bodies and embodied experience. As a result, body-oriented themes such as the senses, emotion, and embodied cognition have moved away from the periphery of our disciplines and closer to centre stage. And yet we can’t claim to have closed the book on mind-body dualism for good. As Spinoza says in the Ethics, ‘no-one has yet determined what the body can do (etenim quid corpus possit, nemo hucusque determinavit, IIIp2s).’

Affect theory addresses this bodily unknown. ‘Affect’ names the potentiality of bodies to move and be moved in modes unintelligible to rationalist worldviews. Theorists of affect turn our sights away from familiar paths of enquiry and toward the para-rational zones of lived experience (sensations, disturbances, intensities, epiphenomena). Such reorientations awaken us to the otherwise ineffable dynamics that bind together political and social collectives, forge bonds between human and non-human entities, or galvanize and unite queer, racialized, and subaltern groups. The ‘affective turn’ has also birthed new methodologies, such as post-critique and reparative reading, by centring emotive forms of engagement with texts and media. Whether taken as an object of enquiry or as a catalyst of methodological innovation, affect destabilizes the hierarchies that order foundational narratives (‘Western’, ‘classical’, and otherwise) of the body and its powers.

The aim of this conference is to explore the potential and futures of affect theory in any field of study relating to Classics and the ancient Mediterranean world. It is our hope and conviction that these are many. The epigraph above offers one of many possible starting points: Horace asking the beautiful Ligurinus why he feels a tear of desire wetting his cheek. Affect theory recognizes such an aporetic ‘why’ as a space of radical uncertainty and potential. We invite your interventions into this space from all corners of Classics.

Potential areas of focus might include:

  • The affects associated with subaltern populations, such as women, enslaved people, and racialized groups, in ancient art and literature
  • Affective encounters with the nonhuman and more-than-human world, as expressed in e.g. visual art, travel writing, or scientific texts
  • Sensation and embodied experience in ancient medicine
  • Sensory and affective experiences in ancient ritual and religion
  • Reconsiderations (in light of affect theory) of cognitivist accounts of the emotions
  • Challenges to concepts of the ancient ‘subject’ as a site of rational agency and control
  • Interpretations of ancient texts and artefacts influenced by postcritique, reparative reading, or other methodologies generated by the affective turn
  • The affects generated by antiquity itself, in receptions of Classical art, thought, and literature (or, how antiquity ‘feels’)
  • The affective dimension of Classics pedagogy, including the experience of online learning in the age of Covid-19

The conference will be conducted entirely online through Microsoft Teams on 20-22 August 2021. Submissions for 30-minute presentations are invited from researchers at any career stage. Please submit an abstract of 300-500 words for consideration to Dr Adrian Gramps at adkg1@st-andrews.ac.uk by 31 May 2021.

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The Perception of Climate and Nature in Ancient Societies

International Online Conference

14th  May 2021

Organised by  Classical Students Association of the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin

Call for Papers

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Mon, 03/01/2021 - 11:43am by Erik Shell.
Goddess Demeter and her daughter Persephone give grain to Triptolemos and teach him the art of agriculture. Marble Relief from Eleusis. ca. 430 BCE. Roman copy. ca. 27 BCE – 14 CE. Photo courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Classics Everywhere initiative, launched by the SCS in 2019, supports projects that seek to engage communities worldwide with the study of Greek and Roman antiquity in new and meaningful ways. Most of the projects funded take place in the US and Canada, though the initiative is growing and has funded projects in the UK, Italy, Greece, Belgium, Ghana, and Puerto Rico. This post highlights projects that foster engagement and education for school-aged children and young adults from California to Canada, Chicago to New York.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 02/26/2021 - 9:15am by .

The Executive Committee of the SCS has issued the following statement:

For several years, serious issues have arisen concerning online communications within the classics community. The SCS reminds its members to respect the dignity of one another in professional and private communications. These communications include, inter alia, social media posts and direct messages, private emails, and messages posted to email listservs. In view of these concerns the SCS Professional Matters Division is preparing guidelines for social media and other online communications.

Approved 2/25/2021

View full article. | Posted in Public Statements on Thu, 02/25/2021 - 4:44pm by Helen Cullyer.

Summer 2021 Election Slate

The 2020-2021 SCS Nominating Committee, co-chaired by Laurel Fulkerson and Celia Schultz, has worked hard through the late Fall 2020 and early 2021. The Committee is pleased to present the following slate of candidates for election in Summer 2021. All candidates listed below have agreed to stand. SCS will publish candidate statements in the late spring or early summer and online voting will begin as usual on or around August 1.

President-Elect (one to be elected)

Lesley Dean-Jones

Matthew Roller 

Financial Trustee (one to be elected)

Daniel Berman

Joseph Farrell

Vice President for Education (one to be elected)

Dani Bostick

Teresa Ramsby

Directors (two to be elected)

Yurie Hong

Young Richard Kim

Nandini Pandey

Bronwen Wickkiser

Craig Williams

Nominating Committee (two to be elected)

Ronnie Ancona

Pramit Chaudhuri

Joel Christensen

Akira Yatsuhashi

Program Committee (one to be elected)

Rosa Andújar

Denise Demetriou

Goodwin Committee (two to be elected)

Rhiannon Ash

Constanze Guthenke

Yopie Prins

Phiroze Vasunia 

Committee on Professional Ethics (two to be elected)

Deborah Beck

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 02/22/2021 - 1:45pm by Erik Shell.
Banner of the Women's Classical Caucus, est. 1972

In Part 2 of our guest series for the SCS Blog, the Women’s Classical Caucus (WCC) invites you to celebrate the winner of its 2020–2021 Leadership Award: Suzanne Lye, Assistant Professor of Classics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The award recognizes Dr. Lye’s extraordinary leadership and initiative in establishing, administering, and fundraising for the SCS-WCC Covid-19 Relief Fund. Since April 2020, this emergency microgrant fund has distributed no-strings-attached awards of up to $500 to North American classicists in need.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 02/22/2021 - 10:27am by Caroline Cheung.
Gaius Gracchus addressing the plebeians. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

If there’s one thing in this divided America that we can all agree on, it’s that former president Donald J. Trump’s impeachment lawyer Bruce Castor was pretty crappy.

View full article. | Posted in on Thu, 02/18/2021 - 10:35am by Serena S Witzke.

The Classics Department at UNC-Chapel Hill is sad to announce that Philip A. Stadter died last week at the age of 84 in North Carolina. In over forty years of teaching at UNC, and in almost twenty years of a very active retirement, Philip wrote influential books and articles about Plutarch, Arrian, Thucydides and other authors, and his friendships and mentoring and collaborations extended around the world. There is an obituary online, with information about a service Tuesday 2/16 at 2:30 Eastern time that will have an online component, at https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/newsobserver/obituary.aspx?n=philip-stadter&pid=197767979.

A longer statement from the Department about his life and work is forthcoming.

View full article. | Posted in In Memoriam on Wed, 02/17/2021 - 1:34pm by Erik Shell.
Women's Classical Caucus logo

The Women’s Classical Caucus (WCC) invites you to celebrate the winners of its 2020–2021 Public Scholarship and Advocacy awards and to learn more about how their work is influencing our field. Over the next month, the SCS Blog will publish a three-part series of in-depth interviews by the WCC with the award winners, who discuss their work in strengthening communities within the field and introducing new audiences to Classics.

View full article. | Posted in on Wed, 02/10/2021 - 10:11am by .

The Interplay of Spectacle in the Roman Arena

Call for Papers: An Undergraduate Research Conference hosted by the Texas Tech Classics Program

The Conference will be held virtually on April 17th, 2021.

Featuring respondents Dr. David Larmour (Paul Whitfield Horn Professor of Classics at TTU) and Ms. Cait Mongrain (Doctoral candidate at Princeton, TTU MA ‘15, BA ‘12)

 

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Mon, 02/08/2021 - 10:46am by Erik Shell.

The Cathartic History Conference is a digital conference, free and open to the public, that aims to propose Aristotelian catharsis as a new lens for historical inquiry. The conference will take place over two days: Friday, February 26th, and Saturday, February 27th. We also invite everyone to join us on Friday, February 19th at 7:00 pm ET for a public lecture by Dr. John Garner on Aristotle's Poetics.

You can learn more at the conference's website here.

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Wed, 02/03/2021 - 10:05am by Erik Shell.

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