Seen on Classicists (please respond to the folks mentioned below, not rogueclassicism):
Great, Greater, Gloriosus:
Constructions of Greatness and Delusions of Grandeur in Antiquity
University of Virginia, Department of Classics
The Classics Graduate Student Association of the University of Virginia is pleased to welcome abstracts for its fifteenth annual Graduate Student Colloquium, to be held in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday, March 19, 2011.
The keynote speaker will be Ralph Rosen, Rose Family Endowed Term Professor of Classical Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.
Achieving greatness is not merely a question of asserting superiority over others, but also depends on the ability to convince others that one has accomplished something worthy of respect and admiration. The ancient world provides countless examples of individuals who tried to demonstrate their own greatness in relation to real or imagined rivals, whether through military exploits, politics, philosophy, literature, art, or architecture. Sometimes these claims were successful, but at other times they fell short and were rejected by their intended audiences. Although the idea of greatness is frequently invoked in discussions of antiquity, the ways in which it was constructed, challenged, and broken down are not sufficiently understood.
This colloquium will aim to investigate how groups and individuals (political actors, authors, artists, religious figures, literary characters, etc.) assumed or asserted their superiority over others, and to explore how others responded to these boasts. By bringing together papers that look at both successful and failed claims to greatness from a variety of perspectives, we hope to come to a better understanding of a concept that is nearly ubiquitous in the life and literature of the ancient world.
We welcome abstracts from all fields related to the classical world and its reception, including classics, archaeology, art history, philosophy, comparative literature, history, religious studies, women and gender studies, politics, medieval studies, and modern literatures.
Possible questions include but are not limited to:
· How is greatness defined in different areas of achievement (e.g. literature, politics, the visual arts, sport, religion)?
· How do concepts of greatness differ between social, ethnic, or gender groups?
· Why do individuals or groups strive to display their greatness?
· Who is able to confer ‘greatness’? Who is entitled to be called ‘great’? Who falls short?
· How is greatness represented in different areas?
· What are the risks and/or rewards of presenting oneself as ‘great’?
· What happens when different conceptions of greatness clash? when a claim is foisted on those who are unwilling to recognize it? When and why are assertions of greatness rejected?
· Do earlier models of greatness help or hinder those who aspire to it in later periods?
· What happens when somebody claims greatness prematurely or without justification? How do rivals deconstruct, dismantle, or attack claims to greatness?
· Does the concept of greatness ever become a cliché or lose its power? When or why do models of greatness change?
Papers should be no more than twenty minutes in length. Abstracts of no more than one page can be submitted as attachments to Sarah Miller at sjm8v AT virginia.edu no later than December 17, 2010. Your name should not appear on your abstract, so please make sure that the body of your e-mail includes your name, paper title, institution, e-mail address and mailing address. You may also send your abstract (with your personal information on a separate sheet) to:
Department of Classics
University of Virginia
PO Box 400788
Charlottesville, VA 22904
If you have any questions, please contact Colloquium Directors