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Conference: "Medical Understandings of Emotions in Antiquity"

Crete/Patras Ancient Emotions Conference II
Medical understandings of emotions in antiquity

University of Patras, December 8-10 2017

This conference seeks to explore emotions’ significant role in Greek and Roman medical writings. In the medical discourse of antiquity, doctors are usually portrayed as disembodied, rational agents of professional knowledge and, hence, emotionally detached; silencing or suppressing emotions, such as fear, hope or disgust, appears to be integral to an ancient doctor’s self-fashioning and defines the ‘clinical’ conditions under which medical treatment should be conducted, even in the face of a painful illness. Patients, on the other hand, experience a wide range of emotions: depending on the nature of the disease, these emotions appear either as secondary side-effects or, in cases where a psychosomatic condition is at play, as fundamental diagnostic criteria. Yet, scholarship has not paid much attention to emotions in medical literature. Α possible explanation is that modern discussions take the body to account for the totality of physical, cognitive, and affective experience. On this view, even the use of the term ‘emotion’, in the sense of an affective entity that can be construed as independent of the body, may be misleading or anachronistic when applied to ancient medical texts. Yet, a number of medical descriptions invite us to ask if ‘pathological’ affective conditions are the cause or the symptom of illness: is it possible to identify exegetical models in which diseases have psychogenic causes? And if so, on what criteria do medical writers pathologize emotions? A close look at specific illnesses (for instance, melancholia ([Hipp.] Aph. 6.23) suggests that, for all their emphasis on the body, even early medical writers allow that in some conditions emotions serve as agents themselves rather than as manifestations of an underlying pathological agent. Correlatively, one of the most interesting developments in later medicine (e.g. in the works of Rufus of Ephesus and Galen) is that emotions are increasingly identified as ‘causes’ of diseases, while at the same time affects seem to assume a predominant role in the course of therapy. A careful assessment of this increased role of emotions can contribute, among other things, to a better understanding of mental illness in antiquity, as the latter gradually develops from a purely bodily condition with psychological side-effects to a pathological entity that is predominantly defined by its affective, as well as mental, symptoms. 

On a different level, ancient literature and philosophy frequently identify emotional behaviour with madness. This is clearly manifested in the conceptual metaphors employed by ancient (and modern) speakers to disclose or describe emotional experience: anger and erotic love, for example, are typically qualified as diseases that plague the agent. Disease metaphors emphasize the uncontrollability of emotional experience and its destructive impact on the agent, thereby reflecting cultural modes of understanding emotions. We, therefore, wish to pin down the differences, if any, between instances where emotions are conceived of as diseases and instances in which emotions are literally ‘pathologized’ (e.g. in ancient ethics). Finally, certain emotions seem to be more open to pathological interpretation than others. This should explain, for instance, why ‘madness’ (consisting of emotional outbursts) is outlined more clearly in medical texts (and crops up more often as a medical metaphor in literary texts) than e.g. melancholia, whose symptomatic manifestation involves more ‘inward’ affects, such as fear and sadness.

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THE IMPACT OF LEARNING GREEK, HEBREW, AND ‘ORIENTAL’ LANGUAGES ON SCHOLARSHIP, SCIENCE, AND SOCIETY IN THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

LECTIO INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE
13-15 December 2017
UNIVERSITY OF LEUVEN (BELGIUM)

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Thu, 04/20/2017 - 11:44am by Erik Shell.

Please be aware that the deadline for individual abstracts for the 2018 annual meeting in Boston is April 26 (next Wednesday). You can submit your abstract here.

Also keep in mind the following upcoming deadlines for other SCS opportunities:

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View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Thu, 04/20/2017 - 8:30am by Erik Shell.

The online Packard Humanities Institute’s Classical Latin Texts (PHI) makes freely available material that was originally included on the PHI’s CD ROM 5.3, issued in 1991. It contains the vast majority of Latin literary texts written before 200 CE, as well as a handful of Latin texts from late antiquity. It therefore offers an alternative to two other free online resources: The Latin Library and the Perseus Project. The former has already been reviewed for  this blog by Ted Gellar-Goad, and some of his criticisms of it apply equally to PHI. In particular, due partly to copyright issues, users in search of an apparatus criticus, grammatical reading aids, and any sort of commentary will find none of that here. What they will find is a cleanly-edited and robust collection of well-known and less well-known Latin authors, as well as a trio of aids to translation and scholarly analysis.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 04/17/2017 - 2:31pm by Matthew Loar.

We are delighted to announce the following winners of the 2017 Pedagogy Awards:

Ronnie Ancona (Hunter College, CUNY) has been awarded funds in order to attend the Paideia Institute's Living Latin in NYC program.

Sarah E. Bond (University of Iowa) has been awarded funds in order to present at Digital Humanities 2017 on the use of digital mapping techniques in teaching complex literary texts.

Sarah Harrell (Bentley Upper School) has been awarded funds in order to participate in the Vergilian Society's Latin Authors in Italy: a Study Tour for Teachers

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View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Mon, 04/17/2017 - 12:09pm by Helen Cullyer.

Donald Mastronarde, SCS Member and Vice President for Publications and Research, has been elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Here are the links to view the initial AAAS Press release or see the list of newly elected fellows.

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(Photo: "library" by Viva Vivanista, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Wed, 04/12/2017 - 9:33am by Erik Shell.

CALL FOR PAPERS
FIRST CIRCULAR
XXVIth International Conference of 2017

The  XXVIth International Conference and the VIIIth International Bilingual Summer Seminar on XENOPHON, organized by the OLYMPIC CENTER FOR PHILOSOPHY AND CULTURE (OCPC) , will take place in Ancient Olympia and Neochorion -Zacharo, Greece, July 28-31 , 2017 .
The topics of the Conference (A) and  the Seminar (B)  are:
A. PHILOSOPHY AND THE ARTS WITH AN EMPHASIS
(1) ON A HOLISTIC APPROACH
AND
(2) ON THE CONTRIBUTION OF
N. KAZANTZAKIS AND J.P. ANTON TO PHILOSOPHY AND THE ARTS
B. XENOPHON’S VIEWS ON PHILOSOPHY, THE ARTS AND HOLISM
Ι. The Conference will explore  a variety of views on:
     
• Philosophy and The Arts:  Comparative, Evaluative and Holistic Approach
• N. Kazantzakis’s Contribution to Philosophy and the Arts
• J. P. Anton’s Contribution to Philosophy and the Arts

DEADLINES:

April 30, 2017:  Abstract is due (300-500 words)

June 30, 2017: Full Paper is due (2.500 words)

*** In case the abstracts or papers are not acceptable the authors will be promptly informed.

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View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Wed, 04/12/2017 - 8:57am by Erik Shell.

Medusa

This article was originally published in Amphora 12.1. It has been edited slightly to adhere to current SCS blog conventions.

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 04/10/2017 - 10:11pm by Tom Kohn.

The SCS, with help from Ph.D.-granting institutions, has compiled a list of the current In-Progress dissertations as of this academic year (2016-2017). The page will be updated as information of new or completed dissertations comes in to the office.

You can view the new page here.

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View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 04/10/2017 - 11:04am by Erik Shell.

Crete/Patras Ancient Emotions Conference II
Medical understandings of emotions in antiquity

University of Patras, December 8-10 2017

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Mon, 04/10/2017 - 9:51am by Erik Shell.

NEH Logo

April, 2017

Below is a list of the most recent NEH grantees and their Classically-themed projects. The NEH helps fund a number of SCS initiatives, and their support affects the field of Classics at a national and local level.

Grantees

  • Matthew Simonton (Arizona State University, West Campus) - "Demagogues and Popular Culture in Ancient Greece
  • Valencia Community College (Directed by Sean Lake) - "Tragedy, Catharsis, and Reconciliation: Vocies from Ancient and Modern Warfare"
  • Kristina Killgrove (University of West Florida) - "Death comes to Oplontis: Recording and Analyzing Skeletons of Victims of Mt. Vesuvius (79 AD)
  • Touchstones Discussion Project, Inc. (Directed by Howard Zeiderman) - "Completing the Odyssey: A Journey Home"
  • Lofton Durham (Western Michigan University) - "Jacques Milet's Destruction of Troy and the Making of the French Nation"
  • Thomas Keeline (Washington University) - "Latin Textual Scholarship in the Digital Age: An Open-Access Critical Edition of Ovid's Ibis"
  • Aquila Theatre Company Inc. (Two Projects, both directed by Peter Meineck) - "The Warrior Chorus: Our Trojan War" and "Our Trojan War: Ancient and Modern Expressions"
  • Megan Nutzman (Old Dominion University) - "Ritual Cures Among Cristians, Jews, and Pagans in Roman and Late Antique Palestine

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View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Thu, 04/06/2017 - 8:09am by Erik Shell.

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SCS Announcements
Please be aware that the deadline for individual abstracts for the 2018 annua
Calls for Papers
THE IMPACT OF LEARNING GREEK, HEBREW, AND ‘ORIENTAL’ LANGUAGES ON SCH
Awards and Fellowships
We are delighted to announce the following winners of the 2017 Pedagogy Award
Awards and Fellowships
Donald Mastronarde, SCS Member and Vice President for Publications and Resear

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