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1st -3rd September 2021

Abstracts are invited for contributions to a conference on “Reflections on language in early Greece”, to be held on-line (via Zoom or a similar platform) on 1st-3rd September 2021. By ‘early Greece’ we have in mind texts and other cultural artefacts earlier than Plato, and materials that are all too often overlooked in scholarly discussions of Greek reflections on the nature of language. We envisage the conference as offering a series of independent yet mutually illuminating contributions, which illustrate the significance of the topic in this period and the wealth of views and approaches adopted towards it, beyond and besides the traditional opposition between physis and thesis, or between a Cratylus and a Hermogenes. To this end, we hope that our conference will cut across genres, traditional periodizations and academic disciplinary boundaries and we welcome contributions that straddle the divide between Classics, Philosophy, and Linguistics.

Themes that we wish to examine include, but are not limited to:

· The correctness or incorrectness of language (incl. names)

· The potential of language to represent reality; the role of language as a tool for accessing reality or as an obstacle to doing so

· Reflection on language as a distinctive and creative preoccupation of authors; as a means of signalling distance from and/or affinity with traditional attitudes; as a way for ancient readers and other audiences to re-imagine creatively the texts of others

· Reflection on language and intertextuality

Confirmed speakers include: Ilaria Andolfi (KCL), Timothy Barnes (Cambridge), Jenny Strauss Clay (Virginia), Lyndsay Coo (Bristol), Nikolay Grintser (Moscow), Luke Parker (Puget Sound), Ivana Petrovic (Virginia), Valeria Piano (Florence), Leon Wash (Chicago).

If you are interested in participating, please send an abstract of up to 300 words as an anonymised email attachment to both conference organisers (, by 25th January 2021. All abstracts will be acknowledged, and we aim to communicate our decision by 15th February 2021.

To facilitate discussion, we would like to pre-circulate either drafts of the papers or an extended summary one month before the conference.

In these times of uncertainty we have chosen to host this conference on-line. Depending on the guidance on Covid-19 available in early 2021 and the availability of funding, we may host this as a ‘blended’ conference, i.e. as a face-to-face event that is also transmitted on-line (via Zoom or a similar platform).