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The Sicilian Orator and the Platonic Dialogue

Exedra Mediterranean Center

Syracuse, Sicily, 23-26 November, 2021

with a pre-conference seminar on selections of his writings in Greek (November 22-23) and an excursion to the archaeological site and museum of Leontini, November 27.

By some accounts, Gorgias of Leontini was a student of Empedocles and an important pre-Socratic philosopher. By all accounts, he was a skillful rhetorician and celebrated orator. For better or worse, Gorgias’ legacy has been heavily influenced by Plato’s brilliant dialogue named for him. Both men’s work is worth discussing in its own right. It is also interesting to think about the relation between the two, as well as their respective disciplines: philosophy and rhetoric. Both men and both disciplines, furthermore, have important connections to Sicily and Southern Italy which are rarely explored. This conference will bring scholars from a variety of disciplines to Siracusa to discuss Gorgias the man, his work, and the Platonic dialogue named after him, with special attention to their connection with Western Greece.

Our conference will take place at the Exedra Mediterranean Center, adjacent to the Piazza Duomo in Ortigia, the ancient heart of Syracuse. It will include a pre-conference seminar to discuss the Greek text, academic presentations and Gorgias-themed visits to the Neapolis archeological park and Paolo Orsi museum, and a post-conference excursion to the archaeological site and museum of ancient Leontini. We will also enjoy traditional Sicilian hospitality with group dinners and catered lunches featuring local specialties, plus an American style Thanksgiving dinner (with families invited) Thursday evening. On the Saturday following the conference, there will be an optional excursion to the site and museum of Gorgias’s birthplace, Leontini, which is about an hour away.

The official languages of the conference are English and Italian. Proposals for presentations related to any aspect of the life and work of Gorgias or Plato’s eponymous dialogue are welcome. Abstracts for papers should be 150-300 words in length, prepared for blind review, and saved in .docx or .rtf. Proposals for panel discussions or creative presentations should include contact information for all participants. Evaluation criteria include quality, relevance to the conference theme, and relevance to the heritage of Western Greece. Presentation times range from 20 minutes for individual papers to 90 minutes for panel discussions. Scholars are welcome to participate without presenting a paper.

Selected proceedings will be published by Parnassos Press and indexed open access on JSTOR

Send abstracts directly to Heather L. Reid at Abstracts received by June 1, 2021 will be considered for early acceptance. Final deadline for abstracts is September 1, 2021.

We look forward to welcoming you to in beautiful Syracuse, the heart of Western Greece