CFP: Writing the Self, Writing Lives in Greco-Roman Culture (APA)


The following is a call for papers for the panel ‘Writing the self, Writing lives in Greco-Roman culture’, to be held at the 2010 APA meeting in Orange County, California. Abstracts must reach the APA office by 2 February (further instructions are at the end of this message).  The full ‘annual meeting program guide’ (which includes guidelines for abstracts and ‘Form D’, which must accompany all submissions) is available online:


Writing the self, Writing lives in Greco-Roman culture

Over one hundred years now separate us from the original publication of the monumental overview of ancient and modern autobiography by Georg Misch (Misch, 1907). Meanwhile, the ‘death of the author’ has generated a fundamental critical shift and a variety of productive approaches to first-person narratives. On the one hand, major contributions in different fields have highlighted the performative aspect involved in the display of the self. Moving away from the Romantic notion of authorial sincerity, a new wave of criticism has focused on how the presentation of the authorial self in any given text is intimately connected with wider rhetorical, political and cultural strategies to which the text is bound. On the other hand, recent work has called into question the relevance of the concept of persona for the ancients (Mayer, 2003), arguing that on the whole, ancient readers assigned to the author the views expressed by the persona loquens. Focusing our discussion on ancient conceptions and constructions of autobiographical writing, it is the aim of this panel to bring renewed attention to the importance of the biographical persona as a subject and as a tool of criticism for both ancient and modern audiences.

First, contributors might explore how ancient authors conceived of autobiographical writing in its different forms and functions. What are the different media in which authors write about themselves and how does each genre influence the choice and shaping of autobiographical data that an author decides to share with his readers? What is worthy of memory when it comes to the self? What are the different rubrics under which the ancients discuss their lives? What are the differences and continuities between ancient and modern notions of autobiographical writing? Secondly, papers might examine how ancient readers responded to autobiographical statements. What role does the construction of a biographical persona play in the way the ancients approach literary texts? How are we to interpret the tendency of ancient readers to extract biographical information from first-person narratives eloquently analyzed by Mary Lefkowitz (Lefkowitz, 1981) and others? How do biographies of poets and writers transform and interpret the texts of the master author?

To begin to address these questions, we welcome contributions on different autobiographical genres, such as hypomnemata/ commentarii, apologies, memoirs/ confessions, letters and personal poetry, as well as texts, such as biographies and anecdotes, which illustrate the role of the biographical persona in ancient thought.

Abstracts must be received in the APA office by February 2nd, 2009. Please send two copies of form D and four copies of an abstract (following the instruction given above under ?Responsibilities of Individuals Submitting Abstracts by the February 2nd, 2009 Receipt Deadline?). Anonymous abstracts will be reviewed by the panel organizers.

CONF: Rome and the Mediterranean

Registration is £40 (which includes a drinks reception on the Thursday
evening, and lunch on the Friday and Saturday), or £20 for one day.  Cheques
should be made payable to ‘The University of Oxford’ (with ‘Derow
Conference’ on the rear), and sent to Dr S.J. Heyworth, Derow Conference,
Wadham College, Oxford OX1 3PN, preferably before 10th February.

There are 20 subsidized places for graduate students at £20 for all three
days (including the reception and lunches): to claim one of these please
email stephen.heyworth AT

There is some accommodation available in Wadham: for details please email
stephen.heyworth AT

Please forward to any colleagues or students who might be interested.

Stephen Heyworth
Andrew Erskine
Jo Quinn
Liv Yarrow
Peter Thonemann

Thursday 2 April 2009
2.00 Registration
2.30 Welcome
Opening Session: Polybius
2.45 Brian McGing (Trinity College Dublin), Polybius and his predecessors I
3.15 Timothy Rood (Oxford), Polybius and his predecessors II
3.45 Georgina Longley (Oxford), Thucydides, Polybius and human nature
4.15-4.45 Coffee/Tea
4.45 David Langslow (Manchester), The language of Polybius since Foucault and Dubuisson
5.15 Jean-Marie Bertrand (Paris), Polybe lecteur de Platon
6.00 Reception

Friday 3 April
Perspectives on Roman Imperialism
9.30 Andrew Erskine (Edinburgh), Polybius among the Romans
10.00 Christopher Smith (St. Andrews), Middle Republican views on early Roman expansion
10.30 Jennifer Ingleheart (Durham), Catullus and the East and Imperialism
11.00-11.30 Coffee/Tea
11.30 Amy Russell (Berkeley), Aemilius Paullus sees Greece
12.00 Liv Yarrow (CUNY), After the Fighting: Boards of Ten

Frontiers and Boundaries
2.00 Matthew Peacock (Galway), The East Starts Here: the Roman Republic and the Balkan Border
2.30 Nikola Casule (Oxford), In part a Roman sea: Rome and the Adriatic in the third century BC
3.00 Ed Bispham (Oxford), Rome and Illyria
3.30-4.00 Coffee/Tea
4.00 Charles Crowther (Oxford) Chios between Rome and the East (in the first centuries BC and AD)
4.30 Jonathan Williams (British Museum), From Polybius to the Parthenon: cultural property and the ancient world
5.00 Timothy Barnes (Edinburgh/Toronto), Peter Derow in Toronto

Saturday 4 April
From Hellenistic to Roman
9.30 Daniel Ogden (Exeter), Alexander, Scipio and Augustus: serpent sires in Macedon and Rome
10.00 John Ma (Oxford), Honorific statues and Hellenistic history: from narrative to representation
10.30 Olivier Hekster (Nijmegen), Client kings and regime change in the late Roman Republic
11.00 Coffee/Tea
11.30 Andy Meadows (American Numismatic Society), Deditio in Fidem.  The Ptolemaic Conquest of Asia Minor
12.00 Robert Morstein-Marx (UC Santa Barbara), New Light on the Roman Response to Attalus III’s Death


Approaching the Divine
2.00 Barbara Kowalzig (Royal Holloway), Hellenistic Gods and their Economic Associations
2.30 Hugh Bowden (KCL), Rome and the East: Religious Encounters
3.00 Bruce Gibson (Liverpool), Festivals and Games in Polybius
Tree ceremony: names plates will be placed by the trees planted in the Fellows’ Garden in memory of George Forrest and Peter Derow

CONF: Illness, Disability, Medicine, and Healing

Call for Papers on Illness, Disability, Medicine, and Healing

The Biblical Scholarship and Disability Section of the 2009 Society of
Biblical Literature International Meeting is seeking papers. The 2009
Meeting will be held June 30-July 4 in Rome. Our section addresses a
broad range of issues including illness generally (chronic or
short-term), illness understood as demon-possession, legal punishment,
or the result of witchcraft, disability, the fall out from abuse or
other violence, psychological damage, healing, or medicine in the
ancient world and its literature. We welcome and encourage papers from
archaeology, Near Eastern Studies, and Classics, as well as Hebrew
Bible and New Testament literature.

If you are a member of the SBL, paper abstracts may be submitted on
the SBL International Meeting Web page by clicking on the call for
papers and then the section. Non-members who wish to present should
contact Rachel Magdalene at Rmagdale  AT for assistance.
Abstracts are due by 31 January 2009.

F. Rachel Magdalene, M.A.R., M.Div., J.D., Ph.D.
Gastforscherin (Visiting Research Scholar); Institüt für
Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, Universität Leipzig
Gast der Fakultät (Guest of the Faculty); Seminar für Altes Testament,
Universität Humboldt zu Berlin

Kreischaer Str. 16
01768 Hirschbach-Glashütte
rmagdale AT
Tel. land-line: 0-3504-620700
Tel. handy/cell: 0-151-166-20516
Tel. from USA: 011-49-3504-620700 (6 hours ahead of U.S. EST)

CONF: Bristol Seminars

Details of the programme of the research seminars and events at Bristol
University’s Department of Classics and Ancient History are listed below.

Tuesday seminars take place in room G37, access through 3-5 Woodland Road,
porters’ lodge.

School of Humanities Seminars take place in Link Rooms 1 and 2, access
through porters’ lodge 3-5 Woodland Road.

All are welcome to attend the sessions. Directions to the university and
maps to the precinct may be found here:

For other events see the BIRTHA website:

Contact Dr Silke Knippschild (clzsk AT

January 27th
Ed Bragg (Oxford/Bristol)
Roman Seaborne Raids during the Mid Republic: Sideshow or Headline Feature?

February 3rd
School of Humanities Seminar, Theology and Religious Studies: Buddhist
Funeral Rites in Southeast Asia. Project

February 10th
Ed Paleit (Exeter)
Lucan and the Early Modern Reader

February 17th
Martina Cuypers (Trinity College Dublin)
Look Who’s Talking Too: Intertextuality and Narrative Voice in Apollonius’ Argonautica

February 24th
Ika Willis and Robert Crowe (Bristol)
Penguin Classics: Reception, Translation, and the State of the Archive
March 3rd
School of Humanities Seminar Classics and Ancient History: Ellen O’Gorman and Vanda Zajko

March 10th
Ian Rutherford (Reading)
Religion at the Interface: Anatolian Religion of the Late Bronze Age as a Model for Greek Religion

Further events at the department

March 19th-20th
International conference
Just for Show? Performing and Affirming Status in Antiquity and the Middle Ages Conference

March 21st-22nd
Critical Approaches to Ancient Philosophy.

May 5th, 6th, 12th, 13th
Blackwell Lectures:
Greg Woolf
The Ancient Ethnographer
Blackwell Lectures 5.15-6.30 in room LT2, access through 3-5 Woodland Road, porters’ lodge