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 Classical Works Knowledge Base (CWKB) is a new service of the American Philological Association developed under the direction of Eric Rebillard (Cornell University). The project was supported by a grant made to the American Philological Association (APA) in 2010 by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

CWKB contain information for the retrieval of citations from ancient Greek and Latin texts--from Homer (8 c. BC) to Bede (mid 8 c. AD)-- in the following online resources: Brepols Library of Latin Texts, Perseus Library, PHI Latin Texts,  Thesaurus Linguae Graecae.

CWKB adopts an OpenURL approach. It is both a relational database and a link resolver software. The relational database stores metadata about authors and works; the link resolver parses the OpenURLs, makes a lookup in the relational database, and returns links to digital libraries of Greek and Latin literatures. This web page has more information.

L'Année philologique online is the first resource to use CWKB for linking citations of ancient texts to digital libraries of text.

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The Humanities Research Center at Rice University hosts up to three interdisciplinary visiting professors each year. The fellowship term ranges from one semester to one year.  Fellows teach one humanities course, participate in special symposia, and take part in an informal lecture series. Applicants must hold a tenured/tenure-track position and have received the PhD no later than June 2010. Annual salaries are commensurate with rank and length of term. Non-US scholars are especially encouraged to apply.  Applications for 2013-14 due October 29, 2012. See http://hrc.rice.edu for information.

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From the Guardian (8/31/2012)

Alarmed by a decline in the use of Latin within the Catholic church, Pope Benedict is planning to set up a Vatican academy to breathe new life into the dead language.

Long used by the Vatican as its lingua franca, Latin is currently promoted by a small team within the office of the Holy See's secretary of state, which runs a Latin poetry competition and puts out a magazine.

But Benedict – a staunch traditionalist – is backing a plan for a new academy which would team up with academics to better "promote the knowledge and speaking of Latin, particularly inside the church," Vatican spokesman Fr Ciro Benedettini said on Friday.

Read more …

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We are happy to announce the publication of a new edition of Careers for Classicists in Today’s World by Kenneth F. Kitchell, Jr. with the assistance of the APA Education Committee.  Careers is copyright 2012 by the American Philological Association (APA) and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License

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A combined APA Newsletter for Winter and Spring 2012 is now available on the APA web site.  In a few weeks it will be mailed to members who requested printed copies of this publication when they paid their dues for 2012. 

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See the APA web site for the schedule of sessions for the upcoming meeting in Seattle as well as information about registration, hotels, air travel discounts, and local attractions.  Please be sure to read a message from Program Chair Joe Farrell encouraging you to attend what promises to be a very exciting meeting in a very appealing city.  We encourage companies and organizations with publications, equipment, and services of interest to classicists and archaeologists to participate in the exhibit show for the joint annual meeting.

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Members are invited to serve as volunteers at the 144th Annual Meeting of the Association in Seattle, WA this coming January.  Assignments include assistance in the Registration Area, monitoring session rooms, and supporting the Placement Service.  Interested members should contact Heather Gasda in the Association Office by October 1, 2012.  The Chair of the Local Arrangements Committee will develop a schedule of volunteer activity in late Fall.

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The August 2012 issue of Positions has been posted on the APA web site.

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In April I briefed members on behalf of the Board about the funding threat to the German office of L'Année and promised to update members when we had further news (http://apaclassics.org/index.php/apa_blog/apa_blog_entry/3325/). I am delighted to pass along the following letter of 11 August 2012 from SIBC President Margarethe Billerbeck:

Jeff Henderson

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Dear Friends and Colleagues,

It is with great pleasure that I can inform you that the German Arbeitsstelle of L’Année Philologique can continue after the end of the current year. Professor Martin Hose has successfully negotiated the transfer of the present Arbeitsstelle from Heidelberg to the University of Munich which is prepared to finance and house the new équipe. This will include a full-time collaborator, a part-time collaborator as well as two assistants (‘Hilfskräfte’). The present guarantee is for three years with the possibility of renewal. At a time when public finances are severely strained this is an excellent outcome of what seemed an almost hopeless situation. We will have an occasion to express our sincere gratitude to Professor Hose for his untiring effort to convince the authorities of his University to accept this charge when he joins us at the Annual Meeting of the SIBC in Paris in November.

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