CFP: Greek Literary Topographies in the Roman Imperial World

GREEK LITERARY TOPOGRAPHIES IN THE ROMAN IMPERIAL WORLD

The Pennsylvania State University, 16-18 April 2021

Workshop Organizers:

Anna Peterson, Penn State

Janet Downie, UNC-Chapel Hill

Keynote Speaker:

Jason König, University of St. Andrews

Confirmed Speakers:

Pavlos Avlamis

Artemis Brod

William Hutton

Bryant Kirkland

Kate Gilhuly

Karen ní Mheallaigh

Estelle Strazdins

As spatial theorists like Lefebvre, Foucault, and Soja have shown, space is not static, but dynamic – both reflecting and engendering processes of interpretation and cultural construction. By extension, in a literary context, space does not simply provide the backdrop against which events “take place.” Rather, literary topographies create relationships – both within the text and beyond it – connecting individuals to one another and to shared social worlds, both real and imagined. For scholars of Classics, this means that the representation of space in ancient literature offers another way of understanding the shape of ancient society, its political, religious and cultural concerns. There is now a considerable body of scholarship on the literary topographies of the city of Rome and on the geography of empire in Latin literature, as well as important work on spatial perspectives in Greek literature of the Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic periods. Prominent examples of the latter include Alex Purves’ Space and Time in Ancient Greek Narrative, Kate Gilhuly’s Erotic Geographies in Ancient Greek Literature and Culture, William Thalmann’s Apollonius of Rhodes and the Spaces of Hellenism and Irene de Jong’s volume, Space in Ancient Greek Literature.

This workshop aims to broaden the discussion to include Greek literature of the Imperial period. While space has been explored in relation to explicitly topographical writers (e.g., Pausanias, Strabo) and in the context of the Greek novel, spatial descriptions outside of these genres have been treated as primarily as scene-setting devices or ekphrastic excursus. Beginning from the essential questions of how authors of the imperial period evoke different spaces and why they describe them in the ways that they do, this workshop will interrogate the relationship between lived space, society, and power and its depiction in literature.

Participants are encouraged to think about these issues as they relate not just to explicitly topographical writers but also to the rhetorical, philosophical, and fictional literature of the period. We are interested both in papers that probe the specifics of a given author or text and that think more theoretically about spatiality at this time. In addition, we also invite approaches that draw comparisons to other periods of literature – whether earlier or later – and to other traditions (e.g. Latin, Jewish and Christian).

Workshop Format:

Participants will pre-circulate papers at the end of February 2021, and the workshop will include brief presentations with formal responses and discussion. We are currently planning for a hybrid format, including both in-person and online participation, so that we can adapt as necessary to institutional and personal circumstances relating to travel and gathering.

Abstract Submission:

Please submit abstracts of no more than 800 words (including bibliography), as well as a CV, by 15 September 2020 to either of the Workshop Organizers by email: Anna Peterson, aip12@psu.edu; Janet Downie, jdownie@email.unc.edu. Notification of acceptance will be given in early October.

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Academic freedom and tenure are of fundamental importance, indeed the basis upon which America has achieved pre-eminence in higher education. Without its protections, faculty are at constant risk of arbitrary termination, with chilling and destructive effects on their ability to conduct groundbreaking research and provide state-of-the-art teaching. To enable termination of the appointments even of leading faculty members at any time and for any reason would inhibit the free flow of ideas, the building of stable departments, and the continuity necessary to conduct quality research and effectively teach students. The result for the university would surely be difficulty in attracting and retaining talented faculty, in securing research funding, in assuring current and potential students of a high-quality education with teachers and mentors who can be counted on to be there when they need them, and in living up to the expectations of our broader society, not least the citizens of Kansas. Academic freedom and tenure should be a line that no institution should be tempted to cross on any grounds short of actual exigency.  Furthermore, members of the faculty accepted their positions in reliance on the existing policy, which was that in place at other institutions; this change is deeply unfair to them.  Of course, the pandemic has caused financial crises in higher education, but that is why the policy allows for the declaration of financial exigency.

View full article. | Posted in Public Statements on Fri, 01/29/2021 - 10:19am by Helen Cullyer.
The creation of Pandora by the Olympic gods. Courtesy of Creative Commons.

The Classics Everywhere initiative, launched by the SCS in 2019, supports projects that seek to engage communities worldwide with the study 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 reading groups comparing ancient and modern leadership practices to collaborations with artists in theater, music, and dance. Most of the projects funded take place in the U.S. and Canada, though the initiative is growing and has funded projects in the U.K., Italy, Greece, Belgium, Ghana, and Puerto Rico. This post centers on online reading and discussion groups that engage local communities and the broad public in the discussion of ancient texts and contemporary issues.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 01/29/2021 - 10:01am by .
"Portrait of a young woman from Pompeii (so-called 'Sappho')" Courtesy of Creative Commons

This piece was co-authored by Del A. Maticic, Alicia Matz, Hannah Čulík-Baird, Thomas Hendrickson, Anna Pisarello, Amy Pistone, and Nandini Pandey.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 01/25/2021 - 12:00am by .
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Session Recordings Available

All sessions that gave unanimous consent for post-conference publication have been made available on the OpenWater annual meeting platform.

You can access these recordings by logging in the same way you logged in for the annual meeting, navigating to the paper session you want to see, and watching the recording streamed on the registration site itself.

You can find a list of available recordings below. All those not listed did not give consent for their sessions to be published.

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Tuesday, January 5

  • SCS 1- Merchants and Market in Late Antiquity
  • SCS 6- New Approaches to Spectatorship
  • SCS 10- Roman Comedy

 Wednesday, January 6

  • SCS 15-Staging Epic and Tragedy
  • SCS 16- Virgil and Religion
  • SCS 17-Usurpers, Rivals, and Regime Change: The Evidence of Coins
  • SCS 24- Lightning Session 2: Crossing Boundaries

 Thursday, January 7

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 01/20/2021 - 12:48pm by Erik Shell.
57th Presidential Inauguration, 21 January 2013. View of the U.S. Capitol building from the crowd, with people waving flags.

Were Joe Biden ascending to the chief executive office in Ancient Rome — as one of the year’s two elected consuls — he would start his inauguration day with augury—that is, by taking the auspices. It would, first of all, be January 1, rather than the 20th; according to a surviving Roman calendar, in fact, the state’s year began then “because on that day magistrates enter office” (Fasti Praenestini, Jan. 1). That morning, Biden would look to the sky and request a sign from the gods. If Jupiter announced his favor — a lightning flash on the left was the best omen for this occasion—then the installation could proceed.

View full article. | Posted in on Wed, 01/20/2021 - 9:44am by .

The Society for Classical Studies is delighted to announce that the TAPA Editor Search Committee has selected Joshua Billings and Irene Peirano Garrison as the new co-editors of TAPA. This is the first time in its history that TAPA will be led by two co-editors. Professors Billings and Peirano Garrison will cover TAPA volumes 152-155 (2022-2025).

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 01/20/2021 - 8:38am by Helen Cullyer.

On December 21, 2020, which now seems like eons ago, Donald Trump issued the “Executive Order on Promoting Beautiful Federal Civic Architecture” (EOPBFCA). This understandably has been overshadowed in recent days by discussions of the Executive Order on Promoting Besiegement of Federal Civic Architecture (also EOPBFCA). Nevertheless, we should not forget to examine the original document (which, in draft form, was opposed by the SCS Board in February 2020), especially since the two occurrences are closely related — and not only in the sense that the latter action seems in direct violation of the first. The two are actually intellectual cousins.

The “Purpose” section sets the tone for all that follows:

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 01/15/2021 - 9:21am by .

Against the backdrop of the United States’ first non-peaceful transition of power, there is a much smaller-scale — and much more peaceful — transition happening: the changeover of the SCS Communications Committee chair and SCS blog Editor-in-Chief. Sarah Bond, after three years of visionary leadership and fantastic direction of the blog, has handed the reins over to me, as a veteran Committee member. I think I speak for the Committee and for the blog’s readership when I offer Sarah my profoundest gratitude and appreciation for her awe-inspiring work during her term. I’ll be standing on the shoulders and following in the footsteps of a giant.

View full article. | Posted in on Tue, 01/12/2021 - 7:47am by T. H. M. Gellar-Goad.

Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre for Hellenic Studies Postdoctoral Fellowship September 2021 – August 2022

For the third year in a row, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre for Hellenic Studies (SNF CHS) at Simon Fraser University invites applications for a one-year Postdoctoral Fellowship focused on Hellenisms Past and Present, Local and Global. Our search committee welcomes applications that span disciplinary boundaries from candidates working on comparative approaches to the advertised fellowship theme. Applicants from all fields of the humanities and the social sciences are encouraged to apply.

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Mon, 01/11/2021 - 3:02pm by Erik Shell.

34th Biennial Conference of the Classical Association of South Africa

Order and Chaos

19 – 22 January 2022

University of Cape Town

FIRST CALL FOR PAPERS

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Mon, 01/11/2021 - 2:57pm by Erik Shell.

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