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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Ovatio for Dr. Fauci and Response

The Michigan Classical Caucus recently sent an ovatio to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the United States.

They recently posted the response they received from Dr. Fauci's office in a release to their members. The release follows:

Dear MCC Members,

Recently, two of your past presidents and the Secretary-Treasurer sent a message to Dr. Anthony Fauci on behalf of the Michigan Classical Caucus. Dr. Fauci, in case you did not know, received a Classical education at the Jesuit high school in Brooklyn: 4 years of Latin, 3 years of Greek. He went to the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts for his undergraduate degree/pre-med majoring in Classics: Greek philosophy focus. We felt that since he is not shy about praising his background, we should not be shy in thanking him.

We created an OVATIO for him and forwarded it to his office. We realize that he is extremely pre-occupied right now, but we wanted to let him know that people think highly of him for things besides this pandemic and how he trying to help us through it. (He still credits his background in philosophy as a help.)

We have received the following response from his staff:

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Thu, 12/17/2020 - 1:18pm by Erik Shell.

The Society for Classical Studies mourns the recent loss of Senator Paul S. Sarbanes.  Obituaries like this one from the New York Times

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/07/us/politics/paul-sarbanes-dead.html

give a full picture of his life of distinguished public service, including his five terms representing the State of Maryland as an exceptionally well-informed, honorable, and self-effacing member of the US Senate.  Intensely proud of his Greek heritage (he was the son of immigrants who ran a Greek restaurant on Maryland’s Eastern Shore), and of the accomplishments of his classicist wife, the late Christine Dunbar Sarbanes, he was a great friend to classical studies in general and to the SCS in particular.  Paul and Christine Sarbanes served as co-chairs of the Society's Gateway Campaign for Classics from 2005 to 2013, and themselves made a generous donation to the Campaign. 

The Society for Classical Studies expresses its deepest sympathy to the Sarbanes family. 

by Adam Blistein and Sheila Murnaghan

View full article. | Posted in In Memoriam on Mon, 12/14/2020 - 7:10am by Erik Shell.

CFP: Ancient Leadership Series for SAGE Business Cases

Since 2018, SAGE Business Cases (SBC) has been inviting authors to contribute to its Ancient Leadership series. This year’s series will explore “The Stakes and Sacrifices of Leadership” through history, mythology, philosophy, and material culture.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Thu, 12/10/2020 - 10:56am by Erik Shell.

Ancient Greek Literature

Eligibility: UK/EU/International graduates with the required entry requirements

Funding details: Bursary plus tuition fees (UK/EU/International)

Duration: Full-time – for a maximum of four years, or Part-time - for a maximum of six years

Application deadline: 15th January 2021

Interview dates: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Start date: September 2021. Please note that May 2021 is also potentially available if preferred - subject to discussion and agreement

For enquiries, please contact Professor Judith Mossman


Coventry University is inviting applications from suitably qualified graduates for a fully funded PhD studentship.

Project details

Applications are invited for a fully funded PhD studentship, either full or part-time, in Ancient Greek literature.

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Thu, 12/10/2020 - 10:48am by Erik Shell.

In 2020, the inaugural year of the SCS Erich S. Gruen Prize, the selection committee received 31 submissions from graduate students across North America treating aspects of race, ethnicity, or cultural exchange in the ancient Mediterranean. The committee was impressed with the candidates’ overall quality as well as range. Papers received, all anonymized before review, reflected the temporal and geographical breadth of classical and Near Eastern antiquity and diverse disciplinary perspectives including archaeology, art history, epigraphy, history and philology. 

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Wed, 12/09/2020 - 8:13am by Helen Cullyer.

On December 2, the University of Vermont (UVM) announced devastating cuts to many programs and departments, including Classics. SCS President Sheila Murnaghan and Director of the Classics Advisory Service Jeff Henderson have written to the UVM Provost and President in support of Classics and to protest the deep cuts. Prof. Henderson continues to stay in close touch with department chair John Franklin to provide support and assistance to everyone in the Classics department. Other humanities organizations, including the Medieval Academy of America, are also supporting the humanities at UVM.

Individuals can take action by signing this petition, which was created by a UVM student. 

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 12/07/2020 - 10:12am by Helen Cullyer.

ANTIQUITY IN MEDIA STUDIES is holding our first-ever virtual conference, and you're invited!

via Zoom on 11-12 December 2020, Eastern Standard Time

AIMS is a newly organized group of scholars who collaborate on research, pedagogy, and outreach activities that examine and enrich how people around the world engage with the concept and contents of "antiquity" in a variety of media. Since our inception via the Classical Antiquity section of the Film & History conference, we have been expanding our focus to include the wider Mediterranean world, with the goal of welcoming engagements with antiquities from around the globe.

In recognition of the ever-greater ubiquity of screens in our professional lives under COVID, this year's conference focuses on receptions through screen-media platforms, including film, television, streaming video, video games, and social media. Our closing session features remarks on the state of Classical Reception Studies by Monica S. Cyrino (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque) and Antony Augoustakis (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign).

The detailed program, abstracts, code of conduct, and other information are available at the conference website:

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Mon, 12/07/2020 - 6:40am by Erik Shell.

(Un)-Forgotten Realms: Science Fiction and Fantasy in and about the Ancient Mediterranean

25th Annual Classics Graduate Student Colloquium

University of Virginia

Saturday, April 17th, 2021

Keynote Speaker: Jennifer Rea (University of Florida)

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Fri, 12/04/2020 - 2:58pm by Erik Shell.

Late in the afternoon on November 5, 2020 — close to 24 hours after polls across the country had closed for the 2020 elections — the NRA tweeted a familiar phrase: “Come and Take It.”

In May of 2018, I wrote about the valorization of ancient Sparta for Eidolon. The article underscored Spartan culture as a romantic figment of the far right imagination within America. The growth in the use of Plutarch’s alleged quote of the Spartan king Leonidas, whom the Greek historian says answered back ‘μολὼν λαβέ’ (“having come, take” or in less direct translation, “come and take [them]”) to the Persian king Xerxes when told to surrender his arms, continues to grow in popularity among gun enthusiasts on the far right. 

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 12/04/2020 - 7:52am by Sarah E. Bond.

Non-human Animals in Ancient Greek Philosophy and Religion

May 13-15, 2021 (Online Conference)

Non-human animals figured prominently in ancient Greek agriculture, diet, medicine, visual art, homelife and war practices. They were also portrayed and examined in various poems, plays, dialogues and treatises. This conference aims at examining ancient Greek philosophical and religious views on issues pertaining to the nature and status of non-human animals and the attitudes of human beings towards them. Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. The religious significance of animal sacrifice in Greek antiquity

  2. The depiction of animals in Greek myth and poetry

  3. The goals of the systematic study of animals in Ancient Greece

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Wed, 12/02/2020 - 11:53am by Erik Shell.

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