CFP: Peripheral Adaptation in Flavian Literature

Hybrid Epicenters: Peripheral Adaptation in Flavian Literature

With a response by Antony Augoustakis

Adaptation and change in Imperial Rome tend to aggregate on the margins and at the edges of things, in extremis as it were. In Flavian literature, various dynamic changes have been observed, in the textual space as well as in the socio-political background under which this literature is being produced. One example is the sudden transition between books 11 and 12 in Statius’ Thebaid wherein the fraternas acies of the first 11 books gives way to (attempted) reconciliation. Or from a geographical stance, one example is Scipio Africanus’ rapid rise to power as he pushes Rome’s military might to her future imperial edges in Spain and North Africa in books 16 and 17 of the Punica; from a sociocultural angle, the complex dynamics in the Silvae between Campania and Rome causes difficulties in recognizing which location is central and which peripheral in Statius’ conceptualization of the geography of Roman power in Italy.

The dynamic relationship between centers and peripheries, intertwined with that old dichotomy of self and other, has been a dominant area of study in the field of Flavian literature for quite some time (e.g. Augoustakis 2010, Rimell 2015, Pogorzelski 2016, Fitzgerald and Spentzou 2018, all with qualifications). While yielding critical insight into Roman identity and conceptualizations of power in the Flavian era, this dichotomous view nonetheless maintains the hegemonic, top-down outlook it aims to question. In recent years, a growing number of scholars have focused their attention on the role of peripheral spaces on their own terms (see Bexley 2009 and more recently Bhatt 2018 and Giusti 2018), that is to say as spaces generating their own dynamic forces both in opposition to and in concordance with central spaces. On such an outlook, we begin to see not a dichotomy of two separate spaces, but rather of two intertwined ones: a hybrid. Modern theories concerning hybridity, such as Homi K. Bhabha’s theorizations of “third spaces” or creolization theory, hint at the interpretative possibilities open to those who approach the periphery anew and on its own terms. What happens, in sum, at the edges of things to bring about and mark change?

We propose to gather papers, therefore, which analyze peripheral spaces as areas indicative of change (be it narratival, textual, cultural, or otherwise) in the Flavian epicists and occasional poets. Possible topics to be considered include but are by no means limited to:

  • new theoretical approaches to marginal groups such as Orientalism, Postcolonialism, creolization theory, and so forth;
  • the power that geographical edges exert on centers of power;
  • strategies of narrative condensation and issues of closure at the ends of texts;
  • the textual space as marker of the importance of marginalized or otherwise peripheral groups such as captives, women, monsters, and the like.
  • the interaction of textual centers and margins with the geographical center and periphery in Flavian visual culture.

We welcome, in a word, any paper that aims to question or otherwise qualify the hierarchical model of center and periphery, emperor and imperial edges, in these texts.

Abstracts and inquiries should be sent to the panel organizers, Angeliki Roumpou (Angeliki.Roumpou1@nottingham.ac.uk) or Clayton Schroer (c_schroer@coloradocollege.edu). Submissions will be accepted until March 24th; notification of acceptance will be sent by March 31st, leaving ample time until the individual submission deadline. Please note that all abstracts must be no more than 500 words in length and must also comply with the SCS Guidelines for Authors of Abstracts.

Works Cited:

Augoustakis, A. 2010. Motherhood and the Other: Fashioning Female Power in Flavian Epic. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Bexley, E. 2009. “Replacing Rome: Geographic and Political Centrality in Lucan’s Pharsalia.” CP 104: 459–75.

Bhatt, S. 2018. “Exiled in Rome: The Writing of Other Spaces in Tacitus’ Annales.” In The Production of Space in Latin Literature, edited by William Fitzgerald and Efrossini Spentzou. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Fitzgerald, W. and E. Spentzou (eds). 2018. The Production of Space in Latin Literature.  Oxfrod: Oxford University Press.

Giusti, E. 2018. Carthage in Virgil’s Aeneid: Staging the Enemy under Augustus. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Pogorzelski, R. 2016. “Centers and Peripheries.” In A Companion to the Flavian Age of Imperial Rome, edited by Andrew Zissos, 223–38. Malden, MA: Wiley.

Rimell, V. 2015. The Closure of Space in Roman Poetics: Empire’s Inward Turn. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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

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The Department of Latin Literature at the University of Basel, Switzerland is pleased to invite applications for the first round of the Basel Fellowships in Latin Literature. This visiting fellowship programme offers an opportunity for early career researchers as well as established scholars to pursue their research in the framework of a fully funded visit of up to three months at the Department Altertumswissenschaften of the University of Basel. During their stay, Visiting Fellows are entitled to make full use of the excellent resources of the University Library as well as the departmental library, Bibliothek Altertumswissenschaften, one of the world’s leading research libraries for the study of Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations and Classics.

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Tue, 12/17/2019 - 9:38am by Erik Shell.

The 2020 Annual Meeting is just three weeks away.  Both the AIA and SCS are making final arrangements for what we anticipate will be an excellent meeting.  While our registration numbers for the upcoming meeting are looking good, reservations at the hotels are not looking as strong.  While we understand that some attendees will opt to stay with local friends or find a less-expensive accommodation, we rely on hotel reservations to secure the meeting space each year.

Why is it important to book at our official Annual Meeting Hotels?
The AIA and SCS are proud to have produced the Annual Meeting for our professional members for the past 120 years. Financially, we are able to do this by reserving a large block of rooms with a hotel. In exchange, these hotels offer our attendees the guaranteed lowest group rate at the hotel and provide us with complimentary meeting space to hold the meeting. But if we are unable to meet our guaranteed minimum number of registered guests, then the AIA and SCS will have to pay for the unused rooms as well as room rental for the meeting space, which can amount to a severe financial penalty. We request your support by booking within our reserved blocks and helping us continue to produce this meeting for the next 100 years.  

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Fri, 12/13/2019 - 3:19pm by Erik Shell.

Our first interview in the Women in Classics series is with Sarah B. Pomeroy, Distinguished Professor of Classics and History, Emerita, at Hunter College and the Graduate School of the City University of New York. She was born in New York City and earned her B.A. from Barnard College in 1957. She received her M.A. in 1959 and her Ph.D. in 1961, both from Columbia University. Pomeroy has been recognized as a leading authority on ancient Greek and Roman women since her book Goddesses, Whores, Wives, and Slaves: Women in Classical Antiquity was first published in 1975. Her other publications include Xenophon, Oeconomicus: A Social and Historical Commentary (1994), Families in Classical and Hellenistic Greece: Representations and Realities (1998), Spartan Women (2002), and, with Stanley M.

View full article. | Posted in on Thu, 12/12/2019 - 3:45pm by Claire Catenaccio.

International Association for Presocratic Studies
Seventh Biennial Conference: 15-19 July 2020

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Wed, 12/11/2019 - 1:47pm by Erik Shell.

The Lego Classicists project is more than child’s play. Recreating classics scholars in Lego bricks crosses the boundaries between pop-art and ancient history, focusing attention on the work of ancient world scholars in an environment of celebration, connection and inclusion.

Although it began almost by accident, Lego Classicists is being embraced by some of the world’s leading classics and ancient world scholars, including Dame Mary Beard. On 20th February 2019, the third annual International Lego Classicism Day also attracted participants from across the world: Cambridge University’s CREWS Project; academic and broadcaster, Michael Scott; the Director of the British School at Athens, John Bennet; staff at Stellembosch University, South Africa; the Nicholson Museum at the University of Sydney; the Ure Museum; Reading University; and conservators at the British Museum.



Figure 1: Dr. Duygu Camurcuoglou from the British Museum with a Lego mini-fig of herself.

View full article. | Posted in on Thu, 12/05/2019 - 11:42pm by .

Joseph O’Neill and Adam Rigoni of Arizona State University are seeking abstracts from a diverse group of scholars and artists that represent multidisciplinary, multicultural redeployments of the Aeneid. We do not propose examining the Aeneid as a decidedly Roman text. Nor do we propose an examination of a cultural artifact. Rather, we seek to present a volume that deploys the Aeneid anew, one that not only reflects the Aeneid’s status as a ‘modern story’, but one that inserts the Aeneid into contemporary discourse. We understand ‘contemporary’ and ‘modern’ rather broadly—essays need not be limited strictly to the new millennium.

Possible topics include:

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Wed, 12/04/2019 - 10:28am by Erik Shell.

New to being an Affiliated Group this year, the Multiculturalism, Race & Ethnicity in Classics Consortium will be meeting at this year's annual meeting.

This meeting will take place on Saturday, January 4th, from 9:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. in the Marquis Ballroom Salon 13.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 12/04/2019 - 10:19am by Erik Shell.

(Text provided by Tony Woodman, Basil L. Gildersleeve Professor of Classics Emertius at the University of Virginia, and Sara Myers, Professor and Chair of Classics, UVA)

Edward Courtney, Basil L. Gildersleeve Professor of Classics Emeritus at the University of Virginia, passed away peacefully on 24 November 2019. He was born in 1932 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and retained his Belfast accent throughout his life. After an outstanding career as an undergraduate at Trinity College, Dublin, where he won medals for his translations into Greek and Latin verse, he was a Research Lecturer at Christ Church, Oxford, before being appointed in 1959 to a Lectureship at King’s College, London, eventually being promoted to Professor. In 1982 he and his family emigrated to the United States, where he was Ely Professor of Classics at Stanford University; but, when the Gildersleeve Chair of Classics was inaugurated at the University of Virginia, Ted became its first holder in 1993, retiring in 2002.

View full article. | Posted in In Memoriam on Tue, 12/03/2019 - 2:54pm by Erik Shell.

Many thanks to our Local Arrangements Committee for creating a fantastic guide to the DC area for our January 2020 meeting. The guide features plenty of family-friendly activities and also includes walking tours of classical DC. 

Read and download the Local Arrangements Guide for 2020.

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View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Sat, 11/30/2019 - 7:13am by Helen Cullyer.

Precollegiate Teaching Award

College Teaching Award

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Sat, 11/30/2019 - 7:10am by Helen Cullyer.

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