CFP: Poetry, Philosophy, and Mathematics

Poetry, Philosophy, and Mathematics: Performance, Text, and External Representations in Ancient Greek Cultural Practices

The once controversial thesis of Eric Havelock that early Greek philosophy emerges out of, and in opposition to, the tradition of oral poetic performance as paideia is now widely accepted (although Havelock may not be mentioned as often as he deserves to be in discussions of the relations between these two cultural practices.)  His insistence that the external representations of thought made possible by Greek alphabetic writing were crucial to the development of philosophy is also not acknowledged as often as it should be.  This may be due to the policing of current disciplinary boundaries; the neglect, especially among philosophers, of the historical, cultural, and material contexts in which philosophy emerges; and/or the tendency among scholars who focus on texts to ignore the extent to which their existence and transmission depend on material culture.  Philosophers who are not entirely persuaded that the study of ancient Greek philosophical texts should include study of the historical and cultural contexts, including material culture, in which they are produced, may be prompted to reconsider the role that external representations and diagrams play in the development of philosophy.  The work of David Kirsh (and other cognitive scientists and philosophers of mind) demonstrates quite clearly the relations between cognitive achievements and external representations of thought.

The relations between Ancient Greek philosophy and mathematics have long been the subject of scholarly attention, of course.  That Greek mathematics, like Greek philosophy, emerged in the shadow of the public performance of cultural practices has not received much if any recognition until very recently, and the same could be said of the extent to which advances in both cultural practices were made possible by techniques of material culture, including diagrams and texts.  The interdisciplinary conference, Poetry, Philosophy, and Mathematics: Performance, Text, and External Representations in Ancient Greek Cultural Practices, aims to increase recognition of the extent to which Ancient Greek philosophy and Ancient Greek mathematics as cultural practices, emerged from the traditional Greek practice of poetic performance, on the one hand, and advances in external representations of thought, such as those permitted by literacy and diagramming on the other.  The plenary speaker will be Reviel Netz who holds the Suppes Professorship in Greek Mathematics and Astronomy and is Professor of Classics at Stanford University.  Prof. Netz is the author of The Shaping of Deduction in Greek Mathematics: A Study in Cognitive History (Cambridge, 2003); The Transformation of Early Mediterranean Mathematics: From Problems to Equations (Cambridge 2007); and Ludic Proof: Greek Mathematics and the Alexandrian Aesthetic  (Cambridge, 2009)He is also the author of the translation and commentary of a three volume study: The Works of Archimedes; volume one of which, The Two Books on Sphere and Cylinder: Translation and Commentary, appeared in 2004 (Cambridge) and volume two of which, On Spirals: Translation and Commentary, appeared in 2017 (Cambridge). With William Noel, Nigel Wilson, and Natalie Tchernetska, he is the editor of The Archimedes Palimpsest, vols 1 and 2 (Cambridge, 2011).  Prof. Netz is also the author of Barbed Wire: An Ecology of Modernity (Wesleyan, 2004), and co-author with Maya Arad, of Stress Positions: Essays on Israeli Literature Between Sound and History (Ahuzat Bayit, 2008). He is a published poet in Hebrew, as well.

The conference will take place March 6-7 at the USF Tampa Campus.  This conference is sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Center for Hellenic Studies at the University of South Florida, its Department of Philosophy, and the American Foundation for Greek Language and Culture. Those who would like a paper considered for presentation should send an abstract of approximately 250 words to jwaugh@usf.edu or eturner1@usf.edu by December 20.  Notification regarding acceptance of proposed papers will be made by January 10th.

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

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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 Liam D. Jensen.

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

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.

The Committee on Public Information and Media Relations is pleased to announce that this year's Forum Prize, for a work originating outside the academy, has been awarded to Jeff Wright for Odyssey: The Podcast.

The winner of the 2019 Society for Classical Studies Forum Prize—Jeff Wright, creator and performer of Odyssey: The Podcast—takes many turns toward and away from his illustrious epic source. Jeff’s Homer is a composite character built on the bases of English translations among the most appealing today. But Jeff is not content merely to play rhapsode to Homer’s bard.

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Sat, 11/30/2019 - 7:08am by Helen Cullyer.

The deadline for the Undergraduate Minority Scholarships is December 13.

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

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Sat, 11/30/2019 - 7:04am by Helen Cullyer.

The new Classics Everywhere initiative, launched by the SCS in 2019, supports projects that seek to engage communities all over the US and Canada with the worlds 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 teaching Latin in a prison to collaborations with artists in theater, music, and dance. In this post we focus on a variety of programs directed to children: summer camps, classics days, after-school programs, and the creation of children-oriented animated videos.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 11/29/2019 - 1:52am by Nina Papathanasopoulou.

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