CONF: Reading Seminars


Mary Beard (Cambridge)
“Laughing with (or at?) the Romans”
Room: HumSS 175
14 May 2009, Thursday, 4 p.m.

Robert Parker (Oxford)
“Sacrifice: The Big Issues”
Room: HumSS 175
20 May 2009, Wednesday, 4 p.m.

Terence Irwin (Oxford)
“Beauty and Morality in Aristotle”
Room: HumSS 175
27 May 2009, Wednesday, 4 p.m.

Philomen Probert (Oxford)
“Relative Clauses in Mycenaean Greek”
Room: HumSS 175
3 June 2009, Wednesday, 4 p.m.

For directions to the University of Reading, please see:

For further information, please contact Phiroze Vasunia at p.vasunia AT


The Annual Meeting of Postgraduates in Ancient Literature 2009 will be held at the University of Birmingham on 14-15 November 2009.

AMPAL is a conference for postgraduates studying ancient literature which is now in its fifth year. It allows students to present their research, to take part in discussion and exchange of ideas, and to meet and network with other graduate students.

AMPAL 2009 will feature a research poster competition for the first time and there will also be the opportunity for speakers to publish their papers in the journal Rosetta (ISSN 1752-1580) in a special ‘Proceedings of AMPAL 2009’ edition. Peer review will be offered to all speakers and chairs.

The conference will be held at the University of Birmingham’s Conference Centre, with all meals and accommodation provided on site.


The theme for AMPAL 2009 is ‘Crossing Boundaries’

Symbolised by the Rosetta Stone which allowed translators to cross from one language to another, this theme can interpreted in many different ways. To suggest only a few readings:

* language boundaries, translation and linguistics
* country and national borders, frontiers, immigration and emigration
* journeys, quests, ancient tourism and travel writing
* liminality, transgression, metamorphosis and rites of passage
* the ‘Other’: gender boundaries, racial boundaries, cultural boundaries, religious boundaries, age boundaries, the boundaries of the body
* the contrast between the centre and the periphery, the city and the country, the home and the outside world
* the boundary between the living and the dead, the conscious and the unconscious, actuality and the imagination, performance and reality
* the difference between received history and actual events, the actor and the audience, the writer and the reader
* interdisciplinary boundaries
* intertextuality and intratextuality
* reception studies and the boundaries between today and the past

Postgraduates (and those recently qualified) working on any aspect of ancient literature are invited to submit abstracts related to ‘Crossing Boundaries’ in any of the following categories:

* 250 word abstract for a 20-minute paper
* 250 word description of a co-ordinated panel, along with the 250 word abstracts of each of the proposed papers (3 or 4 papers)
* 200 word abstract for a research poster (which may include a low-res sketch)

Please email your abstracts to [ ampal AT ] by May 31st 2009, along with your name, institution, and level of study.

CFP: Family as Strategy in the Roman Empire

10TH UNISA CLASSICS COLLOQUIUM in cooperation with the Department of New
Testament and Early Christian Studies
University of South Africa, Pretoria

Date: October 15 – 17, 2009


‘Family as Strategy in the Roman Empire’

Papers are hereby invited on any aspect of the family in Greco-Roman
antiquity and early Christianity that may be seen to further illuminate
the conference topic. The interdisciplinary link is deliberate and aligns
with the historical emergence of early Christianity as part and parcel of
the Roman Empire.

The approach of this conference seeks to emphasize that family, house and
household were contextualised within the social and power relations of the
time. Apart from literary investigations, we would like to encourage
contributions with an historical or archaeological concern. Enquiries
regarding theoretical and methodological issues, such as the interaction
between literary and material evidence, the design of interpretive
strategies and the fabrication of a socio-historiography are also welcomed.

The last few decades have witnessed an explosion of studies on a multitude
of aspects concerning the family in Greco-Roman antiquity. This conference
wishes to contribute to the ongoing debate by exploring the specific ways
in which the family was used as a strategy for a variety of social
purposes. On the one hand, the family was generated by political,
economic, cultural and moral forces. On the other hand, it functioned
reciprocally to cultivate, reinforce and sustain the very practices from
which it emerged.

The family may be interrogated in terms of its various dimensions; for
instance, as a social site occupying space. It may be asked how the
individual’s place was determined in interaction with his or her family?
How was the family, in terms of cultural discourses, strategically
utilised as microcosm within a particular macrocosm? Exactly what was
public and what was private in the workings of the Graeco-Roman family and
how rigid was this distinction? How was the family determined by and—in
its turn—fashioned material sites and cultural products: household
architecture, art, decoration, utensils, and the like? The family may also
be investigated in terms of its temporal dimension, such as its legacies
from pre-colonial times, its role in Romanization and the ideal of
Romanitas, as a nucleus of identity, cooption, and resistance.
Furthermore, Early Christianity emerged as part and parcel of this complex
discursive world and structured itself in continuity (e.g. patriarchy),
but also deviated from the model in significant ways, for instance in how
desire and gender was regulated within the structures of family life, and
in its cultivation of movements such as asceticism and monasticism. How
was the dominant family discourse appropriated by early Christianity and
to what extent did the family as a form of strategy cooperate in the
Christianization of the Roman Empire?

Finally, papers concerned with appeals to either the continuity or
discontinuity of the family formed in the Roman Empire will also be

Papers are limited to 45 minutes. Please submit abstracts of appr. 200
words via e-mail attachment to the organizing committee by 15 July 2009 at
either bosmapr AT or Olympus At

This conference is a joint project of the Unisa Departments of Classics &
World Languages and New Testament & Early Christian Studies.

CONF: Classical Reception in English Literature

Classical Reception in English Literature, 1660-1790

An international Workshop in connection with The Oxford History of Classical Reception in English Literature (published by Oxford University Press)

27-28 June 2009, University of Bristol

The Oxford History of Classical Reception in English Literature is a new, five-volume publication, offering a comprehensive survey and investigation of the reception of Greek and Roman literature by English writers from the Middle Ages to the present day. In the course of the History’s preparation, individual volume editors will be holding various kinds of conference and workshop to allow contributors to the history to meet and exchange ideas and their work-in-progress.

The Bristol workshop, to be held on 27-28 June, will focus on Volume 3: 1660-1790, for which first-draft contributions are due to be submitted at the end of 2009.

Though the workshop is primarily intended for the contributors’ benefit, it is open to other scholars working in the field, who are warmly welcomed to attend and to participate.

Please inform birtha-igrct AT if you would like to attend.