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 January 6th, 2020.  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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The Newberry Library invites interested individuals who wish to utilize the Newberry's collection to apply for their many fellowship opportunities in 2022-2023:

The Newberry Library's long-standing fellowship program provides outstanding scholars with the time, space, and community required to pursue innovative and ground-breaking scholarship. In addition to the Library's collections, fellows are supported by a collegial interdisciplinary community of researchers, curators, and librarians. An array of scholarly and public programs also contributes to an engaging intellectual environment.

Long-Term Fellowships are available to scholars who hold a PhD or other terminal degree for continuous residence at the Newberry for periods of 4 to 9 months; the stipend is $5,000 per month. Applicants must hold a PhD or equivalent degree by the application deadline in order to be eligible. Long-Term Fellowships are intended to support individual scholarly research and promote serious intellectual exchange through active participation in the fellowship program. The deadline for long-term fellowships is November 1.

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Thu, 08/26/2021 - 3:18pm by Helen Cullyer.
Header image: Telemachus and Mentor in the Odyssey. Ilustration by Pablo E. Fabisch for Aventuras de Telémaco by François Fénelon, 1699. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Organizing a mentorship program was a crucial directive from the earliest days of the Asian and Asian American Classical Caucus. The founding members envisioned building a vibrant community of APIDA (Asian Pacific Islander Desi American) scholars. Kelly Nguyen, an IDEAL Provostial Fellow at Stanford University and the AAACC’s original Mentorship Coordinator, had been shocked to discover that so many other APIDA classicists even existed. “As we set about to establish the AAACC, we always knew that we wanted the organization to be about community building, but one of the main challenges was finding that community,” she said. “We, the founders, had been surprised to even find each other after all these years of often being the only Asian in the room.” The creation of a mentorship program was important in breaking down the isolation experienced by so many APIDA scholars. “So we set out to fix this visibility issue by creating a strong network of APIDA classicists,” Nguyen recounted. “We thought that one of the best ways to do this [wa]s through a mentorship program where people could form meaningful relationships.”

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 08/23/2021 - 10:09am by .

FemClas 2022, the eighth quadrennial conference of its kind, has been rescheduled from its original dates (delayed by the pandemic) and will now take place on May 19–22, 2022, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, at the invitation of the Wake Forest University Department of Classics and Department of Philosophy.  **Virtual presentation and attendance is supported, as well.**  The conference theme is “body/language,” broadly construed, and papers on all topics connected to feminism, Classics, Philosophy, and related fields are welcome.

This conference focuses on the use of the body and/or language to gain, lose, contest, or express power and agency in the ancient Mediterranean world.  Bodies and words, at both the physical and the conceptual levels, can exert disproportionate, oppositional, or complementary forces.  Both have the power to transform their surrounding environments significantly.  Yet there is a problematic dichotomy between body/physicality and language/reason, a problem long noted by philosophers, literary theorists, and social historians. FemClas 2022 seeks to contest, blur, and even eradicate these boundaries through papers, panels, and other programming that promotes interdisciplinary exploration of the ancient world.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Fri, 08/20/2021 - 11:44am by Helen Cullyer.
CFP: Forwards and Backwards in Ancient Portraiture (College Art Association, Chicago, 16-19 February, 2022)
 
View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Mon, 08/16/2021 - 1:28pm by Erik Shell.
Fra Mauro map of the world. A circular map depicting Asia, Africa, and Europe.

For this installment of the SCS Blog, Chris Waldo asked Nandini Pandey and Ethan Ganesh Warren to compare notes about their experiences as South Asians in classics. Ethan, a current classics Ph.D. student at UT Austin, started Latin at the Brookfield Academy in Wisconsin and earned a B.A. from Rochester. Nandini is currently transitioning to a position at Johns Hopkins after seven years as an Associate Professor of Classics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She and Ethan first met years ago over coffee in Madison. This transcript has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Nandini: Ethan, it’s a great pleasure to get to speak to you today…because you and I first interacted in 2018. You’d grown up in Wisconsin, and you were finishing your undergrad at Rochester, and you had just read an article of mine on Eidolon on “turning the tables on dominance and diversity in Classics.” And it meant so much to me that you reached out.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 08/16/2021 - 9:44am by .

(From the University of Washington website)

Daniel P. Harmon

May 3, 1938 – July 25, 2021

View full article. | Posted in In Memoriam on Mon, 08/16/2021 - 9:30am by Erik Shell.
Etruscan mirror with Lasa. Image courtesy of Met Museum.

The colloquium that I organized for the AIA annual meeting this past January, “Nudity, Costume, and Gender in Etruscan Art,” was intended to be a venue for current research on gender, dress, and the body in Etruscan art. It soon became clear, however, that the presenters’ work owed a tremendous debt to the scholarship of one of the premiere Etruscan scholars, Larissa Bonfante. Consequently, the session became a memorial to her and her contributions to the field.

Bonfante passed away in August of 2019, much to the shock of her family, friends, and colleagues. Though in her late 80s, Bonfante kept a busy research schedule as if she were a newly hired assistant professor working towards tenure. She was a versatile scholar who wrote on a diversity of topics, including the Etruscan language (usually with her father Giuliano, a well-known and respected linguist); representations of clothing in Etruscan and Roman art; influence of the Etruscans beyond Etruria; Etruscan identity; depictions of marriage, couples, and motherhood in Etruria; as well as the lack of dress in some Etruscan art.

View full article. | Posted in on Wed, 08/11/2021 - 10:38am by .

Art and Migration
2022/2023

The theme of migration has remained an inherent subject of art ever since some modern humans began to move across the planet, bringing their objects and technologies with them. Whether in Mesoamerica, the ancient Mediterranean, or medieval Africa, war, invasion, colonialism, enslavement, resettlement, and trade have fundamentally altered cultural production, reception, and rituals. In light of the many recent migration crises throughout the world, artists and scholars have responded to the critical movement of people and artifacts in myriad ways.

This year's theme encompasses questions of memory, destruction of cultural heritage, provenance and repatriation, and the complex lives of movable objects, traditions, and practices. How does art that concerns migration contribute to or detract from ideas about belonging and community; assimilation and isolation; tradition, innovation, and legal or cultural boundaries? How are patterns or processes of movement made visible or invisible through the artworks, objects, and communities that are created, adapted, abandoned, or destroyed? Furthermore, what happens when mobility is brought to a halt?

Applicants may also consider representation, identity, and hybridity, as well as recent genetic research and long-term patterns of mobility, immobility, and migration.

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Wed, 08/11/2021 - 8:03am by Erik Shell.
Sappho reading one of her poems to a group of friends. Red-figure vase by the Group of Polygnotos, ca. 440–430 BCE. National Archaeological Museum in Athens.

The Ancient Worlds, Modern Communities initiative (AnWoMoCo), launched by the SCS in 2019 as the Classics Everywhere initiative, supports projects that seek to engage broader publics — individuals, groups, and communities — in critical discussion of and creative expression related to the ancient Mediterranean, the global reception of Greek and Roman culture, and the history of teaching and scholarship in the field of classical studies. As part of this initiative, the SCS has funded 111 projects, ranging from school programming to reading groups, prison programs, public talks and conferences, digital projects, and collaborations with artists in theater, opera, music, dance, and the visual arts. The initiative welcomes applications from all over the world. To date, it has funded projects in 25 states and 11 countries, including Canada, UK, Italy, Greece, Spain, Belgium, Ghana, Puerto Rico, Argentina, and India.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 08/02/2021 - 9:15am by .

An announcement from the organizers of the West Coast Plato Workshop:

The 2022 West Coast Plato Workshop will be on Plato’s Republic Book 1-4.  It will take place May 27-29, 2022, at Stanford University.  

We do intend this to be an in person conference (the pandemic permitting).  But we also understand that some people’s circumstances may not allow them to attend an person event.  We will make the conference available via Zoom and if anyone whose paper is accepted is unable to attend in person, we’ll work with her to make it possible for her present via Zoom.  Although we still intend it to be in person, we can make some exceptions if need be.

Submissions should consist in two separate pages: (i) the title of the paper, name(s), academic rank(s), affiliation(s), and email contact of the author(s); (ii) title and 500-word abstract prepared for blind review.  Submissions should be double-spaced in 12 point font.  MSWord or PDF formats only.  The paper presentation at the conference should be about 40 minutes in length. 

Refereeing for submissions will be blind and will be done by the present host of the WCPW along with members of the WCPW program committee and other WCPW-affiliated scholars. 

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Mon, 07/26/2021 - 7:01pm by Helen Cullyer.

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