CONF: The Erotics of Narrative

seen on the Classicists list:

The Erotics of Narrative’

An international KYKNOS conference

KYKNOS, the Swansea and Lampeter Centre for Research on the Narrative Literatures of the Ancient World


15-17 July, Gregynog Hall


For booking information see:


Conference organisers: John.Morgan AT

m.plantinga AT; I.Repath AT




Desire, anticipation, pleasure, and satisfaction are all concepts which apply to hearing, reading, and giving narratives, as well as to love and sex. In some cases, horror, boredom, pain, and frustration are involved instead, or even as well. When a narrative concerns love and/or sex, then there is the possibility of dynamic interplay between the contents of the narrative and its narration, and between the provocations and reactions of narrators and their narratees.

This conference aims to explore the ways in which ideas and theories surrounding ancient narratives and erotic subject matter interrelate and affect each other, considering such aspects as: pleasure and pain, erotic impetus and delay, frustration and satisfaction, and disappointment and fulfilment, and generally how the processes and rhythms of reading/listening relate to sexual desire, pleasure, and so on.




Wednesday 15 July                 

3.00 – 3.15        Introduction      

3.15 – 4.15        Dimos Spatharas ‘Kinky stories from the rostrum’

4.15 – 4.45        Tea      

4.45 – 5.45        Andrea Capra    ‘Erotic scenes, erratic narratives, ironic distances: Plato and Xenophon’s Antithetic Symposia’

5.45 – 6.45        Liz Pender         ‘From seduction meadow to marriage bed: reading Plato’s Phaedrus’                    



Thursday 16 July                     

9.00 – 10.00      Glenn Lacki       ‘Sex and sea: the temptations of narration (Ov. Her. 18-19)

10.00 – 11.00    Alison Sharrock ‘The erotics of delay in Ovidian narrative’

11.00 – 11.30    Coffee  

11.30 – 12.30    Anne Cotton      ‘Reading, learning and desire: narrative, frustration, and philosophical progress in Plato’s Phaedrus’

12.30 – 2.00      Lunch  

2.00 – 3.00        Tim Whitmarsh  ‘The erotics of disappointment: Chariton’s Dionysiaka’

3.00 – 4.00        Kathryn Chew    ‘Erotikoi logoi and sophrosune: [self-] control in Achilles Tatius, Longus, and Heliodorus’

4.00 – 4.30        Tea      

4.30 – 5.30        Steve Nimis       ‘Eros the novelist’

5.30 – 6.30        Froma Zeitlin     ‘The Circulation of Erotic Energy in Achilles Tatius: Narrative Strategies of Deflection, Projection, and Sublimation’                       



Friday 17 July             

9.00 – 9.30        Daniel King        ‘A survivor’s story: narrating painful experiences in a pleasing way’

9.30 – 10.00      Emilio Capettini ‘Ethiopian Andromache: philandria and eros’

10.00 – 11.00    Stelios Panayotakis       ‘Desire and Storytelling in Apollonius of Tyre’

11.00 – 11.30    Coffee  

11.30 – 12.30    Ruth Webb        ‘Adultery, mime, and the novel: performance and metafiction in Apuleius and Achilles Tatius’

12.30 – 2.00      Lunch  

2.00 – 3.00        Jane McLarty     ‘Misplaced jealousy and the privileged reader: a Christian reading of a romantic motif’



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