CFP: Ancient Greek and Roman Painting and the Digital Humanities at Tufts University

Ancient Greek and Roman Painting and the Digital Humanities

6th-8th August, 2018 at Tufts University

It is widely known that ancient Greek painting was mostly passed down to us through textual sources. These texts of ancient Greek or Latin authors, mostly dated from the 1st to the 2nd centuries CE, such as Pliny the Elder, Pausanias or Philostratus, offer a valuable testimony which enables us to establish the (partial) history of ancient Greek painting since its beginnings. Of course, these texts do not teach us everything we would like to know about ancient painting, because in the absence of the paintings themselves it is very difficult to write a history of painting that is devoid of suppositions or educated guesses. Yet, archeology has provided and still provides us with valuable information, on the one hand in terms of iconography (in particular through vase painting, but also from wall paintings and floor mosaics) and on the other hand on the techniques used for the treatment of color, thanks to the recent discoveries of Macedonian burial painting. This material can be compared to the texts and confirm or invalidate what ancient authors tell us about painting: names of painters, techniques, title and subject of the works, location of these works, under which circumstances these works were commissioned etc. Much more than trying to reconstruct paintings that are lost forever, the texts, compared to the iconographic and archaeological material we possess, make it possible to place these paintings in their historical and cultural context. This is the challenge of the Digital Milliet: to go back, once again, through the Greek and Latin texts on painting assembled in early twentieth-century collections, following the example of the Recueil Milliet, published by Salomon Reinach in 1921, as well as to compare them with the most recent archaeological findings and historiographical research in order to offer a fresh approach and a new reading of these texts, often known only to specialists.

Creating a corpus of texts devoted to a particular subject is in itself not completely new; however, a corpus supported by digital technology is such indeed, offering an undeniable working flexibility, especially since it is possible to update the data often in a digital collection. The Digital Milliet is the result of two years of work and currently offers some fifty texts devoted to ancient painting, to which images and "keywords" have been added, allowing for the creation of thematic collections.

The conference we are proposing will have as its starting point the Digital Milliet seen as a working tool, and will connect Digital Humanities with Art History. Therefore, this conference has two parts, each of which has a distinct focal point. The first part will be devoted to methodology and digital tools, aiming to provide an overview of the means and methods of research in Ancient Art History. In other words, how do we make Art History in the digital era, when the abundance of data dominates? What tools and methods should we consider? What kind of applications should we envision for digital resources? What are the inputs from a database such as the Digital Milliet?

The second part will be devoted to questions raised by the creation of the Digital Millet, and more broadly to the place texts occupy in Ancient Art History when they are confronted with material sources: what do these texts teach us and what do they not teach us? This section will also be devoted to historiographical questions, and particularly to the choices made by Adolphe Reinach in the process of interpreting the texts (readings of the ancient text, notes, translations) in his original edition of the Recueil Milliet. Therefore, it will be necessary to put the Recueil Milliet in its own historical context in order to get a better understanding of it that goes beyond the mere re-representation of the texts that are gathered in this corpus.

Abstracts should be 350-500 words in length, including a short bibliography (1 page maximum). We welcome research papers on the below mentioned themes but not limited to:

- digital tools in Art History and/or Classical Studies

- methodologies in the digital era

- education, pedagogy

- a case study of a work, a text, or a group of texts.

- new archaeological data, iconographic interpretation, comparison with texts.

-new readings of texts, fresh understanding of their vocabulary in connection to archaeological data.

The deadline for proposals is Friday 16 February 2018. The proposed papers should be sent by e-mail to the following address: Decisions will be made in April 2018.

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


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Please visit our Annual Meeting page for updates:

As of this morning, we know of just one panel that is completely cancelled.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Thu, 01/04/2018 - 5:14am by Helen Cullyer.
Boston Skyscrapers

The SCS Committee on Diversity in the Profession invites annual meeting attendees to a reception on

Thursday January 4, 2018 at 9pm

St. George B, Westin Copley Place

Meet the committee members and learn about the new committee.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 12/26/2017 - 8:28pm by Helen Cullyer.
Boston Skyscrapers

The SCS Advisory Board of the Thesaurus Linguae Latinae Fellowship is holding a reception on

Thursday January 4, 2018 at 6pm

Atrium Lounge, Marriott Copley Place

All interested in the TLL and the NEH-funded TLL Fellowship Program, administered annually by SCS, are invited to attend.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 12/26/2017 - 8:09pm by Helen Cullyer.

Ongoing discussions in academic circles about the value and purpose of 3-D immersive technologies have lately been sharpened by the emergence of consumer-ready VR and inexpensive game engines, especially Unity. One side of that discussion asserts that, in an academic context, these technologies are primarily valuable to the extent that they advance serious scientific and data visualization research. Others maintain that game design and “play” more broadly are equally important, and can transform how we teach many subjects. One approach does not exclude the other, of course, but my own experience has convinced me of the exciting potential of the latter, play-based, mode. For classicists, interdisciplinary as we are, the 3-D interactive future of research and teaching beyond textbooks holds important opportunities, especially if we take an active, collaborative role in shaping that future.

View full article. | Posted in on Tue, 12/26/2017 - 12:00am by David Fredrick.

We have updated our resource on teacher certification requirements in all 50 US states and the District of Columbia.

Read more here.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 12/19/2017 - 10:41pm by Helen Cullyer.

"Unguentarıuma terracotta vessel form and other related vessels ın the hellenıstıc, roman and early byzantıne medıterranean - an ınternatıonal symposıum"

May 17-18, 2018 / Izmir, Turkey
with an excursion to Lesbos, Greece on May 19-21, 2018

Dear Colleagues,

The Izmir Center of the Archaeology of Western Anatolia (EKVAM) is glad to inform you that an international symposium on unguentarium, a terracotta vessel form in the Hellenistic, Roman and early Byzantine Mediterranean, will take place on May 17-18, 2017 at the Dokuz Eylül University (DEU) in Izmir, Turkey. An unguentarium (plural “unguentaria”) is a small ceramic or glass bottle, found in relatively large quantities in the entire Mediterranean, from Spain to Syria and Egypt to France, where they were produced between the early Hellenistic and early Medieval periods. The terracotta version of this form is a typically narrow-necked vessel shape, topped with a slender neck and a thin-lipped rim. The base of these vessels can be in some cases rounded or fusiform -- in which case it is not self-standing -- or flat-bottomed. Its shape was changed in several periods, but especially during the mid second century B.C. Beside the common term unguentarium, which is a modern invitation, this vessel type was also called as “balsamare”, “ampulle”, “lacramarium” or “flacon” etc.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Tue, 12/19/2017 - 9:04am by Erik Shell.
Interiority in Roman Literature
Pacific Rim Roman Literature Seminar 32
University of Sydney, 11 to 13 July 2018
The thirty-second meeting of the PacRim Roman Literature Seminar will be held at the University of Sydney from 11 to 13 July 2018. The theme for the 2018 conference will be interiority in Roman literature.
Papers are invited to explore Roman literature’s inner voices, visions and narratives; psychologies; inner lives; the ‘inward turn’ of Roman literature at various periods, such as the first and fourth centuries; interior spaces; inner sanctums and circles of power. Roman literature is conceived of as the literature of Roman world from its earliest beginnings to the end of antiquity. The theme may be interpreted broadly, and papers on other topics will also be considered.
View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Mon, 12/18/2017 - 3:12pm by Erik Shell.


After the Socratica Conferences (Socratica 2005, held in Senigallia, Socratica 2008, held in Napoli, and Socratica 2012 held in Trento), and the respective proceedings published in 2008, 2010 and 2013, we are pleased to announce the SOCRATICA IV Conference to be held in Buenos Aires on November 13-16, 2018 at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. 
We invite submissions of proposals related to any of the following areas: 
a) The figure and thought of Socrates
b) Socratic and anti-Socratic literature, i.e. texts and fragments of Ancient Comedy, first-generation Socratics, Polycrates, Isocrates and so on
c) Philosophy and thought of the first-generation Socratics
d) Historiographical problems related to the Socratic circle 
e) Key notions, such as sophistes and philosophos, before, during, and after Socrates time

Call for papers 

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Mon, 12/18/2017 - 3:08pm by Erik Shell.

Diversity and Uniformity in the Archaic Greek World

On 23-25 May 2018, leading scholars from around the world will gather at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire in the United States to explore diversity and uniformity in the Archaic Greek world. All of the speakers are contributors to the forthcoming Oxford History of the Archaic Greek World (OHAGW), edited by Paul Cartledge (Cambridge University) and Paul Christesen (Dartmouth College).  OHAGW will provide detailed studies of 29 sites, sanctuaries, and regions in Greece during the Archaic period. Each essay in OHAGW will be built around the same set of eleven rubrics, so that it will be possible to read either vertically (reading a complete study of a single site) or horizontally (reading, for example, about the economic history of a number of different sites). Taken together, these studies will add unprecedented depth and subtlety to our evidence for and understanding of diversity and uniformity in the Archaic Greek world.

The speakers at this conference will discuss how the particular site, sanctuary or region about which they are writing for OHAGW contributes to our understanding of diversity and uniformity in the Archaic Greek world. The schedule of the conference – all sessions of which will be plenary – is such as to leave a considerable amount of time for questions, answers, and general discussion.

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Mon, 12/18/2017 - 3:02pm by Erik Shell.

The SCS Outreach Panel is soliciting questions to address at the SCS Annual Meeting in Boston.

Click on this link to submit your questions about outreach activities of the SCS:


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

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 12/18/2017 - 1:44pm by Erik Shell.


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