CFP: Memory and Emotions in Antiquity

(Updated January 25, 2019; sent by Dimos Spatharas)

Crete/Patras Ancient Emotions Conference

Memory and Emotions in Antiquity

Dear colleagues,

We are delighted to announce the Crete/Patras Ancient Emotions III Conference on Memory and Emotions in Antiquity. The event will take place on 6-8 December 2019 at Rethymno, Crete.

We are now inviting proposals for papers of 25 minutes. Submissions should include titled abstracts (max 350 words) and a short bio (max 50 words). Please submit your proposals jointly to George Kazantzidis (gkazantzidis@upatras.gr) and Dimos Spatharas (spatharasd@gmail.com) no later than 23 February 2019.

Revised versions of papers presented at the Ancient Emotions conferences are considered for publication in the series Trends in Classics-Ancient Emotions (De Gruyter) edited by the organizers.

https://www.degruyter.com/view/product/502932

http://philology.upatras.gr/medical-understandings-emotions-antiquity/

Confirmed speakers:

Keynote speaker: Angelos Chaniotis (IAS, Princeton)

Jennifer Devereaux  (U. of South California/U. of Exeter)

Elias Economou (U. of Crete)

Nick Fisher (U. of Cardiff)

Philip Hardie (U. of Cambridge)

George Kazantzidis (U. of Patras)

Marc Mastrangelo (Dickinson College)

Damien Nelis (U. of Geneva)

Maria Michela Sassi (U. of Pisa)

William Short (U. of Exeter)

Dimos Spatharas (U. of Crete)

Description  

Researchers in the fields of neuroscience and psychology and philosophers explore the relationship between memory and emotions. Despite the salience of memory in ancient lay and scientific understandings of emotions, the topic remains under-explored. E.g. as early as Hesiod’s Theogony, poetry, the domain of Mnemosyne’s daughters, is granted with the power to offer forgetfulness of cares, even as they resist lethe. The ‘I’ of a modern Greek folk song, a young man who is about to migrate is given the following lines: ‘when I forget, I’m happy, (but) when I remember, I’m sorrowful’. Memory is pivotal to emotions because it commonly shapes the appraisals which define their phenomenology.       

On a cognitive level, memories of emotive experiences seem to be more vivid than ‘neuter’ memories. E.g. compare one’s memories of the day that one’s child/children was/were born to, say, the last faculty meeting that she attended. Researchers debate over the accuracy of emotion-laden memories and the questions that they raise are particularly akin to ancient systematic approaches to memory or to memory’s interfaces with phantasia and the ways in which we respond emotionally to the mental images which these akin cognitive faculties yield. In this conference, we want to ask questions about both ancient modes of understanding the interfaces between memory (qua a cognitive capacity) and emotions and the implications of memories, i.e. recalled events, for the literature and the cultures that attract our attention.

Memory is intrinsic to our emotional experience because emotions typically have a narrative background which determines their intentionality. My grief for the death of a friend or a relative brings to my mind past experiences which I shared with her. Memory, thus, contributes significantly to my sense that my life will no longer be the same without her. Furthermore, recent discussions emphasize the importance of autobiographical memory for readers’ emotive responses to literature. The very first pages of Proust’s narrative, indeed a trivial but telling example, not only indicate the interconnections between autobiographical memories and the acts of writing and reading, but also indicate the extent to which our senses (or more generally our embodied experience) are related to memories that activate our present emotional experiences. Autobiographical and sensory memories are therefore functional to our emotional engagement with narratives. Furthermore, discursive or artistic representations of collective memories determine the construction of traditions and invite audiences or spectators to respond emotionally to them. Correlatively, memories are also central to emotionally loaded experiences of communal life: emotional responses to ritual practices, political deliberation, and dramatic performances are shaped by participants’ shared memories, while their emotional qualities grant them with lasting memorability.

We invite papers on subjects related to, but not exclusively about:

  • Ancient and modern cognitive approaches to memory and emotions
  • Memory, phantasia, and emotions
  • Collective memories and emotions
  • Monuments, memories, and emotions
  • Autobiographical memory, emotions, and audiences’/readers’ responses to literature
  • Memory and consolation
  • Ancient poetics/rhetoric, memory, and emotions
  • Memory and ‘pathological’ emotions
  • Conceptual/embodied metaphors for memory and emotions
  • Memory, the senses, and emotions
  • Trauma and emotions
  • Emotions and the deployment of civic/collective memory
  • Rituals, memory, and emotions

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

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OK, my title is a more than a little tongue in cheek. Blogging for the APA doesn’t make me a public intellectual. Nor does the one article I’ve published for a wider public, a piece on Petronius for Salon.com. But by the same token it seems to me that most professional classical scholars don't pursue publishing in such venues, and I think more of us should attempt it. There are a lot of reasons why we don't. We’re not trained to write for broad audiences, and the tenure and promotion system demands that we devote our energy to peer-reviewed publications. Most of us don't know how we would go about finding a venue (I got published on Salon by pure, naïve luck, a shot in the dark to a culture editor. There must be better ways to do it, and I now know that your college’s office of communications can help, but I would welcome an APA panel with advice from those who have actually done it). But I also wonder whether many of us, self-conscious about the specialization of our expertise, don't think of ourselves as having much to say. So I think it’s useful to deflate the vaunted designation of “public intellectual” a bit, because too much vaunting discourages us from trying to attain it. It’s bad for our field if no one is speaking to the public about what we do.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 11/11/2013 - 3:59pm by Curtis Dozier.

Over the summer I saw a production of Antigone at the Schaubühne in Berlin, and for the most part I absolutely hated it. In a way this was rather good – I’ve seen so many blah-blah-just-fine productions of Greek tragedy that it’s easy to forget the invigorating ire that trickles down your spine when you see the immortal lines to which you’ve devoted your career trampled into the dust before your eyes. It was a classic example of artistic navel-gazing at its most extreme: the whole play was set in a therapy group, where the actors took it in turns to adopt the roles of different participants in the myth to work through their own issues, and then came out of character to discuss what they’d learned from the process. Everything was blasted with self-referential irony until every last trace of emotion withered and died. Tiresias was played by a glove-puppet who threw fried chicken all over the stage while uttering his prophecies in a squeaky voice. The duel between Polynices and Eteocles was staged as a wet towel fight. There was far too much silver glitter involved at every point.

View full article. | Posted in on Wed, 11/06/2013 - 8:30am by Laura Swift.

“At last my love has come along.” — At Last, written by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren
tandem uenit amor (at last my love has come along) — Sulpicia poem 1, line 1

Etta James’ most famous song quotes the first line of the love-elegist Sulpicia, one of the few surviving Graeco-Roman women poets.  One of the song’s composers, Harry Warren (born Salvatore Antonio Guaragna), was the son of Italian immigrants.  Perhaps he encountered the line through them, and it stuck with him over the years?  More likely a coincidence.  In “Rumour Has It,” a recent chart-topper by the pop star Adele—a self-described admirer of Etta James and lover of poetry—the plot is one of love unrequited and rumor at large, a scenario reminiscent of Dido, Aeneas, and Rumor in Vergil Aeneid book 4.  (I’m not the first to make this association: see @calpunzel on Twitter.)  Even closer correspondences with Vergil appear in the songs of the singer Dido, particularly “My Lover’s Gone,” as Alden Smith has pointed out.

View full article. | Posted in on Tue, 11/05/2013 - 2:24pm by .

For several weeks in August and September, the United States government considered whether or not to bomb Syria. Public support for bombing hovered around ten percent, but the nation’s leaders seemed open to proceeding with military action. Various reasons were offered – to prevent further deaths from gas attacks by Syrian government forces; to degrade the Assad regime’s capacity to launch such attacks; to enforce international laws banning chemical weapons; to honor President Obama’s “red line” ultimatum of some months earlier; and to show rogue regimes and the world that the United States meant business when it made threats. An addendum to the last argument was that inaction would embolden the likes of Iran or North Korea. This line of thought got me thinking of a course I teach at Penn State, and the “logic of empire.”

View full article. | Posted in on Tue, 11/05/2013 - 10:56am by Garrett Fagan.

Here in Europe, one of the expectations that come with a university position is that one will apply for big-money research grants. This is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because there genuinely is extra money on offer: if you want to run a complex collaborative project with postdoctoral researchers and extra PhD students, you can. It’s a curse because universities, which are (traditionally) almost all publicly funded and minimally endowed, are increasingly reliant on that extra income to keep afloat. As a result, there is pressure on the professors to bring in research money, sometimes against their own better judgment. At best, it’s a virtuous circle: the academic wants to do the research, and the grant enables it. At worst, the tail of the research grant wags the academic dog: the professor designs the application just to satisfy the university’s demand for income-generation, and ends up either rejected or (worse) running a project ineptly and unhappily.

Overall, though, I do think it is a good thing: it does mean that there are rich opportunities for collaboration between individuals, disciplines and institutions. I like to think of myself, however naively, as one of those classicists who can flourish in the new world order. I like working with other people and other universities, I like the energy, inventiveness and drive of early-career researchers, and I’m not too troubled by the organizational side of things.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 11/04/2013 - 9:09pm by Tim Whitmarsh.

We are launching a new feature on our website, "Guest Blogs," and we invite you to check it out and see what you think. Our field is amazingly varied, and there are new developments on the move in all parts of that variety, so that it seemed a good idea to have a forum where members can be kept up to date, informed, and--ideally-entertained in the process. We have invited a dozen Classicists to contribute regular columns (to keep an archaic print term that seems to have survived into the new medium).  We have tried to cover as much of the range of our subject as we can, and a geographical span as well, to capture at least some of the range of perspectives and expertises under the umbrella of our organization.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 11/04/2013 - 3:10pm by Adam Blistein.

We are posting a call for signatures to a petition launched by our colleagues in France, and circulated by John Bulwer of Euroclassica.  We thought this was an important petition to draw to your attention, and we urge members to read the message and to consider signing the petition.

Denis Feeney

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Sun, 11/03/2013 - 1:47pm by Adam Blistein.

If you are a teacher at the pre-collegiate level and have student loans, please read carefully through everything at the following link. You may be eligible for forgiveness and/or cancellation.

http://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/charts/teacher

Ronnie Ancona

APA VP for Education

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 10/30/2013 - 10:03pm by Ronnie Ancona.

From the iTunes App Store:

Use one app to look up any Greek or Latin word: Logeion was developed at the University of Chicago to provide simultaneous lookup of entries in the many reference works that make up the Perseus Classical collection. Most reference works represented in this app are based on digitized texts from the Perseus Digital Library at Tufts University.

  • Liddell and Scott's Greek-English Lexicon (1940)
  • Liddell and Scott's Intermediate Greek Lexicon (1889)
  • Autenrieth's Homeric Dictionary
  • Slater's Lexicon to Pindar (1969)
  • Lewis's Elementary Latin Dictionary (1890)
  • Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities
  • Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites
  • Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography
  • Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities
  • Perseus Encyclopedia

The app draws data from the following Greek and Latin textbooks.

View full article. | Posted in Websites and Resources on Sat, 10/26/2013 - 10:08am by .

In recognition of Open Access Week, the "Profhacker" blog at The Chronicle for Higher Education has posted an instructional video about open access. Although it deals exclusively with open access as it applies to research in the sciences, it is relevant for scholars in the humanities, too.

View full article. | Posted in General Announcements on Thu, 10/24/2013 - 9:39am by .

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