CFP: Poetics and politics: New approaches to Euripides

Poetics and politics. New approaches to Euripides

Lyon International Conference
June 27th-29th, 2019

In the last hundred years, scholars have approached the relation between poetics and politics in Euripides's dramas from different perspectives. Characteristic of the French-Belgian school of the middle of the 20th century was the attention paid to formal, dramatic or structural inconsistencies, which were thought to be justified by and to point to allusions to contemporary events or people. Severely criticized for the circularity of its argumentation and its disregard of poetic interpretations, this ‘old historicist’ approach was followed by the anthropological turn of J.-P. Vernant and P. Vidal-Naquet's work, which led to a new trend of studies often labelled ‘New Historicism’. This approach became particularly influential in 1990 with the publication of the collective volume Nothing To Do With Dionysus. This mode of historicism was concerned primarily with the tragedies' ideological functions in the context of Athenian democracy; it endeavored to show that tragedy reflected democratic ideology while also displaying resistance to it – a « broken mirror » as P. Vidal-Naquet put it. The attention paid by New Historicism to the social context of performance and to the political institutions that were in charge of the plays' productions, as well as to the audience of the plays, was an important and fruitful innovation, but it has been duly criticized for its short-comings, especially for its disregard of poetic form and of individual authorship. Some scholars, feeling that the plays were reduced to being a somewhat vague and passive reflection of general socio-political tensions, reacted by a renewed kind of formalism and a surge of interest in the meaning of individual plays.

In recent years, the tragic art of Euripides has been examined in more eclectic ways involving not only social, political, anthropological and religious but also (meta-)poetic, structural, dramaturgical and musical considerations. These perspectives are either juxtaposed to encompass the complexity of Euripides's drama or articulated to each other, aesthetic form being seen as a mode of political thought. The context within which drama needs to be interpreted has been expanded to include not only the institutions and dynamics of the Athenian city, but also other forms of poetry, art and thought to which the poet alludes in a constantly creative way or with which he competes. The conference aims at bringing together such diverse approaches to reexamine the relation between Euripides's poetics and the politics of his time.

Some of the questions that the conference hopes to raise are the following:

  • How would we define today the political meaning of Euripides's plays?
  • How is this meaning articulated to their form, structure, rhythm and other poetic aspects? How do studies on the materiality of Greek drama contribute to the question of politics?
  • How does performance actualize or enhance the political impact of the tragic text and how do performance studies contribute to the political interpretation of Euripides's plays?
  • Should we renounce the idea that Euripides is conveying a precise political message in a given play or does the combination of new methods allow us to identify his voice in a more subtle way than before? What is the specificity of his tragedies and of his approach to politics?
  • Does a political interpretation preclude a search for a universal human meaning? When both meanings coexist, what are the poetical or dramaturgical means that unite or distinguish them?
  • How can we integrate the fragmentary plays in the interpretation of Euripides's politics?
  • Can the political reception of Euripides's plays throughout the centuries help us frame in a fresh way the relation between Euripides's poetics and the politics of his time?

Questions and abstracts (no more than half a page) should be sent before October 12th, 2018 to: pascale.brillet@mom.fr

Submissions will be examined by the members of the scientific committee: Pascale Brillet-Dubois (Université Lumière Lyon 2), Anna Beltrametti (Università di Pavia), Donald Mastronarde (UC Berkeley), Boris Nikolsky (RANEPA, Moscow), Anne-Sophie Noel (ENS Lyon), Victoria Wohl (University of Toronto).

PhD students' and young scholars' submissions are particularly welcome.

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

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CFP: Truth and Relativism in Ancient Philosophy
Wednesday 19th June — Friday 21st June 2019
Faculty of Philosophy, University of Groningen

This conference will bring together philosophers interested in examining truth and relativism in ancient Greek and Roman philosophy.
Confirmed speakers include: Paolo Crivelli (Geneva); Matthew Duncombe (Nottingham); Marion Durand (Toronto); Paul Gottlieb (Wisconsin); Orna Harari (Tel Aviv); John MacFarlane (Berkeley); Tamer Nawar (Groningen); and Noburu Notomi (Tokyo).

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Fri, 11/16/2018 - 2:53pm by Erik Shell.

At last year’s SCS annual meeting in Boston, the Program Committee sponsored a panel called “Rhetoric: Then and Now.” Among the speakers constituting that panel was Princeton University Professor Dan-el Padilla Peralta, who, in lamenting the “inadequacy” and “meagerness” of a number of recent efforts in the field to diversify and expand access, delivered the following provocation: “perhaps it is time for this contemporary configuration of Classics to die so that it might be born into a new life.”

In response to Padilla Peralta’s provocation, I cheekily stood up and asked him where Classics ought to die and where it ought to live. (Full disclosure: Padilla Peralta and I are good friends from graduate school.) I asked this question because, living and working in flyover country—in the state of Nebraska—I can say that Classics here (and in the Midwestern states that surround me) is already dying. More often than not, where it lives is through symbiosis with another academic department.

View full article. | Posted in on Thu, 11/15/2018 - 4:27pm by Matthew P. Loar.
Hallway

The Society is delighted to announce this year's winners of the awards for Excellence in the Teaching of Classics at the Precollegiate Level.  We congratulate Susan Meyer and Thomas J. (TJ) Howell, who will both receive their awards at the Plenary Session in San Diego. You can read their citations below:

Thomas J. Howell Citation

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Thu, 11/15/2018 - 9:22am by Helen Cullyer.
Evening Temple of Zeus Columns
At the recommendation of the Committee on Public Information and Media Relations, the Society for Classical Studies awards the 2018 Forum Prize to Ryan Stitt for his non-fiction podcast, The History of Ancient Greece. The Forum Prize recognizes outstanding contributions to public engagement made by non-academic works about the Ancient Greek and Roman World.

Since its inception in 2016, Stitt has built an audience of academic and non-academic listeners and found a productive medium to promote Classical history, culture, languages, and the works of Classical authors and academic scholars. With over two million downloads, The History of Ancient Greece podcast serves as a model for how educational podcasts can engage with public audiences.

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Thu, 11/15/2018 - 9:13am by Helen Cullyer.

Call for Volunteers

The Society for Classical Studies seeks graduate or undergraduate student volunteers for the 150th Annual Meeting in San Diego, California, which will take place this coming January.  Assignments will include working in the registration area and assisting staff with some sessions and special events.

In exchange for six hours of service (down two hours from last year), volunteers receive a waiver of their annual meeting registration fees.  It is not necessary to be an SCS member to volunteer.

You can sign up to be a volunteer here. The deadline to sign up is November 21st.

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(Photo: "_DSC7061" by rhodesj, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 11/12/2018 - 10:49am by Erik Shell.

(Written by Ted Tarkow)

An alum of Dickinson, Brown, and the University of Missouri (MU), Bob Seelinger (1951-2018) taught classics at Westminster College in Fulton, MO, from 1979 until taking early retirement in 2015, necessitated by a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.  By the time of his death, he had served as professor of classics for over 20 years and in addition had served as Dean of the Faculty and Vice President of the College for over a half dozen years at the campus made famous by the “Iron Curtain” speech delivered there   in 1946 by Winston Churchill.

A beloved teacher, Bob taught all levels of both languages as well as a wide range of general education courses.  Not surprisingly to the scores of Westminster students who had studied with him, he received the APA Award for Excellence in the Teaching of the Classics, the Governor’s Award for Teaching, and the Parents’ Association Award for Teaching, among many other recognitions.    But his career also allowed presentations and publications in some of his favorite authors, from Apuleius (the focus of his PhD dissertation), to 4th century, Republican, and early Imperial authors and genres.  His abundant time at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, as well as at two NEH Summer Seminars, enabled other students and scholars to make the most of their time there.

View full article. | Posted in In Memoriam on Mon, 11/12/2018 - 8:59am by Erik Shell.
150th Logo

Join us for the official start of our Sesquicentennial!

Transforming Classics: 150 Years of Classical Studies in New York

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Fri, 11/09/2018 - 11:38am by Helen Cullyer.

As one of the cornerstones upon which Classical scholarship has been built, much has already been said about Marcus Tullius Cicero. He has a sizable extant corpus that contains different genres, which in turn vary in style and topic. Furthermore, Cicero was a prominent political figure when the Roman Republic was falling and the Caesars were rising. Because of the nature of his corpus and the man himself, Cicero is an attractive topic of research not only for the traditional scholar but for a digital humanist as well. His large and varied corpus is promising for distant reading techniques, which allow us to examine and explore all of his works, thereby all of Cicero, easily and quickly. Through those digital techniques, we can gain a more complete view of who this ancient Roman man was.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 11/09/2018 - 7:50am by .
150th Logo

The early registration deadline for the 2019 AIA-SCS Annual Meeting in San Diego is Friday November 9. Register on or before that date in order to benefit from the early rate. You can register here.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 11/06/2018 - 6:20pm by Helen Cullyer.

This post has recently been updated with a response from Brill.

The SCS Statement on Professional Ethics emphasizes the need for due diligence regarding the provenance of artifacts in many different areas of scholarly work, including initial publications of objects and texts and the management of institutional collections. In recognition of the importance of this issue, the SCS Board of Directors has voted to endorse an open letter on the publication of fragments that were acquired by the Museum of the Bible and published by Brill. You can read the text of the letter below, which was originally published by Dr. Roberta Mazza on November 5, 2018 and signed by many individuals. You can also read the response from Brill, originally published by Dr. Mazza on November 7.

Open letter to Brill: Fake and unprovenanced manuscripts

For the attention of Brill.

FAKE AND UNPROVENANCED MANUSCRIPTS

On 22 October 2018, the Museum of the Bible issued a press release informing the public that five of their recently acquired fragments that were claimed to come from the Dead Sea Scrolls are modern forgeries. These five forgeries are included in the first volume of the series ‘Publications of Museum of the Bible’ which was published by Brill in 2016.

View full article. | Posted in Public Statements on Tue, 11/06/2018 - 5:37pm by Helen Cullyer.

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