CFP: Generic Interplay in and After Vergil

Generic Interplay in and after Vergil

Symposium Cumanum 2020

Villa Vergiliana, Cuma

June 24–26, 2020

Co-directors: Brittney Szempruch (United States Air Force Academy) and John F. Miller (University of Virginia)

Although Vergil famously opens the Aeneid with a definitive statement of poetic intent—arma virumque cano—scholarship has long highlighted the poet’s propensity for the complication of firm generic boundaries. Amid a range of theoretical responses that have shaped the past nearly one hundred years (Kroll 1924; Cairns 1972; Fowler 1982; Conte 1986; Harrison 2007), the Vergilian corpus has emerged as some of the most productive ground for the in-depth study of generic flexibility (e.g. Nelis 2004; Seider 2016).

On its broadest level, this symposium aims to bring together scholars to discuss how the works of Vergil illuminate questions about genre and literary identity in the ancient world. In addition to looking at generic interplay in Vergil’s poetry, we seek to examine the role that genre has played in Vergil’s afterlife, both among his contemporaries and in later ages: how, particularly in relation to Vergil’s poems, did genre create or elide perceived boundaries and/or affiliations between authors in antiquity? What cultural implications did explicit or implicit generic interplay have? How has genre shaped not only our understanding of Vergil and what it meant to be an Augustan poet, but our reception (‘after’ in another sense) of the earlier genres with which he engaged? What do we gain and lose by putting Vergil at the forefront of this narrative?

Both textual studies and theoretical interventions are welcome. Papers might consider (but are not limited to) the following topics:

  • Ÿ ‘Greek’ vs. ‘Roman’ genres across Vergil’s poetry
  • Ÿ Vergil’s reception of Hellenistic generic theory and experimentation
  • Ÿ the presence of nonpoetic genres (scientific, philosophical, etc.) in the Vergilian corpus
  • Ÿ hymn, epigram, and tragedy in Vergil
  • Ÿ elegy and Vergilian pastoral
  • Ÿ ‘didactic’ and heroic epic
  • Ÿ the reception of Vergilian generic conventions
  • Ÿ the centrality of (and/or bias toward) Vergil in discussions of genre in antiquity

Speakers will include Giancarlo Abbamonte (Naples–Federico II), Alessandro Barchiesi (NYU), Sergio Casali (Rome–Tor Vergata), Stephen Harrison (Oxford), Julia Hejduk (Baylor), Alison Keith (Toronto), Giuseppe La Bua (Rome–Sapienza), James O’Hara (UNC Chapel Hill), Vassiliki Panoussi (William & Mary), Stefano Rebeggiani (USC), Fabio Stok (Rome–Tor Vergata), and Adriana Vazquez (UCLA).

Papers will be 20 minutes long with ample time for discussion. Participants will arrive on June 23 followed by three full days of papers, discussion, and visits to Vergilian sites.

Interested scholars should send an abstract of no more than 300 words to vergilandgenre2020@gmail.com by December 1, 2019.

For inquiries and further information, contact the directors:

Brittney Szempruch (brittney.szempruch@usafa.edu)

John Miller (jfm4j@virginia.edu)


Cited Works

Cairns, F. 1972. Generic Composition in Greek and Roman Poetry. Edinburgh.

Conte, G. B. 1986. The Rhetoric of Imitation: Genre and Poetic Memory in Virgil and Other Latin Poets. Cornell.

Fowler, A. 1982. Kinds of Literature: An Introduction to the Theory of Genres and

Modes. Harvard.

Nelis, D. 2004. “From Didactic to Epic: Georgics 2.458–3.48.” In Latin Epic and

Didactic Poetry: Genre, Tradition and Individuality, ed. M. Gale. Swansea: 73-107.

Harrison, S. J. 2007. Generic Enrichment in Vergil and Horace. Oxford.

Kroll, W. 1924. “Die Kreuzung der Gattungen.” Studien zum Verständnis der römischen

Literatur: 202–24.

Seider, A. M. 2016. “Genre, Gallus, and Goats: Expanding the Limits of Pastoral in

Eclogues 6 and 10.” Vergilius 62: 3–23.

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

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The 2020 Annual Meeting is just three weeks away.  Both the AIA and SCS are making final arrangements for what we anticipate will be an excellent meeting.  While our registration numbers for the upcoming meeting are looking good, reservations at the hotels are not looking as strong.  While we understand that some attendees will opt to stay with local friends or find a less-expensive accommodation, we rely on hotel reservations to secure the meeting space each year.

Why is it important to book at our official Annual Meeting Hotels?
The AIA and SCS are proud to have produced the Annual Meeting for our professional members for the past 120 years. Financially, we are able to do this by reserving a large block of rooms with a hotel. In exchange, these hotels offer our attendees the guaranteed lowest group rate at the hotel and provide us with complimentary meeting space to hold the meeting. But if we are unable to meet our guaranteed minimum number of registered guests, then the AIA and SCS will have to pay for the unused rooms as well as room rental for the meeting space, which can amount to a severe financial penalty. We request your support by booking within our reserved blocks and helping us continue to produce this meeting for the next 100 years.  

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View full article. | Posted in on Thu, 12/05/2019 - 11:42pm by Liam D. Jensen.

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View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 12/04/2019 - 10:19am by Erik Shell.

(Text provided by Tony Woodman, Basil L. Gildersleeve Professor of Classics Emertius at the University of Virginia, and Sara Myers, Professor and Chair of Classics, UVA)

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Many thanks to our Local Arrangements Committee for creating a fantastic guide to the DC area for our January 2020 meeting. The guide features plenty of family-friendly activities and also includes walking tours of classical DC. 

Read and download the Local Arrangements Guide for 2020.

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View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Sat, 11/30/2019 - 7:08am by Helen Cullyer.

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