CFP: Morbid Laughter: Exploring the Comic Dimensions of Disease in Classical Antiquity

University of Patras, Greece, September 12-13, 2016

The aim of this conference is to explore the comic dimensions of disease/disability/deformity in Greek and Roman culture and to discuss instances in which someone’s illness, be it physical or mental, turns into comic material. While the tragic associations of disease have been thoroughly explored in secondary literature, its comic potential – even in cases when a fatal outcome is looming – has not been studied systematically. We aim to address this question by drawing attention to the ways in which disease is exploited precisely for comic purposes, in both fictional and non-literary settings, becoming on occasions an essential part of dark comedy in antiquity. Topics include but are not restricted to:

  • Bodily malfunctions and mental disturbances as objects of laughter in Greek and Roman comedy / comic elements in tragic representations of disease
  • Bodily disfigurement and the grotesque in ancient literature and art
  • Comic elements in the Hippocratic Corpus: the ‘lower bodily stratum’ (Bakhtin) across medicine and comedy
  • Jokes about ugliness and deformity in classical rhetoric; deformity and laughter in Cicero and Quintilian
  • Illness as metaphor/images of illness in Roman satire (especially Horace, Persius and Petronius)
  • Comic treatments of doctors in antiquity; doctors and disease in New Comedy and the Hellenistic epigram
  • Comic elements in the corpus of healing inscriptions
  • Mocking the patients / illness as farce in Aelius Aristides and Lucian
  • Laughing at the insane: social attitudes towards madness in everyday life
  • Disabled men – disabled women: laughing at female – male impairments

We welcome abstracts for papers of 25-30 minutes from academics at any stage of their career and encourage postgraduate students and early career researchers to apply. Please submit abstracts of no more than 350 words to George Kazantzidis (gkazantzidis@upatras.gr) and Natalia Tsoumpra (natalia.tsoumpra@glasgow.ac.uk) by Wednesday 15th of June 2016.
 

For the full description of the conference, please visit: http://www.philology-upatras.gr/files/content/MORBID%20LAUGHTER.pdf

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SEX, GENDER, AND SCIENCE IN ANCIENT GREECE

Sex and gender are problematic concepts in contemporary scholarship, and we should expect them to be even more so when speaking of ancient Greece.  Even the concept of science is problematic, though less so than sex and gender. ‘Sex’, used in the biological sense, is derived from French and Latin and does not appear before the 14th century CE. ‘Gender’ is also derived from French and appears first in the 14th century CE in the grammatical sense.  ‘Science’ is, of course, a transliteration of a Latin expression, and when we speak of ancient science we refer to an enterprise that differs markedly from our contemporary practices.  

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Mon, 09/24/2018 - 9:24am by Erik Shell.

The following members were elected in the ballot held this Summer. They take office in January 2019, except for the two new members of the Nominating Committee who take office immediately.  Thank you to all SCS members who agreed to stand for election this year.

President-Elect

Sheila Murnaghan

Junior Financial Trustee

Laura McClure

Vice President for Program

Cynthia Damon

Board of Directors

Anthony Corbeil

Robin Mitchel-Boysak

Goodwin Award Committee

David Konstan

Jim Porter

Nominating Committee

Laurel Fulkerson

Celia Schultz

Program Committee

Johanna Hanink

Committee on Professional Ethics

Kathleen Coleman

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 09/24/2018 - 9:00am by Erik Shell.
Title: Papyrus in Greek regarding tax issues (3rd ca. BC.)  Currently in the Metropolitan Mueum of Art. https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/251788 Source: Wikipedia Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Papyrus_in_Greek_regarding_tax

Papyri.info is a resource for the study of documentary papyri with two parts. The first, the Papyrological Navigator (PN), whose development began in 2006, aims to integrate and allow simultaneous querying of five existing papyrological databases. The focus thus far is on Greek and Latin texts, with selective inclusion of Coptic. A later development, the Papyrological Editor (PE), launched in 2010, offers the facility for users to contribute directly, in the form of corrections to entered data, new data entry, in particular new text editions, and even “born digital” editions of their own, all reviewed by an editorial board.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 09/24/2018 - 7:10am by .

Mary Beard – “The Classical Body: The Naked and the Nude”

Tuesday, 25 September 2018, 6:00pm 
Villa Aurelia 
Largo di Porta San Pancrazio, Rome 

The American Academy in Rome opens its 2018–19 season of programs with a lecture by Mary Beard, a renowned scholar of antiquity and professor of classics at Newnham College, University of Cambridge. Beard will explore the idea of the human body in classical sculpture: female and male, normative and conservative, subversive and transgressive. Her lecture will aim to pull apart the image of the body in classical sculpture as a dead weight on our imagination, and to follow the edgy awkwardness that the work of the Greeks and Romans bravely faced. 

Beard is the 2018–19 Lucy Shoe Meritt Resident in Classical Studies and Archaeology at the American Academy in Rome. This event is part of the series New Work in the Arts & Humanities: The Body.

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Fri, 09/21/2018 - 8:33am by Erik Shell.

Lynne C. Lancaster just began her three-year appointment as the Andrew W. Mellon Professor-in-Charge of the Humanities at the American Academy in Rome. She is a Professor in the Department of Classics and World Religions at Ohio University. I recently interviewed Professor Lancaster to discuss her research and her goals for her time in Rome. 

C: Can you briefly tell me about your own research, both past and current?

View full article. | Posted in on Thu, 09/20/2018 - 8:59am by Catherine Bonesho.

"Thresholds"

During the last century, liminality as a concept became a matter of interest to many fields: from Psychology to Anthropology, from Philosophy to Cultural and Literary Studies. Yet, the condition this word describes predates the term itself: one can, for instance, consider the classical binomial katabasis/ anabasis to fathom the historical roots of the reality the term encompasses.

As stated by Mircea Eliade, in The Sacred and the Profane, the liminal space is a paradoxical place that connects the space it severs: under the sign of ritual though, the liminal not only allows passage, but almost demands it. As far as etymology is concerned, the term derives from the Latin word limen, which shares the same root as the latin word limes: limit, margin, border. On the one hand, limen constitutes the threshold of a building or a room; on the other hand, its relation to the act of passage is clearly antithetical to that of the limes, whose role is to assure the impermeability between spaces. If the orthographic similarity hints at a common thread – a rock or a piece of wood that is placed crosswise in order to signal the end/beginning of a place – the minor spelling difference reveals deep functional and ontological differences. 

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Thu, 09/20/2018 - 8:39am by Erik Shell.

MISSION

The Career Enhancement Fellowship Program seeks to increase the presence of minority junior faculty members and other faculty members committed to eradicating racial disparities in core fields in the arts and humanities. The Fellowship, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, supports the Mellon Foundation's mission to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies.

ABOUT THE PROGRAM

The Fellowship, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, provides each Fellow with a six-month or one-year sabbatical grant; a research, travel, or publication stipend; and participation in an annual conference/retreat. A total of 30 Fellowships are awarded each year.

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Wed, 09/19/2018 - 10:10am by Erik Shell.

Animal/Language: An Interdisciplinary Conference

In conjunction with the art exhibition “Assembling Animal Communication” Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX
21-23 March 2019

Animals and language have a complicated relationship with one another in human understanding. Every period of history evinces a fascination with the diverse modes of communicative exchange and possibilities of linguistic community that exist both within and between species. Recent critics of anthropocentrism are far from the first to question the supposed muteness of the “dumb animal” and its ontological and ethical ramifications. Various cultures have historically attributed language to animals, and we have developed an increasingly sophisticated scientific understanding of the complex non-verbal communicative systems that animals use among themselves. New research complements millennia of human-animal communication in the contexts of work, play, and domestic life.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Mon, 09/17/2018 - 1:59pm by Erik Shell.

The presence of Plotinus: The self, contemplation, and spiritual exercise in the Enneads

Poznań, Poland, 9th-10th June 2020
An international conference organized by the Scientific Committee on Ancient Culture of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Department of Classical Studies of  Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań

In the center of “The School of Athens”, the famous fresco by Raphael, we can see Plato and Aristotle, the two philosophers who may indeed have been the greatest thinkers of antiquity. However, the scholarly endeavor of the last century has demonstrated with increasing consistency that Plotinus – although his name and legacy are not so popular – could well stand next to them, especially so because he attempted to synthetize the views of those great masters of the past. His presence in  Western philosophy was, perhaps a more silent one, but also very influential. Since Late Antiquity, Christian, Jewish and Muslim philosophers were inspired by him as well as Renaissance Platonists and German idealists. In year 2020, 1750 years will have passed by since his solitary death in a Campanian villa or, in his view, since his final ascent from “the divine in us to the divine in the All”. On this occasion, we want to celebrate Plotinus’ presence by organizing an international conference.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Mon, 09/17/2018 - 9:48am by Erik Shell.
Rebecca Futo Kennedy teaching in Rome. Photo courtesy of Rebecca Futo Kennedy.

A Day in the Life of a Classicist is a monthly column on the SCS blog written by Prof. Ayelet Haimson Lushkov celebrating the working lives of classicists. If you’d like to share your day, let us know here.

Rebecca Futo Kennedy is Associate Professor of Classics and Administrative Director, Denison Museum

Since being tenured in 2015, I have actually held two separate positions at my university - professor of Classics and director of the Denison Museum. As a result, my time is now split between the department and the museum (and, if you have to ask - no, I had no experience running a museum before they asked me to do it, and, no, I don’t intend to do it forever; I’d like to go back to full-time teaching someday). So, my average day(s) look something like this:


Rebecca Futo Kennedy teaching students. Photo courtesy of Rebecca Futo Kennedy.
Rebecca Futo Kennedy with students. Photo courtesy of Rebecca Futo Kennedy.

View full article. | Posted in on Thu, 09/13/2018 - 10:40am by Ayelet Haimson Lushkov.

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The following members were elected in the ballot held this Summe
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SEX, GENDER, AND SCIENCE IN ANCIENT GREECE
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"Thresholds"

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