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 new Classics Everywhere initiative, launched by the SCS in 2019, supports projects that seek to engage communities all over the US and Canada with the worlds of Greek and Roman antiquity in new and meaningful ways. As part of this initiative the SCS has been funding a variety of projects ranging from children’s programs to teaching Latin in a prison. In this post we focus on four programs that use the performing arts for the exploration and appreciation of Greek and Latin literature.

Observing artists who work imaginatively and freely with the ancient material encourages students to think and act in non-linear ways. Cultivating one’s imagination is particularly important for Classicists, who are constantly seeking for new interpretations and new approaches to the ancient past. The projects below funded by the SCS’ Classics Everywhere Initiative invite their audiences to examine Greek and Roman literature through dance, theater, and staged readings; to explore known stories through different lenses; to stimulate their imagination; and to satisfy the human desire for creativity, entertainment, and learning.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 09/27/2019 - 6:12am by Nina Papathanasopoulou.

The Ancient Mediterranean for Modern Audiences: Reception, Pedagogy, Entertainment

March 6-7, 2020
Ohio Union, Columbus, Ohio

The aim of the OSU Classics Graduate Student Colloquium is to explore various directions in which the Ancient Mediterranean has been adapted and utilized by different cultures in Modern world from the Renaissance to the present day. In recent years, the online journal “Eidolon” and other public scholarship media have already successfully demonstrated how the cultures of the Ancient Mediterranean can be accessed, interpreted, and applied through various experiences by scholars, students, writers, and by the wider communities. We believe that the reception of Ancient Mediterranean cultures has become an important element of Classical scholarship and pedagogy. It is a critical point of contact between the academic community and the general audience.

The OSU Classics Graduate Student Colloquium invites papers on a range of topics that discuss and analyze the reception of the Ancient Mediterranean from a point of view of philology, linguistics, theater and performance studies, history, pedagogy, archaeology, art history, philosophy, anthropology, political studies, media studies, and/or gender studies. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Thu, 09/26/2019 - 12:34pm by Erik Shell.

Conference: Cathartic History

University of West Georgia, Carrollton, GA
February 25-27, 2021

The aim of this conference and the edited collection that will result is to propose Aristotelian catharsis as a new lens for historical inquiry. The project aims to do so, specifically, through the study of cathartic history as a phenomenon in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean and in the field of Classical history today. In the process, the project will serve as an example of the productive application of catharsis to the study of the past, and thus a model for other fields of historical research.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Thu, 09/26/2019 - 10:22am by Erik Shell.

SCS member and Classical Studies professor at the University of Pennsylvania Emily Wilson has won a 2019 MacArthur Fellowship by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

You can read the full announcement on the UPenn page here.

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

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Thu, 09/26/2019 - 9:55am by Erik Shell.

International Association for Presocratic Studies

Seventh Biennial Conference: 15-19 July 2020
Belo Horizonte, Brazil: Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais

Chair of Organizing Committee: Miriam Peixoto

The International Association for Presocratic Studies announces its Seventh Biennial Conference. The meeting will take place at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil 15-19 June 2020 (http://www.ufmg.br). 

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Wed, 09/25/2019 - 11:37am by Erik Shell.

Poetry, Philosophy, and Mathematics: Performance, Text, and External Representations in Ancient Greek Cultural Practices

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Wed, 09/25/2019 - 11:02am by Erik Shell.

The SCS board of directors has endorsed a statement on the use of student evaluations of teaching developed by the American Sociological Association.

The board has also reaffirmed its own statement of November 28, 2016 that condemns “the use of the texts, ideals, and images of the Greek and Roman world to promote racism or a view of the Classical world as the unique inheritance of a falsely-imagined and narrowly-conceived western civilization.” In accordance with that statement, the board has also endorsed the American Historical Association’s statement on Domestic Terrorism, Bigotry, and History and would like to draw attention to its condemnation of the “recent deployment of histories invented in the interest of bigotry, violence, and division.”

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View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 09/25/2019 - 10:22am by Erik Shell.

Registration is now live for the Spatial Turn in Roman Studies Auckland conference, to be held January 22-24, 2020. For information about the conference, please see https://www.dur.ac.uk/classics/spatialturn/auckland/

If you plan to attend the Auckland conference, please fill out this registration form, including reading the event code of conduct linked to in the form.  

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Wed, 09/25/2019 - 9:09am by Erik Shell.

Here are a few important deadlines coming up at the end of this month:

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View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Fri, 09/20/2019 - 8:32am by Erik Shell.

Of the slew of Disney’s new live-action remakes, perhaps the most anticipated release was this summer’s The Lion King, directed by Jon Favreau. After all, the original 1994 version was arguably the crown jewel of the ‘Disney Renaissance’, enjoying massive commercial and critical success (followed by a highly successful Broadway production). More importantly - at least for those like me who grew up in the 90’s - it was a cultural touchstone, a perennial source of references, parodies, and praise.

View full article. | Posted in on Thu, 09/19/2019 - 10:00pm by Colin MacCormack.

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